There is dispute among the commentators as to whether or not Ramban meant that seriously or just said it for the debate. R. Yaakov Kamanetzky z"l writes (Emet L'yaakov Genesis 44:18) that Ramban just said it for the sake of the debate. The Chattam Sofer (Orach Chaim 1:16) understands that Ramban was expressing a serious belief, but limited his view to extra-...
Here is a sampling of the interpretations offered by the commentators (all taken from commentaries to the verse in question):
God inscribed (part of) His name on Cain's forehead:
חקק לו אות משמו במצחו
God gave Cain a horn:
ויש אומרים כי האות קרן
God gave Cain courage and removed his fear:
ואחרים אמרו שנתן חוזק בלבו והסיר פחדו ...
I just discovered that many Rishonim address this question. For example:
Tosafos to Taanis 11a s.v. אסור לאדם
אסור לאדם לשמש מטתו בשני רעבון - ואם תאמר הרי יוכבד נולדה בין החומות ואותו העת עת רעב היה וע"כ שימשו מטותיהן בשני רעבון ויש לומר דלכ"ע לא הוי אסור אלא למי שרוצה לנהוג עצמו בחסידות ויוסף לא שימש אבל שאר בני אדם שימשו
If you ask, Yocheved, ...
The Maharal (Gur Aryeh ibid) explains that the Gemara which says that a person will surely die in a pit full of snakes and scorpions is only when it is full of snakes and scorpions, but this pit just had a few.
The Ohr HaChaim explains that the brothers felt Yosef was deserving of death because he had testified falsely about them to their father in matters ...
Bava Batra (16b) records a dispute (found earlier in Tosefta Kiddushin (5:17 in R. Lieberman's edition) regarding the interpretation of Genesis (24:1) which states that God blessed Abraham "bakol" (literally: with everything):
Rabbi Meir says: The blessing is that he did not have a daughter.
Rabbi Yehuda says: On the contrary, the blessing was that he had a ...
This question is addressed by several Acharonim.
R. Pinchas Horowitz says that during the 7 days of inauguration Moshe did not erect the Mishkan by himself. Since multiple people did the act together it was not a violation of Shabbat labor.
Panim Yafos Parshas Naso
ונראה דהקמת כל שבעה ימים לא היה ע"י משה עצמו כמו כל מלאכת המשכן שנעשה
ע"י אחרים ונקרא ע"...
The first individual to know of the Messiah was Adam HaRishon. This is stated explicitly in Sanhedrin 38b in the name of Reish Lakish, by Yose ben Chalafta in Seder Olam Rabbah 30 and Rabbi Yehuda bar Simon in Bereshit Rabbah 24:2 which teach that Adam was shown all the righteous, each generation and its Sages and those who would teach and explain the Torah.
A collection of four medrashim can be seen here along with their translations and an explanation.
Pirkay DeRabbi Eliezer, ch. 31.
ר' יהודה אמר: כיון שהגיע החרב על צוארו, פרחה ויצאה נשמתו של יצחק. כיון שהשמיע קולו מבין שני הכרובים ואמר, "אל תשלח ידך אל הנער," חזרה הנפש לגופו. והתירו ועמד על רגליו. וידע יצחק תחיית המתים מן התורה, שכל המתים עתידין להחיות. ...
The story is found in מדרש שוחר טוב to Tehillim (39:2). (Menachem's comment [now deleted])
This is probably the earliest source.
It is also quoted in the אורחות צדיקים (in שער כ"ה, שער לשון הרע) [on that page, toward the bottom in blue text]
(from Menachem, in another deleted comment)
According to he.Wikipedia, this story is also quoted in אגדות המלך שלמה ...
The Seder Olam Rabba (ed. Leiner) states (ch. 2) that they were twins and were both 22 when they got married:
נמצאו רחל ולאה נשאו בנות כ"ב כ"ב, שהיו תאומות
Thus, Rachel and Leah were both married at age 22, for they were twins.
According to Rav Chaim Kanievsky's sefer Lamechsa Atik, which gives names and dates and other unspecified details for the ...
Targum Pseudo Jonathan to Genesis 2:15,
ודבר השם אלקים ית אדם מן טור פולחנא אתר דאתבריא מתמן ואשריה בגינוניתא דעדן...
And God took Adam from the mountain of worship, the place from which he was created, and put him in the Garden of Eden
Pirush Yonatan says this refers to mount Moriah, the Temple Mount
Targum Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 22:2, referring to ארץ ...
R' Tzvi Berkowitz told me that R' Yaakov Kaminetzky told him that the Ramban was only saying that for the purposes of the debate, in order to avoid addressing a question to which they would not accept the answer. This was along the lines of the principle of being "דוחה בקש" (pushing off with straw) someone who asks from an illegitimate standpoint.
This is found in Tanna Devei Eliyahu Rabba, beginning of chapter 18 and Yalkut Shamoni Eicha 1034.
The Tanna Devei Eliyahu version is:
מאי שפכי כמים לבך נוכח פני ה' מכאן אמרו כל ת"ח שיושב וקורא ושונה ועוסק בתורה הקב"ה יושב כנגדו וקורא ושונה עמו
What does "Poor out your heart like water opposite the face of Hashem" mean? From here they ...
