Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation

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Could Isaiah 56 be addressed to the Jews who are strangers towards their inheritance?

In one of his live programmes, Rabbi Tovia Singer made the statement that Isaiah 56 is directed to the Jews who are lost and then return back to the Torah observance. I know that the general consensus ...
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Understanding lack of accountability for statements made while suffering

In Bava Batra 16b Rava two verses for Iyov are compared (איוב לד, לה) [איוב] לא בדעת ידבר ודבריו לא בהשכל (וכתיב (איוב מב, ז) כי לא דברתם אלי נכונה כעבדי איוב) On the one hand, the text states:...
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Allegory vs. Literalism in Judaism and How to Tell the Difference [duplicate]

In the following article, the author makes a compelling argument for why Judaism doesn't always approach scripture literally. However, although there are many examples throughout the Bible for the use ...
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Where were Yaakov's sons buried?

The end of parshat Vayechi has Yosef requesting that he be buried in Cana'an. At the end of book of Yehoshua, we see that he was buried in Shchem. Where were the other brothers buried? Beginning of ...
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Why did Yaakov ”open the mouth to the Satan”?

In Parashat Vayigash (46:30), we read וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף אָמ֣וּתָה הַפָּ֑עַם אַחֲרֵי֙ רְאוֹתִ֣י אֶת־פָּנֶ֔יךָ כִּ֥י עוֹדְךָ֖ חָֽי׃ And Israel said unto Joseph: ‘Now let me die, since ...
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Proper understanding of “לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב”

Numbers 23:8 as translated by Safaria: כִּֽי־מֵרֹ֤אשׁ צֻרִים֙ אֶרְאֶ֔נּוּ וּמִגְּבָע֖וֹת אֲשׁוּרֶ֑נּוּ הֶן־עָם֙ לְבָדָ֣ד יִשְׁכֹּ֔ן וּבַגּוֹיִ֖ם לֹ֥א יִתְחַשָּֽׁב׃ As I see them from the ...
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Understanding a Chasam Sofer on the Parsha

I recently came across an explanation from the Chasam Sofer on Vayigash and I don't understand what he's saying: (טרף טורף יוסף ולא ראיתיו עד הנה (מד כח נראה שיעקב אבינו לא חשש שיוסף מת מדלא ...
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Meaning of Hosea 14:9?

Could anyone explain to me what HaShem meant in Hosea 14:9 (particularly, the last sentence of the verse)? My JPS Tanakh translates this as ‘Ephraim [shall say]: “What more have I to do with idols? ...
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Repetition of already stated facts

The posuk says Shimon and Levi took swords and killed all the male inhabitants : so why in the next posuk a) does it repeat that they killed Chamor and Schem and b) that they used swords ? Both ...
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Jacob and stone pillars

There are several allusions in the Torah that through divine inspiration the Patriarchs kept it entirely (see Yoma 28b based on Bereishit 26:5 for Abraham and Rashi on Bereishit 32:5 for Jacob). Yet, ...
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How did the Shela make the brothers less culpable?

Rashi brings the Midrash that Yosef told Yaakov three sins the brothers did: אבר מן החי - They ate a limb from a live animal עריות - They were guilty of illicit relations שקורין לאחיהם עבדים - They ...
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How angel's strength is determined?

וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר׃ Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. (Gen 32.25) We already learned that: Angels ...
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Why Gid-Haneshe is counted as a Mitzvah if it wasn't commanded?

עַל־כֵּן לֹא־יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר עַל־כַּף הַיָּרֵךְ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי נָגַע בְּכַף־יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב בְּגִיד הַנָּשֶׁה׃ That is why the children of Israel to ...
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What was the wrestling of Yaakov and “a man” about? [closed]

וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר׃ Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. (Gen 32.25) What was that "man's" purpose or ...
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Rashi's logic in understanding animal mating patterns

מָאתַיִם עִזִּים צְרִיכוֹת עֶשְׂרִים תְּיָשִׁים, וְכֵן כֻּלָּם, הַזְּכָרִים כְּדֵי צֹרֶךְ הַנְּקֵבוֹת; ... לְפִי שֶׁהֵם פְּנוּיִים מִמְּלָאכָה דַּרְכָּם לְהַרְבּוֹת תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּלְעַבֵּר עֶשֶׂר ...
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Inconsistency in Yaakov's presents for his brother Esau

עִזִּים מָאתַיִם וּתְיָשִׁים עֶשְׂרִים רְחֵלִים מָאתַיִם וְאֵילִים עֶשְׂרִים׃ גְּמַלִּים מֵינִיקוֹת וּבְנֵיהֶם שְׁלֹשִׁים פָּרוֹת אַרְבָּעִים וּפָרִים עֲשָׂרָה אֲתֹנֹת עֶשְׂרִים וַעְיָרִם ...
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Necessity of mentioning pregnancy in the Torah

