Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation

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From Adonijah's self-exaltation to self-debasement at the horns of the altar, what was the time frame?

From Adonijah's self-exaltation to self-debasement at the horns of the altar, what was the time frame? From the time "Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying: 'I will be king'" (...
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What were Yaakov's original intentions for marrying Lavan's daughter(s)?

I learned from my Rabbi's books (R' Moshe Luriah's "בית גנזי על התורה" - Ariz"l's tradition) that: Yaakov and Esav paralleled Rachel and Leah and were "destined" one for ...
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What was and who were Bath-Sheva's or Bath-Shua's Name and Children with David and Uriah?

What was and who were Bath-Sheva's or Bath-Shua's Name and Children with David and Uriah? Divrei Hayamim I - I Chronicles - Chapter 3:5 And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, and Shobab, ...
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Why won't a wrongful blessing be void?

In Parashat Toldot, Isaac wrongfully blesses Yaakov instead of Esav. In the Halachah IIRC, most things made wrongfully are illegal and are void, like monetary contracts or marriages. I don't really ...
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Why did Isaac trust his senses over his feeling?

וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב אֶל־יִצְחָק אָבִיו וַיְמֻשֵּׁהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב וְהַיָּדַיִם יְדֵי עֵשָׂו׃ - So Jacob drew close to his father Isaac, who felt him and wondered. “The voice is the ...
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Why did Isaac reaped a hundredfold first and God blessed him later?

In the verse Genesis.26.12?: וַיִּזְרַע יִצְחָק בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא וַיִּמְצָא בַּשָּׁנָה הַהִוא מֵאָה שְׁעָרִים וַיְבָרֲכֵהוּ ה'׃ - Isaac sowed in that land and reaped a hundredfold the same year and ...
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Why didn’t Yaakov marry both sisters simultaneously?

This might sound strange but the effective Jewish Halacha allows for marrying multiple women at once: נוֹשֵׂא אָדָם כַּמָּה נָשִׁים אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה בֵּין בְּבַת אַחַת בֵּין בָּזוֹ אַחַר זוֹ - A person ...
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Why Yakov never learned to love Leah?

IIRC, the general approach to Yaakov marrying Rachel and Leah is that he intended to marry them both from the beginning, just in a different order. Even if only Rachel was his soulmate, marrying ...
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What was Isaac's original intention of enslaving Yaakov to Esav?

If we accept the plain narrative of the text, that: Isaac did mistake Yaakov for Esav (he was sure he blesses Esav) He uttered blessing he prepared and intended to bless (God didn't switch blessings, ...
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Different languages describing forefathers' wealth

Off the top of my head, I bring three different verses describing the (enormous) wealth of our forefathers, each mentioning different parts of it: Abraham: "וְאַבְרָם כָּבֵד מְאֹד בַּמִּקְנֶה ...
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Why deception seems intrinsic to Terah's descendants?

The last couple of Parashot dealt with members of Abraham's family, both Abraham and Nachor's descendants. As far as I can see, many of them, both righteous and wicked, were liers: it starts with ...
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Meaning of “And you shall serve your brother” specifically for Esav and Yaakov

Unlike another question that asks about the vague prophecy Rivkah was given about her twins, I ask specifically about Itzhak's statement to Esav: ... וְאֶת־אָחִיךָ תַּעֲבֹד ...׃ - And you shall serve ...
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Why didn't God intervene in the story of Itzhak's blessings to Eisav?

We can see God intervening in numerous situations in the Book of Genesis, revealing His divine plans to our forefathers, saving them, and preventing them from falling into different traps. However, in ...
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Why didn't Jacob confront his father's decision openly?

Many commentators explain why Itzhak was wrong in his decision to bless Eisav. Then, when Rivka heard it, she asked Yaakov to stage a hoax and "steal" the Brochos. This is completely ...
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Why is Eisav mentioned as “Ish” twice?

Some love this kind of details: "... וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ צַיִד אִישׁ שָׂדֶה ...׃ - .. Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors; Genesis.25.27" In Hebrew, one can say it ...
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What land did Isaac sow in and how did he own it?

וַיִּזְרַע יִצְחָק בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא ...׃ - Isaac sowed in that land ... Genesis.26.12 I recall Abraham buying a lot in Hebron and Yaakov buying one near Shechem, but I don't recall Isaac buying lands. ...
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Why would God need to introduce Himself when revealing to forefathers?

וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה' בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ ...׃ - That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. ...” Genesis.26.24 This is ...
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Biblical genetics - understanding child's resemblance to his parents

We start with the Biblical text Genesis.25.19: "וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק בֶּן־אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם הוֹלִיד אֶת־יִצְחָק׃" ("This is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham begot ...
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בכר and ברך connection?

In this week's parasha, Esav complains that Ya'akov stole both his beracha and his bechor. Do any commentators (either here or elsewhere) comment on the similarity between the words בכר and ברך?
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Why was Rivka asked for consent after closing the deal?

Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “...Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son...” ... The servant brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, ...
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Did Abraham and Sarah say a blessing on hearing a good news about their future heir?

IIRC, one says a Brachah of "Hatov veha-Meitiv" on hearing good news (source needed). When the angels came to inform Abraham and Sara of giving birth to Isaac in exactly one year, did they ...
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Why didn't our forefathers team up with Shem and Ever?

Our sources mention not only the mere existence of Abraham's pious forefathers, such as Shem and Ever but their Toranic activities in the Promised land, such as Shem being a Kohen in Jerusalem and ...
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One to announce to Sarah

Rashi in parshas Va'eira states: והנה שלשה אנשים. אחד לבשר את שרה This is translated as one to announce to Sarah the birth of a son, see Sefaria there, for instance. Artscroll translates similarly ...
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Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites?

Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites? Divrei Hayamim I - I Chronicles - Chapter 18:17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and the sons of David ...
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What made Malkitzedek a Cohen more than Abraham?

IIRC, before Mt. Sinai, priestly rights were given to the firstborns. For those who say, Malkitzedek was Shem Ben Noah, he wasn't Noah's firstborn. I don't know if Abraham was a firstborn, but, unlike ...
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How did Abraham give Maaser of Sodom's property?

וּבָרוּךְ אֵל עֶלְיוֹן אֲשֶׁר־מִגֵּן צָרֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂר מִכֹּל׃ וַיֹּאמֶר מֶלֶךְ־סְדֹם אֶל־אַבְרָם תֶּן־לִי הַנֶּפֶשׁ וְהָרְכֻשׁ קַח־לָךְ׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל־מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם ...
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Why didn't Abraham care for Lot's fate?

IIRC, Abraham knew that Lot settled in Sodom and that God is about to destroy the place. He tried to prevent it, but after realizing that there are not enough Tzaddikim he despaired. Why didn't he ...
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Why wasn't Abraham interested in the fate of “less than 10 Tzaddikim”?

After negotiating the fate of Sodom, and trying to spare it by the Zchus of at least 10 Tzaddikim, Abraham realized from God's replies, that there are less than 10 Tzaddikim in Sodom, where he ended ...
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The sources of Abraham's wealth

The Torah specifies that Abraham profited well from deceiving Pharaoh and Avimelech by presenting Sarah as his sister: וַיַּעַל אַבְרָם מִמִּצְרַיִם הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וְלוֹט עִמּוֹ ...
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Why didn't Abraham think of the option of saving the Tzaddikim and killing the rest?

The negotiation between Abraham and God focused on the two possible outcomes: either the Tzaddikim will spare the city (ies?) or God destroys them all with the Tzaddikim. Turned out, God played out a ...
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Why didn't Abraham ask straight how many Tzaddikim are there in Sodom?

Maurice asked "why didn't Abraham ask "How many righteous people do there have to be in that place for you not to destroy it?" From Rasi it is clear that Abraham knew that 10 Tzaddikim ...
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God's response: “If I find fifty innocent ones…” - what does “if” mean?

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ה' אִם־אֶמְצָ֥א בִסְדֹ֛ם חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים צַדִּיקִ֖ם בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֑יר וְנָשָׂ֥אתִי לְכָל־הַמָּק֖וֹם בַּעֲבוּרָֽם׃ And the LORD answered, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty innocent ones,...
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Why does the Torah require interpretation? [duplicate]

Forgive me my tendency to question the foundations. I can surely understand the Halachic interpretations and exegesis of the text required to infer practical laws. Without it, we could not probably ...
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What positive knowledge was earned from eating the forbidden fruit?

Implicitly, the tree was called "the tree of knowledge of good and bad", and we all know the "bad" part - they realized the wickedness of their nakedness. My question is simple: ...
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Are there Orthodox sources on alternative estimations of the Exodus?

