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Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation (Pronounced "par-sha-noot")

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Avraham's Strange Happiness to Death?

Since והיה generally refers to something not bad, Vayikra Rabba (11:7) - כל מקום שנאמר ויהי אין שמחה והיה אין צרה why does Avraham use the word to start the following potentially tragic ...
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Was Africa destined for the Europeans - descendants of Yefet?

A little follow-up to my previous question: There are two interesting Targumim suggesting that Africa was oroginally destined for the descendants of Yefet (Gen 10,2): תרגום ירושלמי, בראשית י׳:ב׳: ...
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Dividing the world for the sons of Noah

Rashi (Gen 12,6) mentions that Noah divided the world between his sons and that Israel was given to Shem and his descendants: והכנעני אז בארץ. הָיָה הוֹלֵךְ וְכוֹבֵשׁ אֶת אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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Why is Shimon's name not mentioned?

Why in V'zos Brachah, is Shimon not mentioned? Except for Rashi that said he is included in Yehudah name because of the incident with Cozbi Bat Tzur.
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Why are the Kenites translated as Shalmites?

In the verse where Hashem promises to give Avraham's descendants the land of the 10 Canaanite nations, one is listed as the Kenites (Genesis 15:19): אֶת־הַקֵּינִי֙ וְאֶת־הַקְּנִזִּ֔י וְאֵ֖ת ...
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Avraham's first prophecy

Parshas Lech Lecha has the first record of Hashem communicating with Avraham (Genesis 12:1): וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־...
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In what way was the test of לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ greater than the test of א֣וּר כַּשְׂדִּ֗ים?

I assume that Avrohom's tests increased in difficulty. The first test was whether or not to go into the furnace. The test of leaving his birthplace has to be more difficult. HKB”H made three ...
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Why did the animals need to be destroyed in the mabul if they do not have bechira?

We learn that the people were killed because of their aveiros. But animals don't have bechira so why did they deserve to be killed as well?
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The fear and anxiety of Yaakov before meeting Eisav

Bereshit 32:8: "וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ וַיַּחַץ אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּאן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָר וְהַגְּמַלִּים לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃" "Jacob was greatly frightened; in his ...
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What is the meaning of the word “mabul”?

Throughout parhsat Noach, I see a combination of the words מבול and מים. I see Rashi's explanation of the word origin of מבול on Breishit 6:17 and he explains the origin from a word that means "...
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Did Noach live 950 years or 951 years

Did Noach live 950 years or 951 years? At the begining of the flood Noach was 600 years old Bereishis 7,6: ונח בן שש מאות שנה והמבול היה מים על הארץ The flood lasted 1 year as Rashi says ...
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Why Is Wasting Seed Not a Sin for Gentiles? [duplicate]

Shalom, Some Torah scholars claim that wasting seed is not a sin for gentiles (sorry, don't have a source). This puzzles me because when reading Parashat Noah, the story of Onan and Er, we see that ...
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What does Judaism say about the Original sin?

DISCLAIMER: I am not Jewish nor am I a follower of Judaism. I have read the Torah, prophets and writings with Rashi commentary, also have read some of the Midrash, and read/watch some of today's ...
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Why did the dove return to the ark the 2nd time?

When Noach sent the dove the first time, the Torah states that the dove could not find a place to rest her leg. This seems to be the reason as to why it returned to the ark. After the 2nd trip, we ...
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How many sets of Urim VeTumim were there?

On one TaNaKH passage, it seems both David (1 Samuel 30) and Shaul (1 Samuel 28) had access to an Urim VeTumim, suggesting there was more than one set of Urim VeTumim. Hence my question: How many ...
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The claim that Yishmael repented when he was dying

I was reading ArtScroll' machzor's commentary to the Torah reading on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, which they say was taken from ArtScroll's Bereishis. After being told that Yishmael was dying, the ...
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What sources say that Kayin inspired Hevel to bring an offering?

I've heard the idea that Kayin was the one who inspired his brother Hevel to bring an offering to Hashem (Genesis Chapter 4). One possible place I saw this was from Rabbi David Fohrman, although I don'...
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Direction of Wise Hearts vs Fool Hearts

The verse in Koheles (10:2) writes, לֵב חָכָם לִימִינוֹ וְלֵב כְּסִיל לִשְׂמֹאלוֹ׃ A wise man’s mind tends toward the right hand, a fool’s toward the left. I once heard an explanation that ...
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Torah definition of אזרח, גר and תושב?