For example (Gen 30.19): וַתַּהַר עוֹד לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן־שִׁשִּׁי לְּיַעֲקֹב׃ When Leah got pregnant again and bore Jacob a sixth son, I don't know of a way of giving birth without getting ...
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What to we learn from וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל? [duplicate]

The following is an (uncited) premise in learning torah that creates this question. Every word of the torah is measured (there are no extra words) and therefore important. In parshas Yeyeitzei (...
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Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 98b: an interpretation in a messianic sense of the figure of the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 52-53?

I’m an Italian noahide. I read in various Jewish sources, and also in this forum at The suffering servant? Yeshayahu- Isaiah - Chapter 53 that the figure of the "suffering servant" described in ...
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How did Ya'akov know that Lavan was a swindler?

Breishit 29:18 (Sefaria's English translation:) וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֶת־רָחֵ֑ל וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֶֽעֱבָדְךָ֙ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֔ים בְּרָחֵ֥ל בִּתְּךָ֖ הַקְּטַנָּֽה׃ Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, ...
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What happened to Lovon's idols that were taken by Rochel?

In a comment on this question Did anyone (especially Yaakov) ever find out about the idols? Ezra says: In Genesis 35:1-4, Jacob requests his household to hand over "foreign deities", and he ...
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Bereishit 31:53 “chol”

In my Artscroll chumash, on Bereishit 31:53, there is an asterisk next to the two uses of "elohei" which refer to the "god" of Nachor and of "their fathers." It looks like this אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם *...
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Why was Rachel shepherding instead of Leah?

In Bereshit 29 we learn that Rachel was shepherding her father's sheep. Do any commentaries explain why Rachel, the younger sister, was the shepherdess instead of Leah the older sister? Related ...
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Discrepancy between description of how Bilhah and Zilpah had children

I noticed three inconsistencies between how the Torah describes the conception and delivery of the children of Bilhah and Zilpha, only 5 verses apart. The conception/birth of Bilhah's son Dan is ...
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Why did Avraham respond to Avimelech but not Pharaoh?

There are two instances recorded in the Torah where Avraham and Sarah have to leave their home and go to a dangerous region. Both times Avraham tells people that Sarah is his sister, and both times ...
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Why Itzhak's blessing to Yaakov has to be at Eisav's expense?

יַעַבְדוּךָ עַמִּים וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְךָ לְאֻמִּים, הֱוֵה גְבִיר לְאַחֶיךָ וְיִשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לְךָ בְּנֵי אִמֶּךָ ...׃ Let peoples serve you, And nations bow to you; Be master over your brothers, ...
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Why does the Torah tell us the previous name of Bethel?

Beraishis 28 (19) He named that site Bethel; but previously the name of the city had been Luz. Why does the Torah tell us the previous name of Bethel? There must be something the Torah wants us ...
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Sources that G-d miraculously and deceptively conceal His deeds

In the debate on veracity and historicity of the Biblical stories and claims many assert that after an event in discussion G-d miraculously wiped all evidence or replaced it to look natural. For ...
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Why is the narrative of Moses growing up in Pharaoh's house important?

I begin with the assertion that nothing is arbitrary in the Torah and the history followed the big plan as envisioned by the Creator. The narrative of Moses' origin is fascinating but its necessity ...
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Did Moses ever meet his parents after the separation?

IIRC the Biblical narrative, after being born, Moses spends 3 months at home and then moving to the royal palace. His mother continues to breastfeed him for a certain period of time but then the link ...
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Geographical importance of Me'arat Hamachpela for Adam

Does anybody mention the geographical importance of the Me'ara being situated about 40KM South of Jerusalem? As it preceded Hebron as a city, why did Adam choose this site specifically for his ...
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Why Me'arat Hamachpela was bought by Avraham and not conquered?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an aggressor, but conquest and war are always in our set of tools (see Yaakov's preparations to meeting his brother). IIRC Hittim people were idolaters and doomed to be ...
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How come Me'arat Hamachpela wasn't inherited by Shem's dynasty?

IIRC, after the flood, Noah divided the habitable earth between his sons, Israel being inherited by Shem(source needed). I'd expect that besides Jerusalem Shem would get hold of Mearat Hamachpelah as ...
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Why Sarah didn't have more kids with Avraham?

