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13 votes

Moses' Hebrew name was given to him in Egyptian?

You had a number of very good suggestions. Ibn Ezra to Exodus 2:10 suggests 2 possibilities, namely, that Pharaoh's daughter had learned the Hebrew language, or that she asked someone how to say this ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
10 votes

Are pyramids forbidden?

כמעשה ארץ מצרים וכמעשה ארץ כנען לא תעשו", יכול לא יבנו בנינים ולא יטעו נטיעות כמותם? תלמוד לומר "ובחוקותיהם לא תלכו" – לא אמרתי אלא בחוקים החקוקים להם ולאבותיהם ולאבות אבותיהם. ומה היו ...
שלום's user avatar
  • 3,272
8 votes
Accepted

Why did the last plague target only the firstborn?

A few answers: 1) Shemos Rabbah 15:27 - It underscored the value of firstborns The Torah writes (Shemos 4:22): וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר ה' בְּנִ֥י בְכֹרִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל Then you shall ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
7 votes

Burial sites of the Shevatim

The Sefer Hayashar (anonymous) on Sefer Yehoshua brings down where the Shevatim were buried: שנים עשר בני יעקב אשר העלו בני ישראל ממצרים : ויקברו את ראובן ואת גד בעבר הירדן ברומיא אשר נתן להם משה ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.1k
7 votes

Moses' Hebrew name was given to him in Egyptian?

Some thoughts from Rabbi Kaplan's Living Torah on that passuk. He writes that moshe means son in Egyptian. He quotes Ibn Ezra & Hadar Zekenim who say this and uses this idea to translate the ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.8k
7 votes

How short was Pharaoh?

The Gemara in Moed Katan 18a says the Pharoh that was in the times of Moshe was 1 Amah.
Shlomy's user avatar
  • 3,813
7 votes

Plagues of Egypt mocking their gods

There are modern rabbis who have suggested this, likely following in the footsteps of academic biblical scholarship which holds this idea. I assume you're asking for classical sources on the subject. ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Are Ra'meses and Ra'amses the same place

Ibn Ezra in his long commentary to Shemot 1:11 and 12:37 claims they are different places and that the Jews lived in Ra'meses and not in Ra'amses which they built. (According to this it would be a ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.5k
6 votes

How many Jews were in Egypt before the Exodus?

R. Judah Loewe explains in his commentary to this passage that the Talmud is referring to all the people who died in Egypt over the entire course of time the Israelites were there: והם כל הדורות ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
6 votes

Why couldn't the Jewish people return to live in Egypt? Till when was this valid? At some point later in history Jewish people did live there

The prohibition of living in Egypt has never changed. The question is to who did it apply to in the first place? There are various opinions among the Rishonim Among them are that it only applies to (...
Schmerel's user avatar
  • 5,520
5 votes

Why is the return to Egypt on boats?

R. Yosef Kara there writes (there) that this was a particular punishment since it included those unable to walk: אינה דומה שבייה שהשבויים מוליכים ברגל למוליכים אותה באניות, שהשבייה שמוליכים ברגל ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
5 votes
Accepted

Do any commentaries explain the charade that Yosef put the brothers through as done with bad intention?

Radak indeed does. He says that Yosef was trying to cause them emotional anguish without hurting them physically or monetarily (Bereishis 42:9,17;44:1).
Nahum's user avatar
  • 2,469
5 votes
Accepted

Source for the boundaries of Egypt

His source would appear to be a beraita quoted in Pesachim 94a: Egypt was four hundred parasangs by four hundred parasangs
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
5 votes

טט בכתפי שתים - is Katfi Coptic?

Jastrow does, with a question mark: כַּתְּפִי m. (sub לשון) Coptic language (?). Snh. 4ᵇ; Zeb. 37ᵇ; Men. 34ᵇ (Ar. s. v. טט, some ed. גדפי, cmp. גִּיפְטִי). No word resembling either טט or פת meaning ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.8k
5 votes
Accepted

The Specific Reason for the Plague of Darkness?

There are several middah knegged middah (measure for measure) reasons for darkness: Yalkut Shimoni 182 - The Egyptians sought to completely eradicate the Jews making them no longer "visible"...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Where is "Nachal Mitzrayim"?

