19 votes
Accepted

Why the reverse order of "Zachor Veshamor" in "Lecha Dodi"?

The beginning of each stanza spells the name of the author שלמה הלוי. I surmise that the author wanted to spell his name and therefore reversed the order.
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15 votes

Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?

From: http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2016/02/on-eagles-wings.html One ornithologist writes: "Many ornithologists have thought that the Bible picture of an eagle carrying her young was ...
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  • 17.2k
11 votes
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Could stones cut with a high powered laser be used to build the Beit Hamikdash?

Although the verse in Exodus (20:22) doesn't specify the type of metal used to cut the mizbeach, the verse in Deuteronomy (27:5) writes specifically that iron is prohibited. This is similarly implied ...
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7 votes
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Is killing a gentile also forbidden with the לאו of לא תרצח?

Raavan (12th cent.) writes that the prohibition against murder includes killing non Jews: ראב"ן בבא קמא וכ"ש שאסור לגנוב לגוי דלא תגנוב דומיא דלא תרצח ולא תנאף דהוי בין לישראל בין לגוי. ...
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7 votes

Source for the Aseres Hadibros being set up in pairs?

Rashi (Song 4:5) explains how each commandment on one tablet corresponds to one on the next: שני שדיך על שם הלוחות תאומי צביה שהם מכוונות במדה אחת וחמשה דברות על זו וחמשה על זו מכוונין דבור כנגד ...
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6 votes
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What type of theft does Lo Signov refer to?

Rashi and Ramban hold (citing Rabbi Yoshiyah in Sanhedrin 86a) that "lo tignov" in Shemot 20:13 means that one should not kidnap another person. Rashi's reasoning is that those who break the ...
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6 votes

Death of all Jews at Har Sinai

Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad in his book Ben Yehoyada (Meg. 7b s.v. Rabba) asserts that there was no need to redo kiddushin (their marriages were not terminated) and goes on to answer the (related) ...
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5 votes

Don't covet? Don't steal? What exactly is חמד in the Aseret Hadibrot?

Hebrew Wikipedia on לא תחמוד says: הלאו של לא תחמוד כולל את האיסור להוציא מן הזולת בתחבולות, ואף בתמורה כספית נדיבה, דבר השייך לו. התחבולות האסורות כוללות: הפצרה חוזרת ונישנית, לחץ חברתי וכמובן ...
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5 votes

Why is there a change in wording between "great" and "hard" in Shemot 18:22 and Shemot 18:26?

The Torah Temimah gives an explanation that other nations give the "more expensive" trials to the higher-level judges (even though the ruling of the case may be very simple), while "cheaper" trials ...
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5 votes

Why does the Torah say, in Exodus 19:13, that those that try to see G-d will be 'stoned or shot with arrows'?

The issue derived from the verse No hand shall touch it, for he shall be stoned or cast down; whether man or beast, he shall not live. When the ram's horn sounds a long, drawn out blast, they may ...
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  • 36.5k
5 votes

Why was Yisro sent home?

according to Yisro 18:27 Moses saw his father in law off, and he went away to his land. Moshe Rabbeinu did not send him away but saw him off with honor when he (Yisro) decided to go back to Midian....
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  • 41.8k
5 votes

What type of theft does Lo Signov refer to?

Aside from the Seporno mentioned by Ezra, there a few other rishonim who also include monetary theft in Lo Signov. R. Saadia Gaon writes: לא תגנב לא תסרק R. Avraham Ben Harambam writes: פשטיה ...
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  • 47.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Yitroh's Advise to Moses - did Hashem agree?

Shout out to DanF for being Mechavein to many of the Mefarshim: Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and others assume that the words Vetizvecha Elokim (Shemos 18:23) that Yisro said mean "and if God will command you to ...
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5 votes
Accepted

You shall not have any other gods

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's translation1 of this verse is similar to the convention you cite: Thou shalt have no other God before My Presence. However, R' Hirsch's commentary on this verse does ...
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5 votes

Why is Parshat Yitro not called Va'yishmah, after its first word?

Midrash Tanchuma (Parshat Vayeilech Moshe # 2) refers to it as Parshat Vayishma Yitro: וזהו תורה צוה לנו משה כמנין תורה צוה לנו משה והשנים צוה הקב"ה כמו שפרשתי בפרשת וישמע יתרו Ramban (commentary ...
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5 votes
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How are there 72 verses in Parshat Yitro?