The following I remember from a Sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe:
Rashi at the end of Parshas VaYeira feels the need to explain why the "news" Abraham received about his family tree is written right after the Akeidah (or at all) ? He answers by showing the Medrash which states that once Issac went through the Akeidah, (at age 37) he was ready to marry, so the ...
R. Ezekiel Landau discusses this aspect of the tale in his commentary there. He explains that the spirit cannot leave the body until the body decomposes, and that is why we conduct burials in a manner that will quicken the process, by burying directly in the ground and using linen shrouds. A mat of reeds slows the rotting process and therefore the body of ...
לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ בִּנְגִינֹ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד׃
For the leader; with instrumental music. A maskil of David,
בְּב֣וֹא הַ֭זִּיפִים וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ לְשָׁא֑וּל הֲלֹ֥א דָ֝וִ֗ד מִסְתַּתֵּ֥ר עִמָּֽנוּ׃
when the Ziphites came and told Saul, “Know, David is in hiding among us.”
Tehillim 57 (Thanks, Dr. Shmuel)
לַמְנַצֵּ֣חַ אַל־תַּ֭שְׁחֵת לְדָוִ֣ד ...
Ovadiah the prophet, at the time of his prophecy, was Jewish, not a gentile. He had converted. See Sanhedrin 39b:
מר אפרים מקשאה תלמידו של רבי מאיר משום רבי מאיר עובדיה גר אדומי היה והיינו דאמרי אינשי מיניה וביה אבא ניזיל ביה נרגא
Efrayim Miksha’a, a student of Rabbi Meir, said in the name of Rabbi Meir: Obadiah was an Edomite convert. ...
You're perhaps referring to the Sefer Hayashar on Chayei Sarah:
ויכתוב אברהם את הדבר הזה בספר ויחתום, ויעד ארבעה עדים. ואלה שמות העדים: אמיגל בן אבישוע החתי אליחורף בן אשונה החוי, עדון בן אחירע הגרדי, עקדיל בן אבודיש הצידוני.
And Abraham wrote this matter in a scroll and signed, and four witnesses witnessed. And these are the names of the witnesses: Amigal ...
Many of the answers already given are excellent. So I will simply add some additional resources that you might find useful. First of all, there are the following two seforim on aggados that were not mentioned yet:
R' Yakov of Lissa (author of the Nesivos HaMishpat) wrote a commentary on Aggados titled Emes L'Yakov.
R' Yosef Shaul Nathansohn (author of the ...
The short answer to this question is that the midrashim read history backwards.
That is, since we know, for example, that Yishmael is not chosen over Yitzchak to be the "carrier" of God's blessing and promise to Avraham, the author of the midrash assumes that there must have been something undeserving in him or he must have done something wrong. Therefore, ...
There is disagreement about this among the commentators. Here is a quote from the Artscroll Rashi Chumash Bereishis 2:23 footnote 4:
Divrei Dovid...says that this prohibition [to have relations with animals] did not come into effect until after the creation of Eve. Gur Aryeh, Maharsha, and others strongly reject this position and take the matter of Adam ...
According to the Midrash Tanchuma (Lech Lecha #8) the Dead Sea apparently became salty due to the sins of those involved in the war of the four kings against the five kings.
הוא ים המלח שבעונם נעשה אותו עמק למים מלוחים וכן הוא אומר ארץ פרי למלחה למה מרעת יושבי בה
It is the Dead sea, for in their sins that valley was made into salty waters. And so it says (...
The Kad Ha'Kemach by Rabeinu Bachyei ben Asher, seems to imply that Avraham saw Noach (see footnote ג). It is very possible he met him later on on life since they were from different locations.
As was mentioned already in the comments Noach died when Avraham was 58 (siman נ"ח).
The Ramban 10:5 also explains that Avraham and his sons knew Noach and the ...
You may want to check this reference to vol 3, p.263 on regard chanuka:
Teach the jewish chanuka, don't feed the child with fairy tales. It
does not beguile childhood and youth with the notions of a world that
does not exist, it does not seek to win their hearts and minds for a
life which reality will never afford them.
Here's the first version (some of the punctuation is based on Eisenstein's edition) (some question marks in-between for words I wasn't sure how to translate):
“This is none other than the house of God”, our sages said: “On that day that the death of Moshe Rabbeinu drew near, the Holy One Blessed Is He raised him up to the heavens and showed him the giving ...
According to Pirkei De'Rebbi Eliezer (Chapter 50), he got his wealth by looting all the treasure houses of the kings of Yehuda and the Kodshei Kedoshim (Holy of Holies):
רבי פנחס אומר שני עשירים היו לפנים בעולם, קרח בישראל והמן בשושן . . שלקח כל אוצרות מלכי יהודה ואת כל אוצרות קדשי הקדשים
The Ramban deals with this and points out that it must be a miracle. A WHOLE NEW WORLD and Ramban on the Torah: The Ark’s Size both show the explanation of this.
God’s Instructions to Noah outline the ark’s dimensions: three hundred amot long, fifty amot wide and thirty amot high (Bereishit 6:15). Ramban (commentary on 6:19) notes that such a structure ...