Questions tagged [pentateuch-chumash]

Questions pertaining to the Five Books of Moses (Chumash)

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22
votes
9answers
1k views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
21
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2answers
1k views

Translation to Greek

I just read in parashat ki tavo that the torah was translated into 70 languages and written on giant stones, yet the talmud says the translation of the torah to Greek many years later was considered a ...
17
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3answers
408 views

Why didn't Avraham argue with HaShem about sacrificing Yitzchak just like he argued with Him about destroying Sodom? [duplicate]

It's known that when Avraham found out that Hashem was going to destroy Sodom and the other cities, he fervently argued with Hashem to save them. My question is: when Hashem told Avraham to sacrifice ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
16
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9answers
2k views

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

According to the beginning of the Mesilas Yesharim, the entire purpose of creation is for man to merit Olam Haba (the bliss of the next world). If so, why is there no mention nor description of Olam ...
14
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2answers
45k views

Difference between Torah and the first five books in Christian bible [closed]

I know that basically, the first 6 5 books in Christian's Bible forms the Torah. However are there any subtle difference between torah and those books?
14
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4answers
1k views

Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?

The documentary-hypothesis implies that Moses wasn't the writer of the Torah verbatim, but he could have transmitted it before it was written down. Evidence in the text shows several sources and that ...
14
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3answers
365 views

What does the aramaic “pon” mean?

Once in a while, Onkelos will throw in the word pon (פּוֹן) that doesn't directly translate from the Hebrew. Avimelech to Yitzchak: k'z'eir pon shachiv d'm'yached b'ama (Toldos 26:10) Lavan to Yaakov:...
14
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2answers
259 views

How is the story of the Torah being given told in the Torah itself?

How was the Torah (aka the Five Books of Moses) given if the story of the Torah being given is contained in these books? In other words, the Torah tells the story - close to halfway through it - of ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What is the “book of the law” mentioned in Joshua 1?

Specifically, Joshua 1:8: Joshua 1:8 (JPS) 8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do ...
11
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10answers
2k views

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

I've been taught, often enough that I thought it was universal, that there are no unnecessary words in torah (chumash) — every word is there to teach us something. I've seen plenty of discussions in ...
11
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2answers
666 views

What is the most-shared name in the Torah? In Tanach?

A previous question noted that there are three distinct individuals named Amihud mentioned in the Torah, and at least one more in Divrei Hayamim. When I noticed this phenomenon in the Torah, it made ...
11
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3answers
143 views

What is the difference between curses that would require changing lashon?

In parshat Lech Lecha, (Bereishit 12:3) Hashem promises Avram that וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. Why ...
11
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2answers
524 views

Moshe Rabbeinu's knowledge of future events

If Moshe Rabbeinu was taught the entire Torah on Mt. Sinai (Rashi on Vayikra 25:1, Rambam), how do we explain events such as the incident involving the Bnos Tzelafchad (Bamidbar 27:1-11), or the tamei ...
11
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1answer
512 views

Why don't we name children Yitro?

Yitro appears to be an overall positive character in the Torah. At least as much as Noah or Saul, yet I do not know of contemporary (or even ancient) Jews named Yitro. Why is that?
11
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2answers
968 views

Why 1,000 generations of ungiven Torah, not X years?

The Mainz Anonymous reads, in part (in my own translation): He created the Torah 974 generations before the world was created, then twenty-six generations [passed] from the creation of the world ...
11
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3answers
468 views

Potential issue with Theory on Divine Origins of Judaism?

The core of a theory is that since Judaism is based on events witnessed by something like 3,000,000 Jews, it is true, while other religions rely on an individual or a few individuals who experienced a ...
10
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4answers
313 views

What is the reason for שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום?

The gemara in Berachos 8a-b states: אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום [...] שכל המשלים פרשיותיו עם הצבור מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו Rav ...
10
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1answer
615 views

First use of modern names for books of Torah

Today, it is common practice to use Bereshis, Shemos, Vayikra, Bamidbar, Devarim as the names of the five books of the Torah, but this was not always the case. As an example, the Talmud refers to ...
10
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2answers
694 views

What were the Nephilim?

Inspired by this question on Biblical Hermeneutics. What were the Nephilim mentioned in Bereishis and in Bamidbar? Bereishis 6:1-4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after ...
10
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1answer
383 views

Who translated the original version of the Torah into each of the 70 languages?

In Devarim 27:8, the Torah says to "write all the words of the Torah explained well" (- "Ba'aer Hetev". Rash"i, citing Sotah 35b, says that this was translated into 70 languages. Sifsei Chachamim ...
9
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3answers
246 views

Why did Hashem start the Torah with a story?

Why did Hashem start the Torah with a story?
9
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1answer
250 views

Who invented the Mikraot Gedolot?

Whose idea was the Mikraot Gedolot and when was it first published? Mikraot Gedolot is a Humash with a collection of commentaries very popular in Jewish circles today.
9
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5answers
355 views

Onkelos, Anthropomorphism, and The Exodus

Onkelos the Convert is said by the Talmud to be the author of the official aramaic translation of the Pentateuch. Rashi and Maimonides understand Onkelos as having a tendency to interpret physical ...
9
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1answer
655 views

What are the rules for ain mukdam umeuchar?

