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16 votes

What is the modern Jewish interpretation of Exodus 12:11?

The Mishnah cites eating in haste as one of the few differences between the paschal offering that first year and that of subsequent years. The modern Passover meal is modeled primarily on the latter.
msh210's user avatar
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11 votes

Question about Shemot, locusts

Rabbi Yosef Deutsch in Let My Nation Go, page 259, writes: The wind carried every single locust east to the sea so that not one locust remained in Egypt. The locusts would await the Egyptians by ...
DonielF's user avatar
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10 votes

Why are the 10 plagues in this specific order?

Tanchuma Parshas Bo 4 explains the sequence (from Sefaria.org) by comparing the plagues to a siege upon an enemy City: נטה (את) ידך על השמים (שמות י כא). בטכסיס [מלך] בשר ודם הביא הקדוש ב"ה עליהם ...
user15464's user avatar
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9 votes

Does my uncircumcised friend still needs to be circumcised in order to join the meal for Pesach?

Many laws applied to the Passover offering that do not apply to the Seder. For example, the Passover offering can only be eaten by people who are Tahor (a specific form of ritual purity). There is no ...
LN6595's user avatar
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7 votes

Why is the word "Makkat" added to 10th plague of Bechorot?

The plague names are all for the substance of the plague. The plague came in the form of blood, frogs, etc. Bechorot would imply an infestation of firstborns.
Heshy's user avatar
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7 votes

Which part of Hebrew or textual grammar tells the reader to add to the verb in question the word "habitually"?

Great question! It's not just the "from yesterday"; it's the conjugation on the word "goring", looking very, very carefully at the vowels: נַגָּח That's a patach (straight line) ...
Shalom's user avatar
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6 votes

How much time do we have to perform mitzvot?

The lesson quoted in the question, "If [a commandment] comes your way, perform it immediately" (in the Hebrew "מצוה הבאה לידך אל תחמיצנה") isn't implying a time restraint but rather an overall idea ...
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes

How can G-d fight other gods?

The "gods" worshipped by ancient Egypt included the Nile, cows and the sun (see e.g., Wikipedia's entry). These definitely exist as physical entities. One of the goals or effect of the ten plagues ...
mbloch's user avatar
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5 votes

Why was the first mitzvah given to B'nai Yisra'el the one dealing with sanctifying the New Moon?

I found the explanation in the commentary in the Hirsch Chumash Shmos 12:2 translated to English by his grandson Rabbi Levy. I got it many years ago but you should find new editions via google such ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Uses of the word Etzem

The intuitive etymological connection is made by Radak. I'm sure that there are others who make the same point as well... I did manage to find a source for this connection here, although it still ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
5 votes

The Head teffilin before the Arm teffilin - Rashi?

Gam Ani Odcha - Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky answers based on Menachos 34b that the Shel Rosh is more Chashuv than the Shel Yad therefore Rashi mentions the Shel Rosh first. תשובה: משום חשיבותה, עיין ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
4 votes

Why does the Torah use the non-Hebrew word 'Totafot'

Be’er Mayim Chaim, by Rav Chaim ben Betzalel, the brother of the Maharal, to Deuteronomy 6:8 explains that Chazal had a tradition that these two words actually originate from before the story of the ...
robev's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How long did the plagues last?

Rashi (Shemot 7:25) writes that each plague lasted a week, and there were three weeks of admonition before each plague: וימלא: מנין שבעת ימים, שלא שב היאור לקדמותו, שהיתה המכה משמשת רביע חדש ושלשה ...
anonymous's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Why wasn't Pharoah allowed a chance to "repent" before the last plague (death of 1st born)?

The "tenth" plague was actually announced at the very beginning Shmos 4:23 So I say to you, 'Send out My son so that he will worship Me, but if you refuse to send him out, behold, I am going to ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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4 votes

Why use an esoteric, foreign word which leads to different understandings?

Rav Hirsch says that it is indeed a subtlety in the meaning that is being expressed here. Bo (12:9) it is derived from נוא (to be disturbed, to be interrupted in a movement which has been ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

The Chacham, the Rasha, the She'eino Yodeya Lish'ol, and... What's that other son again?

The answer is that the basic premise of the question that there are four discrete children, and all the Midrashim refer to "the same child", is baseless. In reality, the pashut peshat is that the ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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4 votes
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Only arm tefillin are a sign?

In R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary on Shemot 13:9, he distinguishes the functions of the two tefillin as: לְאוֹת עַל יָדְךָ - "a guide for all your acts" לְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ - ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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4 votes

First Month of your year?

There are several new years. (What!?) There is a new year for the world, a new year for the Jewish people, a new year for the trees, etc. Nissan is the first month because it's the new year for the ...
ezra's user avatar
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4 votes

According to Rashi, how old was Avraham at B'rit Bein HaB'tarim?

See Daas Zikeinim and Chizkuni amongst others who address this issue. They learn that the command Lech Licha when he was 75, was actually a command to leave Charan for the second time. He had already ...
user6591's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

According to Rashi, how old was Avraham at B'rit Bein HaB'tarim?

Da’as Zekeinim to 12:4 give a novel approach in resolving the contradiction. וקשה שהרי ברית בין הבתרים היה לאחר יציאתו מחרן ובפ' בא אל פרעה קרא דויהי מקץ שלשים שנה וגו' שיש שלשים שנה מברית בין ...
DonielF's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Why "your hand" is spelled ידכה instead of ידך?

See Rashi (Shemos 13:9): על ידך: יד שמאל, לפיכך ידכה מלא בפרשה שניה (פסוק טז) לדרוש בה, יד שהיא כהה upon your hand: On the left hand. Therefore, in the second section, (Verse 16) יָדְכָה is written ...
IsraelReader's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How did the Israelites borrow garments from the Egyptians?

Rashi writes that the reason the clothes were mentioned is because to the Egyptians they were regarded as being of greater value than their silver and gold. Based off this, the Maharal in Gur Aryeh ...
Dov's user avatar
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4 votes

How did the Jewish people have livestock when leaving Egypt?

The Bnai Yisrael were shepherds and had flocks that they maintained during the years of slavery. Note that the Torah says that during the plagues, the flocks of the Bnai Yisrael were not affected (...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 42.8k
4 votes
Accepted

How did the Jewish people have livestock when leaving Egypt?

Slavery was not a monolithic concept in the ancient world. Some slaves could own money, others could own property, and others only had a tax they had to pay. And although it's tempting to think/...
Aaron's user avatar
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3 votes

Why use an esoteric, foreign word which leads to different understandings?

A couple of related points, which should help answer the question. Mefarshim, as usual, from here. Some say that Bereishis 25:30 "Haliteini Na" also means raw/raw-ish, which is how the lentils would ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
3 votes

Saying a pasuk to scare dogs

Yes. this is something that is said in the gemara in order to protect one from dogs. As an example Rav David Silverberg The Gemara in Masekhet Berakhot (56b) comments that if a person dreams ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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3 votes

How did our forefathers bake the dough they took out of Egypt? Would it qualify as matzo now?

Note that the Pasuk itself says "Ki Lo Chametz", but that phrase is up for interpretation. Mefarshim from here: Or Hachaim takes the literal, halachic approach that @DoubleAA was referring to, and ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
3 votes

Does my uncircumcised friend still needs to be circumcised in order to join the meal for Pesach?

The Gemara (Pesachim 28b) states that an uncircumcised Jew is obligated to eat matzah like any other Jew, and derives this from a verse: ור' שמעון טמא ושהיה בדרך רחוקה לא איצטריך קרא דלא גרע מערל ...
wfb's user avatar
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