IIRC, Sarah was completely rejuvenated in order to give birth to Itzhak, but I don't remember that G-d took it back after he was born. Apparently, Avraham was eager to have more kids in his old age. ...
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In Avraham's story, what's the importance of his burial place, Meoras hamachpeila?

The Torah spends a couple of pages describing Avraham's desire to [be buried and] bury Sarah in a particular place - the Cave of the patriarchs. I find it difficult to comprehend this desire. After ...
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How could Midyan born to two Tzaddikim be so bad that it needed extermination?

The Torah says that Midyan was Avraham (Tzadik) and Keturah (Tzaddekes) son: וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה וּשְׁמָהּ קְטוּרָה׃ וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ אֶת־זִמְרָן וְאֶת־יָקְשָׁן וְאֶת־מְדָן וְאֶת־...
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Why it was important for Avraham to bring more goyish children in his old age?

וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה וּשְׁמָהּ קְטוּרָה׃ Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. (Gen 25.1) While the Gemmorah (Yevomos 62b) learns that a person must procreate through ...
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Why Ishmael never claimed the right of firstborn?

Note: the question should have read "did he ever claim" but I assumed he didn't as I didn't hear of it. (I'm aware of the Midrash that says that his descendants claimed before Alexander the Great the ...
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What is the importance of Milkah, Nahor's wife to attribute the children after her?

Milka is mentioned a couple of times as giving birth to Nahor's children, e.g.: ... וַיֻּגַּד לְאַבְרָהָם לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה יָלְדָה מִלְכָּה גַם־הִיא בָּנִים לְנָחוֹר אָחִיךָ׃ ... Abraham was told, “...
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Does definition of Nichush cover Middos based behavior?

The Gemmorah (on Gen 24) considers Eliezer's approach to choosing a wife a [forbidden] Nichush. IIRC it was based on a girl's special [and seemingly rare] virtues and not blind chance. If I was truly ...
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Why does Itzhak make Nissuin before/instead of Kiddushin?

וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת־רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי־לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ׃ Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother ...
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What does “Posuk” mean in Torah division?

I understand very well what "a sentence" is. Most time it works for the scriptures too, but sometimes it makes no sense to be a standalone Posuk, like: וּמִשְׁמָע וְדוּמָה וּמַשָּׂא׃ Mishma, ...
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Why didn't our forefathers buy land in the Holy land?

Our forefathers were freakishly rich, but they didn't invest in real estate in the Holy Land for their descendants besides two graveyards (for Sarah in Hebron and Yossef in Shechem). It appears that ...
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Two gender switches in one Posuk “וַיְהִי בְשָׁלֵם סֻכּוֹ וּמְעוֹנָתוֹ בְצִיּוֹן”

וַיְהִי בְשָׁלֵם סֻכּוֹ וּמְעוֹנָתוֹ בְצִיּוֹן׃ Salem became His abode; Zion, His den. (Tehhilim 76.3) In the same Posuk סוכה becomes masculine (סוכו) and מעון becomes feminine (מעונתו). In proper ...
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WHy was King David allowed to kill Phillistines?

In Breishit 21:23-24, Avimelech asks Avrahm to swear that his future generations will not destroy his sons or grandchildren. Bechor Shor commentary says: תעשה עמדי. כשתבא לידך שלא תגרש גם אתה את ...
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If צחק refers to the 3 worst misdeeds why Itzchak was called so?

On the Posuk: "וַתֵּרֶא שָׂרָה אֶת־בֶּן־הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית אֲשֶׁר־יָלְדָה לְאַבְרָהָם מְצַחֵק׃" Rashi (Gen 21.9) explains the meaning of the root צחק: מצחק: לְשׁוֹן עֲ"זָ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ...
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Why does the Artscroll commentary to Vayeira mention Ishmael?

The Artscroll commentary to the first pasuk of Vayeira says that Abraham pressed Ishmael into service to teach him about hospitality. From whence this comment about Ishmael?
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Why didn't our forefathers build a Temple?

Following my previous question "why-did-our-forefathers-live-in-tents-in-israel-and-not-in-houses": The concept of a Temple is not new, Yaakov already called the place "בית אלהים". However, as we can ...
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Why did our forefathers live in tents in Israel and not in houses?

It appears that there's a clear trend of our forefathers, Avraham, Tzhak, and Jacob, to dwell in tents in the Holy Land, wandering from one place to another, instead of settling down, taking hold of ...
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How should Rashi's comment about Noah's belief be parsed?

Rashi in his commentary to Genesis 7:7 writes: אף נח מקטני אמנה היה מאמין ואינו מאמין שיבא המבול ולא נכנס לתיבה עד שדחקוהו המים I see (at least) two ways to read this: Noah believed in general (...