23 votes
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Are Muslims also promised the Land of Israel?

God's further comments in Genesis 17 and 21 clarify that Isaac is the sole descendant who would be the bearer of the covenant. (See, for example, 21:12 and 17:19-21.)
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17 votes
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Who performed the bris of Abraham?

Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer 29 says that Shem Ben Noach performed Avraham's bris. The Medrash Rabba Bereishis 49:2 says that Hashem held Avraham's hand and helped him perform the bris. בראשית רבה מט ב. ...
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14 votes

Are Muslims also promised the Land of Israel?

Besides the main issue of God's explicit identification of Isaac for this inheritance, already conveyed in DoubleAA's answer, note that Islam is a belief system whose creation came way after the ...
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14 votes

How long was the period of Oppression

Brief Summary: The commentators almost all agree that the four hundred years was not the time spent in Egypt. Rather, the four hundred years is from an earlier time (with some disagreements as to ...
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11 votes
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Why doesn't the king of Belah get a name?

The Ramban says the reason why his name is not mentioned is due to the fact that the city was small with few people living there, he was not famous. The Shaarei Aharon (from whom I am quoting all ...
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11 votes
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Why is Sarah rebuked for laughing whereas Avraham is not?

The commentators have several different approaches here. [Sources are from a shiur my father gives. Text copied either from Sefaria (first two) or his sourcesheet (last two).] Rashi's take (17:17), ...
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10 votes
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Why are there so few Jews if God promised Abraham his children would number like the stars?

Being as numerous as the stars nowadays would in fact be inconsistent with our current state, as in exile we now bear the burden of the terrible curses in Deuteronomy, one of which foretells our ...
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8 votes

What is the difference between curses that would require changing lashon?

The Malbim to Shemos 22, brought here in Sefer HaKarmel, explains as follows: ארר refers to the ramifications of the curse, that it causes a loss or detriment to the person or belongings of the ...
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8 votes

How did Pharaoh know that Sarai was Avram's wife?

1st Question: How did Pharaoh know? Ramban: the manner of the affliction made it absolutely clear to Pharaoh that it was a punishment for taking Sarai. He therefore asked Sarai what he did to deserve ...
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Where, and what, is Elonei Mamre? And who is Mamre?

Ber. 13:18 Abram moved on. He came and settled in the (1)Plains of (2)Mamre, in (3)Hebron, and there he built an altar to God. (1)Plains Eloney Mamre in Hebrew. Others translate it, 'Terebinths ...
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8 votes
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“As many as the stars in the sky”- literally or allegorically?

As I wrote in this answer: According to Ralbag (Commentary to Parshas Lech Lecha), the promise was not that Avraham's descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Rather the promise was that they ...
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7 votes

Did Yitzchak have free will?

Avot 3:19 says: "Rabbi Akiva said: All is foreseen, but freedom of choice is given. The world is judged in goodness, yet all is proportioned to one's work." This is a classic conundrum: if we have ...
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Why are the Kenites translated as Shalmites?

I realize that this still may not answer the question: Note that this identification is found in the Talmud Yerushalmi (Shevi'it 16a, also in Kiddushin, see below), as well as the Bavli (Bava Basra ...
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Radak comment on Lot

The word is הַשָּׂבָע “hasava”, meaning satiety, rather than הַשֶּׁבַע “hasheva” meaning the seven. Radak is saying that despite there being food in Egypt, Lot was still willing to leave with Avraham.
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7 votes

Where was Malkitzedek of Jerusalem at the time of the Akedah?

Malkitzedek was no longer Kohen Gadol at the time, as it says in Nedarim 32b: "Rabbi Zekharya said in the name of Rabbi Yishmael: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wanted the priesthood to emerge ...
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6 votes

Who performed the bris of Abraham?

This website recounts the medrash that says that According to the Midrash (Tanchuma VaYeira 3), Abraham only circumcised himself after consulting with his friend Mamrei.
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6 votes

Where was Berit Ben Habetarim done?

There is a spot on a mountain slope in the Western Golan region of Israel, right next to the border with Lebanon. It is called Mount Betarim , and there are various sources to suggest that this is ...
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6 votes
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Which אֶת is which in Gen. 17:21?

Onkelos' Aramaic rendering of this phrase is: ... וְיָת קְיָמִי, אֲקֵים עִם יִצְחָק He translates the first "את" as "יָת," which is the equivalent direct-object word, and the ...
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6 votes
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Who is "הנגד" that the Ramban is referring to?

Our version of the Ibn Ezra actually does not have him quoting anyone, but rather saying that idea in the name of many. The Rav Kook edition of the Ibn Ezra has second section with a variant text ...
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6 votes

How long was the period of Oppression

Before I actually answer your question, I'd just like to make one note. Jochebed, our Sages tell us, was 130 years old when Moses was born (Numbers Rabbah 13:21). She was born as the Israelites ...
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6 votes
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Why identified by the name Og?

The Munkatcher Rebbe is quoted as asking this question here. He answers that the Arizal is quoted as having said that at the time of matzah baking one should exert oneself and sweat and this will ...
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5 votes

Blatant foreshadowing in the Torah

Are there any other places in Tanach where this kind of explicit foreshadowing happens? There are probably a few, but, one memorable one for me is Shmot 16:35 that states that B'nai Yisra'el ate ...
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5 votes

Is Sarah old and withered, or young and attractive when Abimelech captures her?

Rashbam on Genesis 18:12:1: עדנה - יתעדן הבשר ויתפשטו הקמטין. Sefaria translation: עדנה, a form of the skin becoming elastic and the wrinkles straightening out. This concept is supported by ...
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5 votes

'עם' & 'את' based words in the story of Lot and Avram

According to HaKtav v'HaKabala (Genesis 13:14) when Lot was good (as in 12:4), and in that sense similar to Avraham, the term אתו 'ito' is used, indicating that the two things are similar. When Lot ...
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5 votes
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Why did Yitzchok use the same subterfuge for his wife that had not worked for Avraham?

The subterfuge was actually successful. Yitzchak was afraid of the people of the country and the trick worked until they had been there for long enough to get careless and get caught. Toldos 26:7 - ...
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4 votes
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Were Avraham's tactics in rescuing Lot typical of the time?

I have not found records of night warfare in the Hittite period in question. However, I have found evidence of night warfare from the period of Classical Antiquity, and earlier. For example Yehoshua ...
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  • 34.8k
4 votes

Where was Berit Ben Habetarim done?

The Rosh In Yevamos 6:12 writes that the bris ben habsarim took place when Avraham Avinu was 70 and was in Eretz Yisrael. He then went back to charan and left again at the age of 75(parshas lech lecha)...
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