29

I generally understood the story based on the Malbim: obviously, everyone involved (including "Woman B," as you call her) knew that King Solomon's suggestion would result in the death of the child. After all, the second woman says גם לי גם לך לא יהיה - neither of us would end up with a child. Instead, the question was what do each of these woman really ...


15

It's approximating π, as is clear from the g'mara (Eruvin 14:1). The problem is that that g'mara seems to be saying that it's a pretty precise approximation, and we know it's not. (Tosafos there raise this question and offer no answer.) But to answer your question, whether it's an approximation of π or a miracle, it's the former.


13

Only three of his children are named in Tanach: his successor Rechavam, and two daughters named Tafath and Basemath, who married two of Shlomo's officials (I Kings 4:11,15). R. Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (Daas Soferim) comments that it seems likely that Shlomo had 100 children or less (which would of course mean that most of his wives were childless), since in ...


12

The Meiri asks and answers this question in Yevamos 17b: והוא הענין שנאמר בהגדה על אותן שתים נשים זונות שבאו לדין לפני שלמה שהרי כשצוה שלמה לגזור את הילד החי והשיבה האחת תנו לה את הילוד החי והמת אל תמיתוהו היה ראוי לאחרת להשיב את שלי היא נותנת לי וכשאמרה גם לי גם לך גו' סכלות היה ופתיות שלה ומה היה מכיר שלמה בדבר זה ומה תועלת היה רואה לה בדבריה אלא ששתי ...


11

The Gemara (Niddah 70b) records "three nonsensical questions" (שלשה דברי בורות) that the Alexandrians asked R' Yehoshua. One of them was, "Would the son of the woman from Shunem [who was revived by Elisha, II Kings ch. 4] cause impurity?" He replied, "A dead person causes impurity, not a living one." The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l analyzed this question and ...


10

The GR"A points out the following: The word circumference (kav) is spelled קוה but pronounced קו. The gematria of the former is 111 and the latter is 106. The ratio of 111 to 106, multiplied by the approximation of 3, gives you: (111 / 106) * 3 = 3.1415 Perhaps pi to five digits is a better approximation than 3?


10

Wikipedia has a set of answers in their article on Approximations of pi. That links to a terrific article on rabbinic approximations of π by Boaz Tsaban and David Garber. Tsaban and Garber summarize as follows (pp. 10-11): The rational-religious approach of Maimonides holds that, since we cannot know the exact values, the Bible tells us that we do ...


10

Not a complete answer, but here's what the Talmud (Sanhedrin 22A) says (Rashi brought in נrackets): אמר רב שמן בר אבא בוא וראה כמה קשין גירושין שהרי דוד המלך התירו לו לייחד [עם אבישג ואע"פ שנאסר ייחוד של פנויה] ולא התירו לו לגרש [אחת מי"ח וישאנה]‏ R' Shaman bar Aba said: Come and See how harsh divorce is. They gave permission to King David to be ...


10

The mefarshim on this portion of Navi (Targum, Rashi, Radak, etc.) explain that the man who died was actually Ovadiah (see Melachim Aleph 18). He was the man who kept 100 true prophets alive during their persecution by Jezebel. He hid them in 2 caves. He also provided for all of their physical needs. The cost of secretly supporting them, not only risked ...


9

First, as @Yirmeyahu commented above, there is no death penalty for "all sex outside marriage". There is a verse which states לֹא תִהְיֶה קְדֵשָׁה מִבְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא יִהְיֶה קָדֵשׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, but that does not specify a death penalty of stoning. The prostitutes profession was irrelevant to the case. And it would not be a good society if ...


9

In :בבא מציעא דף קיד Tosafot comments on "אמר ליה לאו כהן". He says: אמר ליה לאו כהן (אתה) - תימה לר"י היאך החיה בנה של האלמנה כיון שכהן היה דכתיב (מלכים א יז) ויתמודד על הילד וגו' ויש לומר שהיה ברור לו שיחייהו לכך היה מותר משום פיקוח נפש Tosafot raises the question of how Eliyahu could bring the child of the widow back to life if he was a Cohen? The ...


9

See the gemara in Yoma 22b. This was orchestrated in order to ensure the longevity of his kingdom. As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: One appoints a leader over the community only if he has a box full of creeping animals hanging behind him, i.e., he has something inappropriate in his ancestry that preceded him. Why is that? ...


8

In verse (Melachim 2:8), King David tells Shlomo: וְהִנֵּה עִמְּךָ שִׁמְעִי בֶן-גֵּרָא בֶן-הַיְמִינִי, מִבַּחֻרִים In the Zohar Mishpatim (דף קז עמוד ב): כתיב והנה עמך שמעי בן גרא, מאי והנה עמך, זמין הוא עמך תדיר, רבו הוה, ... אבל שמעי דא דאשתכח עמיה תדיר, אמר והנה עמך.‏ Translation - the Zohar learns from the verse "with you" to mean that he is ...


