Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation

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Moshe instructed Betzalel to do other than Moshe had been commanded?

The Gemoro Berachos 55a quoted by Rashi on Shemos 38 (22) seems to say that Moshe ordered that the vessels should be made before the Mishkan that was to contain them. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said ...
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Understanding Kli Yakor question on Rashi about Betzalal following Moishe's instructions

The Gemara says in Berachos (55a) א״ר שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי א״ר יוֹנָתָן בְּצַלְאֵל עַל שֵׁם חָכְמָתוֹ נִקְרָא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה לֵךְ אֱמוֹר לוֹ ...
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Yeraeh el HaAdon, or Yeraeh es HaAdon

The mitzvah of aliya leregel, the thrice-yearly pilgrimage festival, appears a few times in the Torah. In Exodus 23:17 it's written: שָׁלֹ֥שׁ פְּעָמִ֖ים בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה יֵרָאֶה֙ כָּל־זְכ֣וּרְךָ֔ אֶל־...
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What is the distinction between Peshat (the plain meaning of the text) and Mashma’ot Milulit (literal meaning)?

There are numerous examples of Torah explanations and commentaries which are purported to be Peshat, according to the plain meaning of a text. The most famous possibly being Rashi’s commentary to ...
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ki tisa: menorah versus menorah ha'tehorah

In parashat Ki Tisa two similar passages are written regarding the Ohel Mo'ed (Tent of Meeting). In the first (Shemot 30:27) Moshe Rabbenu is ordered to anoint the kelim with the shemen mischat-kodesh,...
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Did the Shadal use a razor to shave his beard?

I have heard that the Shadal used a razor to remove his beard, justifying it for himself through the Ibn Ezra's interpretation of Vayikra 19:27 that the prohibition would only be for shaving the beard ...
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30 views

Why mention the relationship again

In Shemot 18:1, Yitro is identified as a priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses. In verse 2 we are told again that he is the father-in-law of Moses. In verse 5 again. In verse 6, Yitro himself ...
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175 views

The sons of Tzipporah

I was reading today's weekly portion and it caught my eyes (Shemot 18:6): וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֲנִ֛י חֹֽתֶנְךָ֥ יִתְר֖וֹ בָּ֣א אֵלֶ֑יךָ וְאִ֨שְׁתְּךָ֔ וּשְׁנֵ֥י בָנֶ֖יהָ עִמָּֽהּ׃ And he ...
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Why call for Moshe after Darkness?

After the three days of darkness*, Par'oh calls for Moshe and makes another offer about exactly who/what can leave Egypt. Sh'mot 10:24 (from Sefaria) וַיִּקְרָ֨א פַרְעֹ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ ...
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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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50 views

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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1answer
79 views

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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36 views

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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1answer
40 views

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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1answer
25 views

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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1answer
55 views

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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92 views

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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20 views

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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62 views

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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40 views

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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1answer
33 views

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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2answers
137 views

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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3answers
71 views

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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1answer
95 views

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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50 views

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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1answer
57 views

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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21 views

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, “...
3
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1answer
32 views

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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31 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
66 views

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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