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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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Why Moses could be only replaced with an idol?

In the previous question about the Golden Calf I thought it was suspicious that neither Moses left the "chain of command" just in case, neither Aharon offered himself as Moses' replacement. Also, ...
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Where exactly did Moses stand at the 10 commandments?

I know that Moses did a couple of ascends to the top of Mt Sinai at different times. In the text, right before the 10C G-d says to Moses to descend but he was called to ascend with Aharon and the ...
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The difference between ארון and תיבה in the Torah

I'm a little confused here: in contemporary Hebrew the difference is simple - a box that opens on the side [and has a door] is called a cabinet (ארון) while a box that opens on the top is called a box ...
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How זכור ושמור were written on the Luchos?

Follow up to "Were שמור וזכור said together?": For those who hold that they were said in unison, and the two pairs of the Luchos had the same version, how was that commandment written? Were there ...
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Was the wording on each tablet sized differently?

Was the wording on each tablet sized differently? It's said that the second tablet that contained the Commandments for man's relationship to man had larger wording so man would have no problem reading ...
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1answer
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Golden Calf. Moshe asks for forgiveness for the people. But they have not repented?

The people sinned with the Golden Calf. Three thousand people who worshipped it were slain by the Leviim Shmos 32 (28). Then Moshe says to the remainder Shmos 32 (30) The next day Moses said to ...
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1answer
86 views

Why didn't the Snake kill Adam only and keep Chava for himself?

Tosefta on Soytah (Liehbermann): "הנחש בקש להרוג את אדם ולישא את חוה" Rashi on Shabbos 146a: "כשבא נחש על חוה - כשנתן לה עצה לאכול מן העץ בא עליה דכתיב (בראשית ג:יג) הנחש השיאני לשון נשואין" ...
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The realistic expectations from the Golden Calf

It is difficult for me to understand people's expectations from the Golden Calf they made. Strangely Aharon and others didn't try to argue on the logic of creating a dummy. So the calf was magically ...
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1answer
48 views

Was every commandment on the Tablets inscribed with a different finger of G-d?

In continuation to "the-importance-of-the-tablets-being-written-with-g-ds-finger": I heard in Hagada of Pesach, when the Rabbis discuss the number of the plagues they compare it to hands and fingers. ...
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The Golden Calf timeline - hour by hour?

I can't figure out how the making of the Calf was possible in a couple of hours: 12pm was the time Moses promised to return. Satan started fooling around, people started to question. The bad guys (...
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1answer
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Why didn't Moses leave the chain of command?

This is a follow-up to "why-didnt-they-ask-aharon-to-lead". In Parshas Yisro and later we learn that the Jewish People had some kind of "the chain of command" or at least "the chain of judgment": ...
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How did Moses know he'll spend 40 days at the mountain?

As we all know the Golden Calf started with Moses coming up the mountain to learn with Hashem (Ex 24,17): וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עֲלֵה אֵלַי הָהָרָה וֶהְיֵה־שָׁם וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן ...
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Moses' problematic communication with the nation in the Golden Calf incident

In my plain understanding, the matter that triggered the story of the Golden Calf was Moses' bad explanation of his plan spending the next 40 days and coming back. He told the nation, he'll be back ...
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1answer
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The Golden calf - why wasn't Aharon asked to lead instead of Moses?

As I understand, the Israelites thought Moses was dead. It seems very logical that the vice-president takes the lead. Aharon was Moses' brother, a prominent prophet, chosen by G-d, and Moses' vice. ...
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1answer
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How the Tablets were written - all at once or letter by letter?

In my previous question the Torah says explicitly that the Tablets were written by G-d's finger. Does it mean they were written letter by letter, as one finger can do, or all at once?
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What's the importance of the Tablets being written with G-d's finger?

"וַיִּתֵּן אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ בְּהַר סִינַי שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת לֻחֹת אֶבֶן כְּתֻבִים בְּאֶצְבַּע אֱלֹהִים׃" (Ex 31:18) He gave Moses the two tablets of the Pact, stone ...
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Why Moses named his son Eliezer “after” Avraham's slave?

"וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם ה"א מַה תִּתֶּן לִי וְאָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ עֲרִירִי וּבֶן מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתִי הוּא דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר." (Gen 15,2) "וְשֵׁם הָאֶחָד אֱלִיעֶזֶר כִּי אֱלֹהקי אָבִי בְּעֶזְרִי ...
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1answer
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Why is the making of the ephod expressed in plural?

