Questions tagged [parshanut-torah-comment]

interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation

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Eisov not wearing his best clothes for Yitzhak's blessing?

Eisov wore his best suit (the "royal robe" he took from Nimrod, who took it from Adam etc) whenever he served his father Itzhok (Bereishis Rabboh 65, 16). He kept it by his mother Rivkah's: ...
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Why did Machir have to conquer Gil'ad?

I'm trying to "coordinate" my understanding of various verses regarding what happened with Gil'ad as referenced in parshat Matot. Bemidbar 32:1 The tribes of Gad and Re'uven see that the lands of Ya'...
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Act of Love vs. Act of Righteousness

Devarim 23:6 - דברים כו פסוק ו וְלֹֽא־אָבָ֞ה הוי"ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ לִשְׁמֹ֣עַ אֶל־בִּלְעָ֔ם וַיַּהֲפֹךְ֩ הוי"ה אֱלֹקיךָ לְּךָ֛ אֶת־הַקְּלָלָ֖ה לִבְרָכָ֑ה כִּ֥י אֲהֵֽבְךָ֖ הוי"ה אֱלֹקיךָ׃ But the L-RD ...
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68 views

Egyptians not turning to their gods?

We read about a couple of "sorcery contests" between Moses and Egyptians, first turning the rods into serpents and then through the first plagues. Some well known facts: Egypt was a land of idol ...
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Why is there an extra "vav" when discussing the age range for the census of the Kehat family?

Kudos to my shul's chazzan for pointing out this anomaly... When discussing the census of Kehat, Bemidbar 4:3 says: מבן שלושים שנה ומעלה ועד בן חמשים שנה There is a vav before the word עד But, ...
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Why the change in language when warning about the plagues?

I noticed an interesting change in the language Moses uses when warning Pharoah about plagues: Dam - Shemot 7:17 "Thus said G-d" Tzefarde'ah - Shemot 7:26 "Thus said G-d" Arov - Shemot 8:16 "Thus ...
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70 views

Why didn't Ya'akov contact Yitzchak prior to contacting Esav?

Follow up on this M.Y. question. Genesis 32:4: וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃ And Jacob sent messengers before him to ...
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118 views

Does anyone attribute the copper snake to a mythbuster scheme?

We are familiar with the copper snake in chapter 21 of Parshas Chukkas used to remedy the Bnei Yisrael when bitten by the snakes sent to punish them. Recently I was made aware of a Greek mythological ...
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135 views

How good was Yaakov's trickery?

Yaakov told Rachel that " וַיַּגֵּד יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא וְכִי בֶן רִבְקָה הוּא וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִיהָ:" And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he ...
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Why did God send Dovid to Hebron specifically?

In Shmuel Bet 2:1, Dovid asks God which city he should go to and God tells him to go to Hebron. What is the reason he is told to go to that city specifically? I have seen commentaries explain that it ...
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70 views

What constitutes an "Enemy of God"?

(I'm not referring here to Tenokim Shenishbu.) Devarim 7: "And he repays his enemies in his lifetime to make him perish, he shall noy delay for his enemy, in his lifetime shall he pay him". Who are ...
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113 views

What did Bnei Yisrael experience at Matan Torah?

I'm having trouble understanding what the Israelites actually experienced at the Revelation at Mt Sinai. Did they all see God? Did they all hear Him? Did they all understand Him? Did they hear all of ...
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136 views

How did chaza"l derive the first two commandments if they are both combined in a single parsha (paragraph)?

Generally, each of the Ten Commandments is written in its own paragraph in the Torah, except for the 1st two. Shmot (Ex.) 20:2 is the 1st commandmnet - "I am G-d" and the 2nd commandment is from Shmot ...
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1answer
205 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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1answer
81 views

Similarity between Eisov and Dama ben Netina for honoring parents

Eisov = Red = Edom = Romi (Rome) Eisov excelled in honoring Yitzhok (B"R 65) Dama B"N was a senator (? or a general) in Rome's province in Ashkelon (according to Yerushalmi) דמא is the letters אדום He ...
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1answer
92 views

Commentaries concerning the meaning of Breishit 1:1

What do the Rabbis say about the meaning of the beginning of the Tanach – specifically, do they read the first verse as a kind of overview of creation (since Shamayim and Aretz did not exist before ...
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25 views

'Anshei' vs 'B'nei'

Ezra 2 contains a big list of the size of different families. However, some of the verses (eg 16, 17, 18) introduce those they count as בני, and some of the verses (eg 22, 23, 27) introduce those they ...
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75 views

How many times do variations of "halachta b'drachav" appear in the Chumash, and why?

The past few weeks, the phrase "halachta b'drachav" or "Lalechet B'drachav" or "Lalechet b'chol drachav" meaning "walk in His ways" (or "walk in ways that ...
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1answer
52 views

Why does the Torah repeat itself in Matos?

במדבר לא יא says: וַיִּקְחוּ֙ אֶת־כׇּל־הַשָּׁלָ֔ל וְאֵ֖ת כׇּל־הַמַּלְק֑וֹחַ בָּאָדָ֖ם וּבַבְּהֵמָֽה They gathered all the spoil and all the booty, man and beast, במדבר לא יב says: וַיָּבִ֡אוּ אֶל־...
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68 views

Which species does or do בקר refer to in the Torah?

Are only cows and bulls included? Or perhaps other related species as well? Is this subject to disagreement? And does context make a difference?
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Megilla: 2nd runners overtake first set that left 70 days earlier (Rashi). How?