When discussing the Exodus, some academic scholars try to reconcile the Biblical narrative with empirical findings by lowering the estimates for the number of people involved and the grandiosity of ...
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What is the importance of bricks in building the Tower of Babylon?

"וַיֹּאמְר֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֗הוּ הָ֚בָה נִלְבְּנָ֣ה לְבֵנִ֔ים וְנִשְׂרְפָ֖ה לִשְׂרֵפָ֑ה וַתְּהִ֨י לָהֶ֤ם הַלְּבֵנָה֙ לְאָ֔בֶן וְהַ֣חֵמָ֔ר הָיָ֥ה לָהֶ֖ם לַחֹֽמֶר׃" They said to one another, ...
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What did God fear of the tower of Babylon by saying “nothing will be out of their reach”? [duplicate]

To continue what-was-the-sin-of-the-builders-of-the-tower-of-bavel: When God came down to see the tower He said: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֗ה הֵ֣ן עַ֤ם אֶחָד֙ וְשָׂפָ֤ה אַחַת֙ לְכֻלָּ֔ם וְזֶ֖ה הַחִלָּ֣ם ...
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Did Moses ask to spare Yitroh in his war on Midyan?

To continue why-didnt-moses-argue-to-spare-lives-of-midianites: We know that Moses was very מכיר טובה (grateful) even to inanimate objects: he didn't want to hit the dirt or Nile, etc. Yitroh took ...
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How did the Israelites borrow garments from the Egyptians?

It is written1 that the Israelites kept their uniqueness by keeping their language, names and their dress. Why then did the Bnei Yisrael borrow from the Egyptians their clothes if they kept their ...
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What is the “benefit,” if any, of having one's spleen removed?

What is the "benefit," if any, of having one's spleen removed? Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 1:5 "And Adoniahu the son of Haggith exalted himself saying: 'I will be king,' and he made ...
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Why does the Torah say a woman has “sperm” or “seed”?

Why does the Torah say a woman has "sperm" or "seed" (for example, Genesis 24:60, and in other passages)? And they blessed Rebecca and said to her, "Our sister, may you ...
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Being a “son of God” among “sons of God”

During the course of Hashem's explanation of his relationship to the Children of Israel, he likens them to his child: Yirmiyahu 31:9 "כִּֽי־הָיִ֤יתִי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לְאָ֔ב וְאֶפְרַ֖יִם בְּכֹ֥רִי ...
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What did Avrohom know about the war in Shechem (Rashi on Beraishis 12 (6))?

Rashi on Beraishis 12 (6) says And Abram passed through the land until the place of Shechem: to pray for Jacob’s sons when they would come to wage war in Shechem. So Avrohom knew (prophetically) ...
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Did Noah say Shirah on seeing the drowning of the wicked?

The Israelites said Shirah on seeing the wicked Egyptians drowning. Did Noah act in a similar way, praising God for saving him and his immediate family and seeing millions of wicked humans drowning in ...
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Why Is What God Thinks Different from What God Says to Noah?

In Genesis 8:21 God thinks to himself: וַיָּ֣רַח יְהוָה֮ אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב ...
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Reconciling Eliezer's beginnings

I am trying to make sense of Eliezer's beginnings / yichus. When I started writing this, a related question popped up here but perhaps we can develop it. On the one hand we are told in Bereishis ...
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Mishneh Kesef on the heifer with the broken neck

In Rabbi Kaspi’s commentary on Deuteronomy 21:1, he refers to ‘the teacher’ as having already given a reason for the commandment. Who is this teacher and where did s/he give their reason? Thanks.
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Was Noah or his wife the direct victim in Genesis 9?

Genesis 9: כא וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן-הַיַּיִן, וַיִּשְׁכָּר; וַיִּתְגַּל, בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. וַיַּרְא, חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן, אֵת, עֶרְוַת אָבִיו; וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי-אֶחָיו, בַּחוּץ. וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת-...
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Rambam's 9th principle - “the Torah will not change/be changed”, sources and interpretations

Did Rambam himself elaborate on: His sources for this principle? Did he derive it from somewhere or it was his own thought? The principle itself, what it covers, what kind of changes he's talking ...
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Plural and singular in Shmuel 2:24:14

In Shmuel 2:24:14 it says: "David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His compassion is great; and let me not fall into the hands of men.”" ...

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