The beginning of Tetzaveh in Shemot 28:3, G-d tells Moshe to speak to the "people whom G-d inspired with knowledge of the heart" to make the garments for Aharon and his sons. In viewing the language ...
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1answer
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What was the significance of Pomegranates?

What was the significance of Pomegranates on the Kohen Gadol's "Me'il"? Why specifically Pomegranates and not any other shape?
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1answer
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Isaiah 29:13: lips that honour, but hearts that are far from HaShem?

Yeshayahu 29:13 reads: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲדֹנָ֗י יַ֚עַן כִּ֤י נִגַּשׁ֙ הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה בְּפִ֤יו וּבִשְׂפָתָיו֙ כִּבְּד֔וּנִי וְלִבּ֖וֹ רִחַ֣ק מִמֶּ֑נִּי וַתְּהִ֤י יִרְאָתָם֙ אֹתִ֔י מִצְוַ֥ת אֲנָשִׁ֖ים ...
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1answer
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Why is the Torah not written in chronological order?

Many parts of the Torah skip ahead or revert back several chapters or verses thereby rendering it NOT written in chronological order. What is the reason for this?
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28 views

Select Ohr HaChaim list?

In yeshiva, guys who learned Ramban al HaTorah used to use this list that contained the "must-see" Ramban's on that week's parsha. Is there an equivalent list of Ohr HaChaim's?
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Why wasn't Adam Harishon given the Torah?

If Adom Harishon was the purpose of the entire creation, why didn't Hashem give him the Torah? We know that Hashem used the Torah as the blueprint for creation, so it seems strange it was not given ...
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1answer
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Why did only Nadav and Avihu and not their brothers go up with the 70 elders?

In Shemos 24:1, God tells Moshe to go up to Him with Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and the 70 elders. They do, and they catch a glimpse of God from afar. It seems strange that of the 4 sons of Aharon, only ...
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Why did G-d promise the former slaves to continue cultivating slavery?

This question is a different aspect of the previous question "why-parshas-mishpatim-begin-with-laws-of-slaves". A man that is discharged from a prison promises to never get back. A nation that was ...
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1answer
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Different phrasing in Mishpatim and Shofetim

We have just read in Mishpatim (Shemot 23:8): וְשֹׁ֖חַד לֹ֣א תִקָּ֑ח כִּ֤י הַשֹּׁ֨חַד֙ יְעַוֵּ֣ר פִּקְחִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽים׃ And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blindeth ...
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Why would it be better for Rashi to say nothing than to say he doesn’t know?

This question previously asked why Rashi sometimes says he doesn’t know what a passuk comes to teach us. Both the questioner there and the various sources cited in this answer there seem to assume ...
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Is the creation of Adam HaRishon as both male and female to be taken literally?

After seeing an amazing article from National Geographic about a recently observed bird (a cardinal) that naturally manifested as half male and half female (both external sexual characteristics and ...
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1answer
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Explain Rashi / Mechilta on Shemot 24:3

In Shemot 24:3, regarding the term mishpatim, Rash"i citing Mechilta includes a list of items. Among them, he includes parah adumah (the laws of the red heifer.) This is puzzling. The beginning of ...
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How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet?

How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet, so he couldn't have been warned, being that the warning must contain the exact punishment for that act?
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4answers
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Why does Parshas Mishpatim begin with laws of slaves?

Parshas Mishpatim, as its name implies, deals with the civil laws of the Torah. Out of all the civil laws in the Torah, the parshah begins with the laws of the Hebrew slave. Why did the Torah see fit ...
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1answer
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Why the Hebrew word for “fathers” - אבות ends in “ות” as feminine?

To continue the "gender in Hebrew" questions (like "meaning-of-grammatical-gender-in-hebrew-for-inanimate-objects)". What can be more masculine than the fathers, and still, the Torah uses the ...
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These words written on tablets

I would like to give a quick intro for the question I have: Shemot 31:18 and 32:15 are about the Shnei Luchot Even (Ha’Avanim), two stone tablets, Luchot Ha’edut (serving as a witness). In Devarim ...
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אלהים vs האלהים - what's the difference?

Those two are used in different places and both translated as "יי" - G-d. For example (Shmos 18): "...אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל" - כָּל דִי עֲבַד יְיָ לְמשֶׁה ...
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1answer
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How did Yitro know he can join the Jewish Nation?