In Esther 3:12 it records that Homon sent out his runners with the decree on 13th Nissan. Mordechai sent out his runners on 23rd Sivan to mitigate the decree. Rashi in 8:14 tells us that these second ...
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63 views

13 ways in which the Torah is trampled

I've found a reference in a book to a medieval Italian document which refers to "the 13 ways in which the Torah is trampled and profaned". Can anyone tell me more about these 13 ways?
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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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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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1answer
92 views

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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29 views

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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1answer
68 views

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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5answers
189 views

Moses at fault for spies?

Looking to better understand if, per the sources, Moses was at fault for sending spies, especially as it relates to sending them on a seemingly military mission.
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2answers
132 views

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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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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Does animal soul (Nefesh) come from the divine or the material?

[I assume] it is wildly accepted in Judaism that animals have souls (hence "anima"). In Hebrew, it is called נפש (Nefesh) and the Torah is full of this kind of references: "וּֽלְכׇל־...
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What does Rashi mean by the words "לחבר ולפטרון"?

In Parshas Vayigash (פרק מה פסוק ח), Yosef tells his brothers to tell Yaakov Avinu that וישימני לאב לפרעה "[G-d] made me a father to Pharaoh". Rashi comments and says that this means לחבר ...
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How the areas of the tribes were possibly equally valued?

I base my question solely on the WIKI of the division of the Land of Israel between the 9.5 tribes (the final division by Yehoshua). I'm not a big of a geographer, but I live in Israel, and I know ...
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80 views

In Exodus, when exactly they "could not delay" until the dough was leavened?

THe Torah says (Ex 12,39): וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת־הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם עֻגֹת מַצּוֹת כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ כִּי־גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ וְגַם־צֵדָה לֹא־עָשׂוּ לָהֶם׃ And ...
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62 views

Significance of Torah Midpoint

What is the significance of the middle of the Torah in letters being the vav in גָּחוֹן (Vayika 11:42)? (source: Kiddushin 30a) What is special about the vav in גָּחוֹן that the Almighty chose to ...
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38 views

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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46 views

Who did the signs in front of the people in Shmos 4 (30)?

Shmos 4 (30) says וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אַהֲרֹ֔ן אֵ֚ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר ה׳ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיַּ֥עַשׂ הָאֹתֹ֖ת לְעֵינֵ֥י הָעָֽם׃ Aaron repeated all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and ...
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38 views

Discrimination in Yakov's blessings to his sons

Yaakov had learned "the hard way" what his discrimination of his sons leads to. The Gemmorah (Shabbos 10b) rules that: "... אמר רב לעולם אל ישנה אדם בנו בין הבנים שבשביל משקל שני ...
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69 views

Order of events in parashas Bereishis

BH I am having a lot of trouble understanding the order of the following events: The creation of Man The births of Cain and Hevel The death of Hevel The snake Eating from the ...
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111 views

What can not be a legitimate Orthodox interpretation of the Torah?

I understand that in theory everyone can interpret the Torah and find his own Chiddushim from a renown Rabbi to a secular Jew, young and old, Jew and non-Jew. Today we can see myriads of Perushim and ...
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69 views

How many sets of Urim VeTumim were there?

On one TaNaKH passage, it seems both David (1 Samuel 30) and Shaul (1 Samuel 28) had access to an Urim VeTumim, suggesting there was more than one set of Urim VeTumim. Hence my question: How many ...
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57 views

Why does Rashi specifically tell us his interpretation method on 3:8?

In Bereishis 3:8, Rashi makes the following comment about his method of interpretation: וישמעו. יֵשׁ מִדְרְשֵׁי אַגָּדָה רַבִּים וּכְבָר סִדְּרוּם רַבּוֹתֵינוּ עַל מְכוֹנָם בִּבְ"רַ וּבִשְׁאָר ...
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35 views

Torah definition of אזרח, גר and תושב?

The Gemmorah in Succah (and Kiddushin) learns that the women are exempt from sitting in a Succah from the word האזרח. The Torah uses this word a couple of times, many times together with the words גר ...
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96 views

A list of doubled words

In the tanach, there are times when certain words are doubled (generally verbs but I'm open to other combinations) with one form of the word, followed by a second form which is in a future tense, I ...
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46 views

Was Iyov rewarded for passing his first test?

In Iyov chapter 1 Satan proposes to God to test Iyov's fidelity to God by striking Iyov's possessions. God agrees and Iyov loses essentially everything. At the end of chapter 1 and again in chapter 2 ...
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51 views

What does "chotim" mean?

In Shmuel Aleph, 14:33 the word חֹטִאים is used (chotim). I always had thought that the word was chot'im with the vowel under the aleph (as it is in the title to this book) but that isn't the case. ...
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108 views

Do Jewish scholars and/or Rabbis consider myths to be a violation of the second commandment?

Scripture consistently instructs against idols. It is the second of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or ...
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51 views

Comparison of criterion in choosing Saul and David as kings

In reading some of the vesres explaining a criterion in choosing Saul and David as kings, I found: In I Samuel 9:2, Saul is described as being tall and good looking. G-d doesn't seem to object to ...
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57 views

Why does Ya'aqov refer to Paddan-Aram simply as Paddan?

If I'm not mistaken, Paddan-Aram is only ever referred to by its full name (i.e. Paddan-Aram). Nevertheless, Ya'aqov Avinu at the end of his life, refers to it simply as Paddan (Bereshit 48:7): ...
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96 views

What is so significant about the wells in the Torah? Why are they discussed?

Genesis 26:15-18 (15) And the Philistines stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with earth. (16) And Abimelech ...