Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation

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Pre-plagues hail?

In Shemot 9:24, it says about the plague of hail: "וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּרָד כָּבֵד מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָיָה כָמֹהוּ בְּכָל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָז הָיְתָה לְגוֹי." &...
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Do the commentators describe how Amram and Yocheved felt through the events involving Paro's daughter and Moshe?

The intervention of Paro's daughter in the life of Moshe was clearly miraculous. Basya went against her father's wishes and Moshe's mother was paid to nurse him. One can imagine the feelings of wonder ...
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How can the first two sentences of the Shema have 25 letters each?

In reviewing the commentary of the Tzemach Tzedek to parshat Vayigash in Ohr HaTorah, vol. 5, pg. 1978, he referenced as a source to his explanation the Megaleh Amukot, Ofan 227 which discusses a ...
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Why the choice of Abraham preceded finding him righteous?

We say it daily in the morning prayer: אַתָּה־הוּא ה"א אֲשֶׁר בָּחַרְתָּ בְּאַבְרָם וְהוֹצֵאתוֹ מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים וְשַׂמְתָּ שְּׁמוֹ אַבְרָהָם׃ וּמָצָאתָ אֶת־לְבָבוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָנֶיךָ... You ...
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Meaning of “You alone are YHWH”

אַתָּה־הוּא יְהוָה לְבַדֶּךָ ...׃ - You alone are YHWH... Nehemiah.9.6 YHWH is God's proper name as God openly testifies: ... וּשְׁמִי יְהוָה לֹא נוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם - but I did not make Myself known ...
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Why didn't Ezra mention Shofar on Rosh Hashanah?

In Nehemiah.8.10, after reading Torah on the first day of the seventh month (Rosh Hashana - Rashi ibid): וַיָּבִיא עֶזְרָא הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה לִפְנֵי הַקָּהָל ... בְּיוֹם אֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ ...
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In Nehemia 8, why did they find Succot written in the Torah on the second day?

In the Book of Nehemia, on the first day, Ezrah had read from a Torah scroll for 6 hours: וַיִּקְרָא־בוֹ ... מִן־הָאוֹר עַד־מַחֲצִית הַיּוֹם He read from it, ... from the first light until midday, ...
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What does the following mean from the meshech chochma?

The Meshech Chochmah, Vaeschanan, Deuteronomy 6:5, says something which I don't understand. Here it is: וא"ל (ואמרי לה) לקיים מילי דנזיקין, כי האדם מדיני בטבע, ואוהב הקבוץ לרוב חסרונו.‏ Here is ...
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Does a person’s soul see through the navel when the person passes away (Ben Ish Hai)

I was studying with someone earlier today and he mentioned that he once read in the Sefer Ben Ish Hai that when a person passes away, his soul can ‘see’ (I don’t really know what that means) through ...
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How does God's bet with Satan square with monotheistic theology?

One day the divine beings presented themselves before the LORD, and [the] Satan came along with them. The LORD said to the Satan, “Where have you been?” ... -“I have been roaming all over the earth.” ....
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Why didn't God reveal to Job that He simply bet with Satan?

The book of Job focuses on theological and philosophical explanations of Job's (and other pious individuals') suffering. Eventually, God Himself talks to Job revealing that His thoughts and plans for ...
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Is Satan a being or just a mission any angel could fulfill?

Midrash B"R quoted by Rashi (Genesis.32.30, and similarly Judges.13.18) says that: "We [angels] have no fixed names; our names change, all depending upon the service we are commanded to ...
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Why does the Torah end before fulfilling the promise of entering the Promised land?

Most mundane facts are the most fascinating to question. The Torah ends with Moses dying in the wilderness and the Israelites still camping on the other bank of the Jordan River. This plot sounds ...
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When was Shlomo HaMelech anointed king?

When (day, month, year) was Shlomo HaMelech anointed king, as according to the pasuk below? 1 Kings 1:45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have ...
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Was Adonijah's grab of the throne, while David reigned, ever referred to, by any authorities, as a co-regency?

Was Adonijah's grab of the throne, while David reigned, ever referred to, by any authorities, as a co-regency? From Adonijah's self-exaltation (1 Kings 1:5) to self-debasement at the horns of the ...
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ויהי and Bereshit 39

In Bereshit 39 - end of parshat Vayeishev - the Torah keeps using the word ויהי. In 23 verses, there are 15 times the word ויהי repeated. Is there a significance of the ויהי repetition, over and over, ...
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Did Esav do Teshuva?

The Chizkuni Bireishis 25:8 says at the end of his comment that Esav also did Teshuva. Is there other sources for this amongst the Rishonim and Chazal?
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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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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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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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76 views

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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