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Questions tagged [parshanut-theory]

The theory of parshanut (Torah commentary) - by what principles does parshanut work? Questions regarding actual texts should be tagged 'parshanut-torah-comment'.

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Why the sexes are not mentioned with animals?

In the creation of animals the Torah does not mention that they were created male and female: וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְאֵת כָּל־רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה ...
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Difference between calling and naming people in Tanach

In this question, I refer to "לקרוא לו/לה" as "calling and to "לקרוא שם" as naming. Regarding the names in Tanach I've found three patterns: A person is "born" with his/her name, not called or named,...
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Should we interpret the Torah literally or allegorically?

I had a question regarding how we should interpret the Torah. Should we interpret it literally, or if not how far can we abstract its teachings, or should we favour a mix of both approaches? I have ...
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What prevents a needy from stealing and being sold into slavery?

Imagine a poor Jewish guy with a screaming wife and 12 little kids that went bankrupt and lost everything he had. He still needs to support himself and his family. What prevents him from selecting ...
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Are questions of the form “Why is XYZ true of this Sidrah” “valid”?

As far as I can tell, where the weekly Sidra breaks start and end are somewhat arbitrary: it doesn’t seem to matter how long the Sidros are, as long as there are enough Pesukim for seven aliyos, each ...
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Why there were TWO separate tablets - Luchot HaBrit?

Following my previous, unanswered question: The-halachic-importance-of-the-luchot-habrit-the-tablets... This seems trivial as we're so used to the idea of the two tablets, but still... "וַיִּתֵּן ...
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What can not be a legitimate Orthodox interpretation of the Torah?

I understand that in theory everyone can interpret the Torah and find his own Chiddushim from a renown Rabbi to a secular Jew, young and old, Jew and non-Jew. Today we can see myriads of Perushim and ...
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Obligation to accept Rabbinical sayings “על ימין שהוא שמאל”

To continue my scientific/Halachic exploration, I would like to summarize the approaches in one question that addresses the famous Rashi on Dvorim 17,11. I think this long and well-sourced question is ...
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Why include details of the Oral Law in the Written Torah? [duplicate]

Some Mitzvot are written in the Torah very briefly or even hinted to, like "כבד את אביך", "לא תבשל גדי", "וקשרתם לאות על ידך" and many more. For example, the Torah gives no details on how the כיבוד אב ...
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Is a Bei'ur the same thing as a Peirush?

What characteristics define Biur and Peirush? Are they different from one another? Are they related somehow? If so, in which aspects? Please, explain. Sources are welcome.
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Who has the right to come up with chiddushei Torah?

I am not at all learned in Torah, and yet I occasionally come up with what I think is a chiddush of Torah. Of course, it frequently turns out that someone else has thought of my "chiddush" before me,...
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Why does the Torah mention the lineage of Yishma'el and Esav?

The first Rash"i in the Torah cites Rav Yitzchak's question as to why the Torah didn't begin with the first mitzvah, because it's assumed that the purpose of the Torah is as a mitzvah guide and not a ...
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Why do Rishonim ignore the ta'amei di'krah when giving pshat in a posuk?

Why is it that sometimes one finds that Rishonim who attempt to explain the simple pshat of a posuk in Tehillim (Eben Ezrah, Radak, Me'iri, Seforno), will ignore the ta'amei di'krah (the simanim that ...
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Rule of first occurrence?

Searching online I came across a nice article which wrote: link It is a teaching of Chassidic thought (the only source I have for this is Shlomo Carlebach!) that the first occurrence of a certain ...
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Rule 195 of Ayelet Hashachar by the Malbim

If one looks at the Malbim's Ayelet Hashachar, he gives 613 rules for interpreting the Torah. But if you look at it carefully, you'll notice that rule 195 is missing. What happened to this rule?
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176 verses in longest parasha, longest psalm and last page of longest Talmud tractate - what is the significance?

As was already noted before on MiYodeya, the longest parasha (Naso) has 176 verses the longest Psalm (119) has 176 verses the longest tractate of Talmud Bavli (Bava Batra) ends on daf 176 Is there ...
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What is parshanut theory?

Are there rules that must be followed in learning Torah with commentaries? I mean, clearly, we can't put words in the mouth of the Torah that go against the basic tenets of the faith, but what rules ...
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How to reconcile a sod the conflicts with the peshat?

We have a tradition that the Torah can be learned with four methods: pshat, remez, derush and sod. It is also known that the pshat (simple meaning) holds true. If so, how then can it be reconciled ...
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Re-explaining parshanut when the explanation is given

Over Shabbos, I heard the same dvar Torah twice - basically, that which the Talmud says Yaakov went back for his small vessels that he had forgotten (Bereishis 32:25) was because he understood that ...
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How many approaches to Torah are there?

Our sages tell us that there are שבעים פנים לתורה (Bamidbar Rabbah). Does this mean that every word, or verse, or some unit, has 70 interpretations, and there are theoretically billions of ...
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Lubavitcher Rebbe's view on Rashi

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's view on Rashi is that he is completely and utterly pshat. His main source for this is Rashi's own statement (Genesis 3:8) "ואני לא באתי אלא לפשוטו של מקרא," "I only came to ...
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Why does Rashi cite the Midrash of Pharaoh's daughter stretching out her arm?

There's a famous Midrash cited by Rashi (Shemoth 2:5), that says Pharaoh's daughter stretched out her arm and that it extended beyond its natural length to pull in the basket containing the baby from ...
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Derech Ha-Limud in Chumash

I for a long time have had the question what is the proper way to learn Chumash in order to get to a good understanding al pi pshat. Many times I hear people saying over vertlach on the Parsha and ...
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Do Jews accept the Bible as being valid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do Jewish people have a collection of books which are the equivelant of the Christian Old Testament? The Bible has an "Old testament" and a "New Testament". Do Jews use the "...
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Are there unnecessary words in torah?

I've been taught, often enough that I thought it was universal, that there are no unnecessary words in torah (chumash) — every word is there to teach us something. I've seen plenty of discussions in ...
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Does Midrash count as Torah sheBichtav (Written Torah)?

The Shulchan Aruch and Rama (47:2) write: "[You] need to bless [birkas hatorah] whether for mikra (Tanach), whether for mishnah, whether for gemara. Note: (3) Whether for midrash (Tur)." The Mishnah ...
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How do Rishonim argue on Drashos Chazal?

There is a known rule that Rishonim cannot argue on the Gemara when it comes to "Halachic" drashos. For example, a Rishon will never give a different answer to a question which the Gemara already ...
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Does p'shat explain everything?

Ways of reading Chumash are commonly divided into four headings: p'shat, simple readings; d'rash, exegeses; remez, hints; and sod, secrets. The g'mara and midr'she halacha are full of d'rash: they ...
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What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
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Commentaries not noting clear issues in the Torah

Stemming from this question about the seeming discrepancy between the number of people and the number of first-borns as counted in the beginning of Numbers: I noticed this problem in my first reading ...
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Was Malbim an innovator?

Malbim (Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel) wrote a commentary on most of Tanach. In his introduction (to Yeshayahu) he writes the assumptions with which he operates in his commentary: :עמודי התוך אשר ...
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Is Rashi really pshat?

If Rashi on Tanach is a purely pshat oriented commentary, as professed several times, why do many of his comments originate from midrashim that most other "pshat" meforshim dismiss as "derech drash"? [...