8

The extra blood after each sacrifice was poured at the base of the altar (if it was considered Shirayim, leftover) or the Amah - a channel which led out of the courtyard (if the blood's status is dichuy, invalid to be poured on the base). This is from the Talmud, Zevachim 34b. The leftover blood which was poured out flowed to Nachal Kidron, and was redeemed ...


7

I think that the point is being missed here. There are not that many places where there is a difference between the written word (k'siv) and the way the word is pronounced (kri). This is especially true where the written word would be pronounced the same way. The reason is generally that neither is quite correct. The "real" word should be some combination. ...


7

Asked and answered here. it seems quite likely that this is a later interpolation; it doesn't appear in early prints of Rashi. In several places, though, Rashi refers to לשון כנען, which was a popular term at the time for the Slavic languages (based on the equation of "Slav" with "slave" and the association of the latter with Canaan). These ...


7

Both Targums on Esther 2:5 identify The Shimei in Mordecai's lineage with Shimei Ben Gera. They state that David saw through a prophetic experience that Mordecai (and Esther according to the first Targum) descended from Shimei, so he delayed his revenge until Shimei stopped bearing children to allow for the subsequent salvation of the Jewish people in the ...


6

As mentioned here, different spellings of names that refer to the same person are not uncommon in Tanach. Deeper, esoteric meanings are associated with the changing of spellings. As a general rule, therefore, you will not find commentators of the p'shat approach that will address these spelling changes. In this case , the most famous answer is that of the ...


6

Both RaDaK and Malbim understand that David was not telling Shelomo to execute Shime'i outright, but each saw it to be done differently: RaDak writes( on MelakhimI 2:8): ירד לקראתי - שאמחול לו ונשבעתי לו שלא אמיתנו, אף על פי שנשבעתי לו שלא אמיתנו, חייב מיתה הוא, ולשמור שבועתי לא תמיתנו, עד שתמצא לו עלה ועון וסבב אתה הדבר שיבא לידי עון, שיהיה לך דין ...


6

This article from the OU's magazine “Jewish Action” says that there are jokes in the Talmud, “It is related that Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was once asked if there are any jokes in the Talmud, and his response was, “yes, but they’re all old.” Jokes with a “Hechsher” A cursory reading of the Talmud’s text validates that assertion. An informed reading may ...


6

As the Ibn Ezra writes (Bamidbar 21:22) אל תבקש דקדוק בשמות don't expect/ask for grammatical care when it comes to names


6

From Menashe. See Pesikta Rabbati 3 ובמלכים ירבעם בן נבט משל אפרים ואחרי כן יהוא בן (מנשה) [נמשי] משבט מנשה


6

This topic is dealt with extensively by Rav Asher Weiss on his website. The following is a summary. To begin with, two major authorities have already said that today there is no practical application of Chazal's dictum גדולה עבירה לשמה: The Ramchal (Kinas Hashem Tzevakos II ענין יעל) and Rav Chaim Volozhin (As pointed out by @Alex, in Keser Rosh § 132). The ...


6

She was calling the king's bluff. My understanding of the story goes against the universal one, but fits with the text and answers your question and a lot of others -- The first woman to speak (the one holding the live child) was trying to be demonstrative of how motherly she was, expecting to be allowed to keep the child, even though she was saying that ...


5

Rambam, The Laws of Kings and Wars, 3:8 (Chabad.org) Anyone who rebels against a king of Israel may be executed by the king… Shaul was considered righteous since he believed he was putting down a rebellion. The king may only execute people by decapitation. ……However, he may not confiscate property. If he does, it is considered theft. This is why ...


5

I think you are referring to the (re)discovery of the Torah scroll by Chilkiyahu the High Priest in the time of Yoshiyahu (Josiah?) (mentioned in Kings II chap. 22, and Chronicles II chap. 34), in the course of renovations to the Temple. (If I'm mistaken, please cite a source). You are quite correct that there were many copies of the Torah. This particular ...


5

Bavli Sotah 46b-47a describes this incident in more detail. R. Yochanan said in the name of Meir that whoever does not escort others or allow himself to be escorted, it as if he shed blood, for if the men of Jericho had escorted Elisha, he would not have stirred up the bears. The g'mara then goes on to explain the incident. First, who are the "little ...


5

Perhaps Eliyahu is not Pinchas. However, Chazal are trying to indicate that there is a similarity in the personality and perfection of both of them. Eliyahu exemplifies a quality of Pinchas. The Ibn Ezra says explicitly that Eliyahu is not Pinchas in Sefer Bamidbar, Pasrshas Pinchas, Perek 25, Verse 13: ומלת אחריו - לאות שמת ואינו אליהו כלל וכבר ...


5

Taanis 22b relates that Yoshiyahu said "צדיק הוא ה׳ כי פיהו מריתי" - HaShem is righteous for I have rebelled against his word. (quote from Eicha 1:18)


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