This is indeed another version of the Ta'am Elyon. A nice overview is given in the Likutei He'aros Mesorah, who assumes that this happened by accident: In Exodus, Chapter 20 contains 20 verses ...
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5 votes

How was Yitro allowed to say to Moses "you're acting not good"?

Yisro is not coming against the torah, but speaking of the practical method of governing the people. Moshe did not judge the people in that way on the instructions of Hashem, but based on his own ...
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5 votes
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The sons of Tzipporah

Yisro is saying that if Moshe is not in a position to take care of his family (which is why he had sent them back from Mitzrayim) then Yisro would still continue to take care of them as members of his ...
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4 votes

Source for achdus being the only way klal yisroel could accept the Torah?

Rabbi Dovid Green quotes this idea in the name of the Slonimer Rebbe: The prerequisite for accepting the Yoke of Torah is the commitment to unity. See there for more on the topic. In light of ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Assist with understanding Shada"l regarding grammatic usage in Shemot 18:26

Shadal quotes ibn Ezra's explanation that this is a pausal form. This is the case even though the word is not the last in the verse: because the last word, 'הֵֽם', is a very short word, it somehow ...
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  • 4,801
4 votes

Why was Yisro sent home?

To add to Sabbahillel's answers (mefarshim here): Seforno (18:27) explains that Yisro went back because he was old, but that Yisro's children stayed: וְזֶה אוּלַי מִצַּד זִקְנָתוֹ, כְּעִנְיַן ...
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4 votes

Yitroh's Advise to Moses 3 - judging Moses on the first day?

The Torah does not say that it was his first day judging. (Edit: In fact, many mefarshim go out of their way to note that it was not his first day, (e.g. Ibn Ezra linked below).) However, this is a ...
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4 votes

Why Moses named his son Eliezer "after" Avraham's slave?

Radak writes in his commentary to Genesis 15:2 that Abraham gave his servant the name Eliezer: או אפשר שהיה שמו דמשק כשבא אל אברם והוא קרא אותו אליעזר כי אליעזר לשון עברי הוא Why he specifically ...
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3 votes

Did Moses divorce Tziporah?

Your connection is exactly what the Malbim discusses, I copied the relevant part here (partial emphasis by me): וישמע יתרו. בא להציע מה הניע את לב יתרו לצאת ממדין אל המדבר ולהביא את בניו אתו, שהלא ...
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3 votes

Source for achdus being the only way klal yisroel could accept the Torah?

See here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe: לקבלת התורה הוצרכה ההקדמה דאהבת ישראל To receive the Torah requires the preface of Ahavas Yisroel The same idea is found (at the end of the following ...
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3 votes

Why is there a change in wording between "great" and "hard" in Shemot 18:22 and Shemot 18:26?

This question is treated in the Talmud. The Mishnah in Sanhedrin says אֵין דָּנִין לֹא אֶת הַשֵּׁבֶט וְלֹא אֶת נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר וְלֹא אֶת כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים ...
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3 votes

Why Pesucha between Lo Sisa and Zachor Es HaShabbos?

Both sets of Dibros start off אנכי יהוה אלהיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים מבית עבדים לא יהיה לך אלהים אחרים על פני, the basis of our general obligation to believe in and follow Hashems laws is He took us ...
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  • 586
3 votes

Exodus 19:16- “that were in the camp”

The Malbim says that Bnei Yisrael were too afraid to advance toward Hashem. They were not prepared enough to be able to hear Hashem directly, so they could not do it by themselves. Therefore, the ...
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3 votes
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Lo Sachmod Prat U'klal

You need to read the Mechilta: "לא תחמוד בית רעך" - כלל. "ועבדו ואמתו ושורו וחמורו" - פרט. כלל ופרט - אין בכלל אלא מה שבפרט. וכשהוא אומר Once the passuk says "anything that is to your friend,"...
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  • 22.1k
3 votes
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Where was Moses when the Ten Commandments were given?

God specifically wanted Moshe (Moses) off the mountain. After all, He was about to tell the Israelities "I am Hashem your God", and He didn't want them questioning, "Who said that? The invisible God, ...
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