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11 votes

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

Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht ZT"L (Rosh Yeshiva of Kerem B'Yavneh) had an interesting explanation. For 20 years he was bothered by the question - for years, Yosef served as viceroy of Egypt, and sent ...
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11 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 ...
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9 votes

Why does Yosef command the Egyptians to circumcise

B'reishis Rabba (90:6) indicates that Yosef's decree was designed to provide the Egyptians not only with life in this world, via physical sustenance, but with life in the World to Come which they ...
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9 votes

Is there any tradition of any Jews leaving Mitzrayim before the Exodus

"The tribe of Ephraim miscalculated the time of the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt, and left the country thirty years before the appointed time. They were met by a hostile host of ...
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8 votes
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Who are the ווינדין whom the Maharil says are the Mitzrim?

Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hillman in the name of German Encyclopedia says it was a Slavic group known as Wenden that lived in Germany.
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8 votes
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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 ...
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7 votes

Why does Yosef command the Egyptians to circumcise

One explanation, given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, paraphrased here, is that he thought his position as viceroy made them in a subservient position and obligated in circumcision just like all Jewish ...
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  • 31.4k
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.
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  • 1,843
6 votes
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How did Paro know that "...that they may serve Me" meant sacrifices and not some other form of service?

In Shemos 5:3, Moshe introduces his request: נלכה נא דרך שלשת ימים במידבר ונזבחה ליהוה Now let us go on a three day journey in the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God
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6 votes

Moshe killing the Egyptian

There is argument among the commentaries about exactly what happened. Some say (like Rashi on verse 14) that Moshe killed the Egyptian by saying the sacred name of God. Others (like the Ibn Ezra on ...
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  • 36.7k
6 votes
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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 ...
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6 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 ...
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  • 32.3k
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 ...
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  • 48k
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 (...
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  • 3,610
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 ...
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  • 34.9k
5 votes

Was Ankhmahor really Yosef?

I'll give it a try. There are some inaccuracies in your question that should be clarified before considering the question of Ankhmahor as Yosef. This is not "the earliest archeological evidence we ...
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  • 10.7k
5 votes

How did 70 souls give birth to millions in a few generations?

Let's say the average couple has six children in total, when the parents are about 20. Then, after 210 years, the population of 70 will increase to (6/2)^(210/20) * 70 = 7.16 million people. If the ...
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  • 8,173
5 votes

Why do we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller was once asked a similar question, I heard the tape. He said: 'Why do we thank Hashem for the food he gives us, when He was the one that created us with the propensity to be ...
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  • 32.3k
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 ...
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  • 23.8k
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 ...
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  • 34.9k
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 ...
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  • 1,539
4 votes
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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 "...
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  • 8,740
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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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  • 34.9k
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 ...
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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׃ ...
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  • 23.8k
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.
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  • 42.9k
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 ...
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  • 3,334
4 votes
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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 ...
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