The Gemmorah in Succah (and Kiddushin) learns that the women are exempt from sitting in a Succah from the word האזרח. The Torah uses this word a couple of times, many times together with the words גר ...
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A source for the suggestion that Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in the house of Pharaoh so that he would see real Malchus

A speaker remarked that the Divine plan called for Moshe to be raised in the house of Pharaoh so that he (Moshe) would see real Malchus. To me the suggestion seemed to be that in some way Pharaoh was ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “Honey from a rock” (Psalm 81)

The Psalm for Thursday ends with the phrase, "I will feed with fat of grain and satisfy with honey from a rock." Why is the word "rock" included? What does the word "rock" add to this sentence? How ...
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What is the difference between “nitzavim” and “omdim”?

The beginning of this week's parsha starts with the words אתם נצבים. Couldn't it have used the phrase אתם עומדים ? I understand that in this context, both words mean "stand". Why use the term נצבים. ...
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1answer
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Why does the Torah mention the idea of illnesses that are NOT in the Torah?

In enumerating the "curses" that would occur if we do not perform mitzvoth, Devarim 28:61 says: "גַּם כָּל־חֳלִי וְכָל־מַכָּה אֲשֶׁר לֹא כָתוּב בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת יַעְלֵם ה' עָלֶיךָ עַד ...
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In Jeremiah 1:6-7 was Jeremiah actually a child?

When Jeremiah attempts to recuse himself from his calling to be a prophet he does so by saying that he is unqualified because he is a child: BSB Jeremiah 1: 6“Ah, Lord GOD,” I said, “I surely ...
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How did the rabbis understand or connect the word קו in relation to the word “mikvah” מקוה?

How did the rabbis understand or connect the word קו (line) in relation to the word מקוה (pool)? (Did they consider the word within מקוה as קו?) An example of such use of קו is Isaiah 28:10b קַו ...
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Why the soul comes in through the nose and comes out through the mouth?

G-d blows the soul in through the nostrils, not his mouth: וַיִּיצֶר ה"א אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃ the LORD God ... ...
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Is there any rabbinical support for the word “צַו” as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean “connection”?

Is there any rabbinical support for the word "צַו" as used in Isaiah 28:10 to mean "connection"? The usual translation that one reads for "צַו לָצָו" is "precept upon precept". Did any of the rabbis ...
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3 cavities of the heart and emotions?

This question is not about the anatomical validity of the claim (I got tired)! The Shu"A Yo"D 40:1 rules (based probably on the Gm in Hulin 45b and Rashb"a): "הַלֵּב יֵשׁ לוֹ ג' חֲלָלִים" - there ...
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Interpretations agreed upon by Karaite and Rabbinic scholars

There's a vague verse in parshas Mishpatim which is a good prototype for my question: מְלֵאָתְךָ֥ וְדִמְעֲךָ֖ לֹ֣א תְאַחֵ֑ר בְּכ֥וֹר בָּנֶ֖יךָ תִּתֶּן־לִּֽי׃ Literally: do not delay your full ...
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Wayward son only attributed to father?

The posuk Devarim (21:18) says כִּי־יִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ בֵּן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה אֵינֶנּוּ שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקוֹל אָבִיו וּבְקוֹל אִמּוֹ וְיסְּרוּ אֹתוֹ וְלֹא יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם׃ If a man has a wayward ...
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How many witnesses have to concur - two or three?

Devarim 17:6 says that the testimony of two or three witnesses should be used to determine the death penalty for someone who was found to have bowed to idolatry. Rash"I implies that all the witnesses ...
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Don't Touch: Fruit of the tree versus Non-kosher corpses

The Hizkuni on Bereshies 3:3, where Chava tells the serpent that they can't TOUCH or eat from the Eitz, writes ולא תגעו בו. לאכלו, כמו ובנבלתם לא תגעו (ויקרא יא ח), לפי הפשט. והאמת כל המוסיף ...
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1answer
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Roles of the Cohen and Judges involved in speaking to the people prior to war

In Devarim 20:2-4, the Cohen speaks to the people and gives an general comment not to fear the enemy. Then, in verse 5, the judges speak to the people and exempt 4 groups of people from the army, and ...
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Apparent wrong arrangement of war instructions in Devarim 20:1-9

While reviewing the instructions that the Cohen tells people prior to going to war, as shown in Devarim 20:1-9, there seems to be an incorrect order of statements. In particular: Verse 3 - The Cohen ...
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מפני שיבה תקום - How standing up means honoring?