Sometimes we say that things in the Torah are not in chronological order. What are the parameters for this? do you need to have a mesorah (particular tradition) for this? Is there a list of all '...
9
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1answer
279 views

Are there traditional Orthodox websites that counter thetorah.com?

thetorah.com promotes arguments for the view that the Torah (and other books of Tanach) were written by multiple authors over a long period of time. They do this while still seeing themselves under ...
9
votes
1answer
275 views

Why is it common for the people in the chumash to name every place they pass?

It seems pretty arbitrary, but in many cases in the Chumash, we find our patriarchs, Moses, etc, name places they pass based on some action that took place there. Is there any additional meaning to ...
9
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1answer
258 views

What happened with Nadav and Avihu?

Regarding the death of Nadav and Avihu, the Torah says it happened when they brought a foreign / unauthorized fire into the Mishkan. Concerning their death, Rashi brings up Rabbi Eliezer's opinion ...
8
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3answers
711 views

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

Is there an explicit mention mention of the Oral Torah in the Chumash? If not, why not?
8
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5answers
430 views

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר?

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר, or do they both pretty much mean "to say" or "to speak"? Do any sages see the choice of one ...
8
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4answers
583 views

Why is Techiyas HaMeisim not explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Since believing that Techiyas HaMeisim is part of the Torah is a fundamental of Judaism (Mishna Sanhedrin Perek HaChelek, although the Rambam Hilchos Teshuva Chapter 3 doesn't emphasize the believing ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

How come Metzudat Tzion never did a perush of difficult words in the chumash?

Why did the author of Metzudat Tzion never write an explanation of difficult words in the chumash, as he did for most of the Nach? There are hard words in the chumash that require explanation even for ...
8
votes
1answer
166 views

Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
8
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2answers
320 views

Why is the Torah written in third person?

I firmly believe that G-d made the Torah, but I wonder why He refers to himself in the third person, while the Ten Commandments are in the first person?
8
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2answers
245 views

(Ki) Ani Hashem Elokeihem

Twenty-seven times (by my count) in Torah and in Ezekiel, we find the phrase אני ה׳ אלקיכם or אני ה׳ אלקיהם at the end of a pasuk (for example, Lev 25:55). In eight of these cases, the phrase is ...
7
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2answers
284 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
7
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3answers
346 views

Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?

It is the Rambam's 8th Principle of Faith that the entire Torah (possibly except the last several verses) was dictated by God to Moses. Why do we believe that? Why, for example, can't we say that the ...
6
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4answers
733 views

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

There is a principle 'svara lamah li krah i.e. if a certain idea is logical and self evident to the average healthy mind, the Torah does not need to teach that idea. Additionally, what seems to be ...
6
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3answers
843 views

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English?

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English? I am interested in learning Meforshim on Chumash, and I wanted to know if there were any online or in a store.
6
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3answers
361 views

Why aren't Job or Psalms 90 in the Pentateuch?

In the Tanakh, the Jewish Biblical Canon, there are three categories of works: the Torah of Moses, and what are know as the 'Prophets' and 'Writings'. This categorization is outlined and mentioned in ...
6
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4answers
648 views

Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?

Background: In Parshat Toldot, Rivka conceives and is troubled by the discomfort. She goes to ask Hashem and it is explained to her that 2 nations are struggling within her, so she already knows that ...
6
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2answers
696 views

Siddur & chumash — which gets stacked on top?

I've seen this one asked over and over again, and always heard different things. Do you stack a chumash on top of a siddur, or the other way around?
6
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5answers
323 views

Who said that little Tzfardeaim jumped out of the big one's mouth?

Who said that little Tzfardeaim jumped out of the big one's mouth? As far as I can tell, the gemara in Sanhedrin, as well as all of the mainstream medrashim, use a lashon of וישרצו, which, as Rashi ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Does Jewish tradition report a narrative on what happened to the original manuscript of the Pentateuch?

I'm an Italian gentile believer in HaShem, who commits himself to observe the Noahide Laws, as commanded by the Creator in the Torah. If I'm not mistaken, according to Jewish sources, the Pentateuch ...
6
votes
4answers
336 views

Are any of the pesukim in the Torah not meant to be understood derech p'shat?

There is a concept that pesukim can be understood derech p'shat, remez, drush and sod. I'm not sure if that means that EVERY pasuk contains this 4 ways but I was wondering if any pasuk does not ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Locating a copy of Sifra (Torat Kohanim)

Now that we are starting Sefer Vayikra, this seems like an opportune time to ask a question that has been bugging me for years! Where can I find a good copy of Sifra (aka "Torat Kohanim")? A ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

When beseeching God, why does the kohein gadol appeal to “the torah of Moshe” and not directly to “your torah”?

Yoma 6:2 reports what the kohein gadol says over the goat to be offered: “Please, ‘Hashem’! They have done wrong, they have transgressed, they have sinned before You, Your people the House of ...
6
votes
2answers
114 views

Was Esav originally destined to be the fourth of the Avos?

I think I heard that Esav and Yaakov were supposed to be like Yissachar and Zevulun; partnering together in Avodas HaShem. So then would both have become our Avos? I'm interested in the earliest ...
6
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0answers
103 views

Why do most Chumashim mark the end of a Sidra with 3 parsha markings?

With the exception of the end of Vayigash, every Sidrah (Shabbat weekly Torah reading) ends at a parsha (paragraph end.) When there is a parsha end in the middle of the sidrah, Chumashim use a single ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

Rabbinic understandings of non-Divine origin of Onqelos

Shavua' tov all, A question from a friend that I thought I would post here regarding the origin of Onqelos. It seems fair to say that the classical rabbinic understanding is that the Aramaic ...