According to Rav Sadya Gaon (a native of Egypt) in his Tafsir to Numbers (34:5) this refers to Wadi al-Arish. According to Rashi, (a native of France), in his commentary to Joshua (13:3), nahal ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
4 votes

Pharaoh or King of Egypt?

excerpted from here The Zohar (Shemot 17a; 19b) explains that in most of the opening story of the Book of Exodus, the Bible mentions Melech Mitzrayim. This refers to the angelic minister who ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
4 votes

Nebuchadnezzar II failure to conquer Egypt

Babylon defeated Egypt shortly after laying waste to Jerusalem. That is, the Babylonians first routed the Egyptian army at the Battle of Carchemish, and within 35 years, defeated Egypt proper. Writing ...
Joseph's user avatar
  • 1,600
4 votes
Accepted

Why would Pharaoh's heart be made כבד by G-D?

Rav Ovadiah Seforno (on Shemos 9:35) suggests that Hashem "made his heart heavy" (heavy objects are hard to move) and "made his heart strong" (more literal translations of "הכבדתי" and "חזקתי" then "...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,668
4 votes

Egyptian enslavement of the Jews - Antisemitism?

Rav Hirsch explains that the new king carefully and gradually stirred up anti-Semitism in order to drive down the Israelites because they were a single group or caste within the society. All the other ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
4 votes

Why is the Pasuk for Vayareiu Osanu Hamitzrim a Pasuk where nothing happens?

Rabbi Yochanan Zweig asks this very question. He gives a beautiful and simple answer: the worst thing you can do for a person is to label them as a problem. Once they have a negative label placed on ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Why is the Pasuk for Vayareiu Osanu Hamitzrim a Pasuk where nothing happens?

According to Perush Kadmon (printed in Mossaf HaRav Kook's Torat Hayyim Haggada), וירעו means calculated evil. Therefore the citation about deliberation and planning is appropriate. This is quoted by ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
4 votes

What were the scrolls that the Jews had in Egypt fortelling of the forthcoming redemption?

Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky in “Emes LeYaakov” on Shemos 8 (9) quotes the medrash and suggests that Tehillim 92 (מִזְמ֥וֹר שִׁ֜֗יר לְי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּֽת) was one of the megillos. He quotes from Bovo Basro 14b ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
4 votes

Was Moshe punished for converting the Erev Rav?

This seems to come from Rashi's midrashic explanation of Exodus 32:7 (quoted from Sefaria): וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה לֶךְ־רֵ֕ד כִּ֚י שִׁחֵ֣ת עַמְּךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶעֱלֵ֖יתָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃ ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.8k
4 votes

Moshe's missing years

See the Midrash Quoted here. (Yalkut Shimoni, 1:168; Sefer HaYashar, Parshat Shemot). Moshe became the king of Kush for many years after running away from Egypt, and before he went to Midyan.
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.6k
4 votes

Population of Jews at exodus seems unrealistically large

I am surprised by the question, because the answer is explicate in the Torah text (Exodus 1:9): וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֶל־עַמּ֑וֹ הִנֵּ֗ה עַ֚ם בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רַ֥ב וְעָצ֖וּם מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ And he said to his ...
Mordechai's user avatar
  • 3,460
4 votes

Do scriptures mention the presence of the Egyptians in the Holy Land after Yehoshua's conquer?

I don't think there's any direct mention of them residing in the land after the conquest, but there are echoes/hints that can be found in a few sources: Shoftim 10:11-12: "And the Lord said to ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
4 votes
Accepted

What does the name Phinehas mean?

In Rav Aryeh Kaplan's Purple Tanakh, the etymology of the name is an Egyptian one (as common among Levi'im), from the words Pi-Neches.. Pinchas. Or Phinehas. The name Pinchas may be from the Egyptian ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 329
4 votes

Is There Extra Biblical Evidence Of Jews Having Communities In Egypt In The 8th Century BCE?

Isaiah 11 is discussing the messianic age and the return of the Jewish exiles in those times. Although at the time Isaiah lived, the Judeans had not yet been exiled, Isaiah knew that a destruction was ...
conceptualinertia's user avatar
4 votes

Exceptional cases of conversion in halacha

The son of an Egyptian woman who converts while pregnant with him counts as a second generation Egyptian-convert (Yevamot 78a, Rambam IB 12:20, EH 4:4). Only his children will be able to marry full ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.5k

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