This question is not about the cultural norms, but about the Tanachic sources for that. The Gemmorah in Kiddushin 32b discusses the subject of honoring the elders. It questions the definition of an ...
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Is there any significance to the age at which Methuselah died?

Bresheit 5:27 records the death of Methuselah as 969 years. His is the longest lifespan recorded in the Torah. Is there any meaning for his death at such an age, or is there significance to the ...
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Why does Torah consider Bats as birds?

It seems from Re'eh 14:18 that Torah considers BATS as birds. Though scientists classify them as mammals. I'm preparing a class on this Parsha and would like to hear comments about this difference.
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Why is the passive לֹ֖א יֵֽאָכֵֽלוּ used in Devorim 14 (19) rather than the active form used elsewhere?

Devorim 14 (19) says יט וְכֹל֙ שֶׁ֣רֶץ הָע֔וֹף טָמֵ֥א ה֖וּא לָכֶ֑ם לֹ֖א יֵֽאָכֵֽלוּ: 19 And every flying insect is unclean for you; they may not be eaten. The possuk uses the passive לֹ֖א ...
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Rashis unknown family

Rashi in parshas Pinchos (Bamidbar 26,13) with regards to a son of Shimon which was missing from the previous count in Parshas Bamidbar quotes the Yerushalmi which addresses this question: משפחת ...
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A list of doubled words

In the tanach, there are times when certain words are doubled (generally verbs but I'm open to other combinations) with one form of the word, followed by a second form which is in a future tense, I ...
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Learning Derashos or Pshat of Alternate Readings of Tanach

Background: In this week's Parsha (Devarim 11:4), the Chizkuni says the following: אשר הציף מי ים סוף על פניהם ברדפם אחריהם – ברדוף המים אחרי המצרים, והיינו דכתיב: נערמו מים, שתרגם אונקלוס: חכימו ...
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To pass אעביר (Exo 33:19), what does it mean?

Exodus 33:19 reads: " אני אעביר כל־טובי על־פניך ", I know it's often translated somewhat like this: "I will make all My goodness pass before thee (before thy face)", but I noticed it's root ע - ב - ר ...
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Inconsistent base-10 system of judges

In Devarim 1:15 (also Shemot 18:21) we see the numerical system of the hierarchical system of leaders: ואקח את־ראשי שבטיכם אנשים חכמים וידעים ואתן אתם ראשים עליכם שרי אלפים ושרי מאות ושרי חמשים ...
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Was Iyov rewarded for passing his first test?

In Iyov chapter 1 Satan proposes to God to test Iyov's fidelity to God by striking Iyov's possessions. God agrees and Iyov loses essentially everything. At the end of chapter 1 and again in chapter 2 ...
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Using אוהביו, יראיו, חסידיו in Chovas Halevavos referring to those who receive additional reward

ספר חובות הלבבות - שער הביטחון - פרק רביעי Chovos Halevavos (Duties of the Heart) Shaar Habitachon (Gate of Trust) Chapter 4: ועניני העולם הבא יחלקו לשני חלקים ... והשני שהוא מחסד הבורא יתעלה על ...
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1answer
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Tehillim 79 (1): G-d pours out his anger on wood and stone. Is this consolation in view of 79 (2 & 3)?

In Tehillim 79 (1) we read how HKB”H sent his anger on wood and stone (and by implication less on the people of Israel): A song of Asaph. O God! Nations have come into Your heritage, they have ...
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1answer
47 views

Why did the Torah have to say “from amongst you” and “from your brethren”?

In Deuteronomy 18:15, it says that G-d will raise up a prophet from the Jewish people. It says "from your amongst you from your brethren". Why does it have to say both, surely it could have said just ...
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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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1answer
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Similarity between Eisov and Dama ben Netina for honoring parents

Eisov = Red = Edom = Romi (Rome) Eisov excelled in honoring Yitzhok (B"R 65) Dama B"N was a senator (? or a general) in Rome's province in Ashkelon (according to Yerushalmi) דמא is the letters אדום He ...
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1answer
261 views

Why is “Yehoshua” spelled with a full Vav in Devarim 3:21?

I think this is the only place in the Torah where "Yehoshua" is spelled maleh - with a full vav (Shuruk). I think there are other places in Tanac"h where a similar thing occurs, but, I don't know for ...