The fact of Yitro's conversion passes transparently in the Torah commentary. However, I wondered why he assumed he'll be accepted to the Jewish people and not rejected? Especially for those who ...
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1answer
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Why Moses didn't care for his sons after leaving Egypt?

This bothers me a lot, and I would like to understand Moses' approach to his family as the Torah describes it: Moses marries Tzipora (which seemingly converts) in Midyan and has two sons (that are ...
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Why Parshat Itro is not called Vaishmah, after its first word

Following the logic of previous Parshios: Vaishlach, Vayetze, Vayeshev, Vayigash etc Parshas Yitro had to be called Vayishmah as it starts with "וַיִּשְׁמַע יִתְרוֹ כֹהֵן מִדְיָן". Why not?
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2answers
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Please elaborate on Rashi's explanation of Shemot 14:12

I am viewing Rashi's explanation (based on Mechilta) of Shemot 14:12 when B'nai Yisra'el say to Moshe: "This is what we told you in Egypt that you should leave us alone, for it is better for us to ...
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2answers
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The Torah offered to other nations

We are taught that Hashem offered the Torah to other nations but they declined because there were prohibitions within they could not agree to. My question is, how could the Torah, which is ...
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0answers
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Why are there different people speaking different parts of the coming of the manna?

When viewing the initial relay to Bnei Yisra'el about the mahn, we see different people speaking. All verses mentioned are in Shemot (Ex.) chapter 16. verses 6 and 7 - Both and Moshe and Aharon speak ...
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1answer
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Is “holding memories” considered “Bearing a Grudge”?

We are commanded in Vayikra (19:18) "You shall neither take revenge nor bear a grudge against the members of your people". Some people say, “I don’t hold grudges. I just hold memories that keep me ...
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2answers
449 views

How could Yocheved be conceived

Rashi brings the Midrash that Yocheved was born as Yaakov's family arrived in Egypt. They had to migrate due to the devastating famine. Now, Rashi earlier points out that we learn from Yosef that it'...
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2answers
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Why will Moshe Rabbeinu be worn down?

Rashi says that Moshe Rabbeinu did not literally judge the people from morning to evening. The verse that says so means that judging true judgments for one hour is considered like learning Torah all ...
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2answers
109 views

Whatever happened to the Chiefs of the 10, 50, 100 and 1,000?

In Parshas Yisro (Shemos 18:25) Moshe appoints the Chiefs of the 10, 50, 100 and 1,000. "וַיִּבְחַר מֹשֶׁה אַנְשֵׁי־חַיִל מִכָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם רָאשִׁים עַל־הָעָם שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים שָׂרֵי ...
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1answer
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A sound of distress, while dancing around the golden calf?

After Moshe received the Aseret HaDevarim he came down from the mountain and heard a lot of noise coming from amongst the people that awaited his arrival. The people had just built a golden calf, and ...
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3answers
2k views

What literally was the mark of Cain?

וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל־הֹרֵ֣ג קַ֔יִן שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקָּ֑ם וַיָּ֨שֶׂם יְהוָ֤ה לְקַ֙יִן֙ א֔וֹת לְבִלְתִּ֥י הַכּוֹת־אֹת֖וֹ כָּל־מֹצְאֽוֹ׃ (Genesis 4:15) What literally was the mark ...
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Multiple characters with the same name in the bible

In the Bible most of the names are unique, especially for the main characters. As far as I know there is only one Abraham and only one Moses etc. There are some names that appear more than once like ...
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1answer
35 views

Four hundred years afflicted in Mitzraim - Bersheit 15:12; Four hundred thirty years - Shemot 12:40, Why this discrepancy? [duplicate]

Beresheit 15:13 "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years." Shemot 12:40 "Now the ...
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1answer
80 views

What happened to the Nile in the week following the first plague?

According to the tosafist R' Yosef Bechor Shor, as cited in answers here and here, the Nile turned to blood only long enough to kill all the fish and then it turned back to water (which was now fouled ...
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1answer
104 views

How did the messengers to Moshe and Aharon manage to get to them through the hail?

During the plague of hailstones, Paroh calls Moshe and Aharon. Shmos 9 (27). וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח פַּרְעֹ֗ה וַיִּקְרָא֙ לְמֹשֶׁ֣ה וּֽלְאַהֲרֹ֔ן וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֖ם חָטָ֣אתִי הַפָּ֑עַם ה׳ הַצַּדִּ֔יק ...