23 votes

What is the most-shared name in the Torah? In Tanach?

It turns out the most common name in the Tanach is Zecharayahu: A Kohen in the time of David (Divrei Hayamim 1:15:24) A Levite in the time of David (Divrei Hayamim 1:15:18) A gate-keeper in Ohel ...
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  • 20.2k
18 votes

How the irrational number Pi can be derived from the Torah?

Pi can be derived from the Torah by rolling up a Torah scroll and measuring the end's diameter and circumference. The ratio between them will be pi.
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14 votes
Accepted

First use of modern names for books of Torah

Sefer B'Reshit: the Yerushalmi (Sotah 1:10) already refers to it as Sefer B'reshit. This is also found in the Zohar (Raya Mehemna Vol. II Parashat Mishpatim 119b). Sefer Sh'mot: The Midrash Lekah Tov (...
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  • 34.8k
13 votes

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

This is a rather famous issue, so much so that Rabbeinu Bachya (1100's) already lists five answers to this question. Later, Abarbanel lists 7 (in his book Tzedek Olamim), and the Kli Yakar (to Vayikra ...
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13 votes

Why do the Jews not live strictly by Moses' law?

I don't want my answer to come off as insulting, or personal, but my answer has to address the reasons behind your question, as many Christians ask us many versions of this same question, all of these ...
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  • 9,630
13 votes
Accepted

Who was older, Miriam or Aaron?

Tosafot Bechorot 4a: דלא היה אהרן בכור דמרים גדולה ממנו ג' שנים כדאמר במדרש [ריש פ' שמות] כמו שהיה אהרן גדול ממשה ג' שנים Aharon was not the firstborn, because Miriam was three years older ...
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  • 38.2k
12 votes
Accepted

Chumash with Shoresh highlighted

I have a (paper) book called אמרי מדריך that seems to be what you're looking for. It highlights the shoresh, showing the other letters in outline, and it includes letters from the shoresh which were ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

There are a few hints to the Oral Torah in the Chumash, but nothing explicit. One of these is found in Devarim 12:21: וְזָבַחְתָּ מִבְּקָרְךָ וּמִצֹּאנְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה לְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר ...
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  • 18.6k
11 votes

Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?

Regarding the broad question of later additions into the text of the Torah, this has certainly been the view held by various Orthodox Jews historically, including noted rabbis. To quote Dr. Marc ...
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  • 34.8k
10 votes

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

A Medrash states that G-d offered the Torah to the children of Eisau. They rejected it, saying they could not accept this very commandment against murder. This begs the question: Eisau's descendants ...
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  • 5,181
10 votes

Why didn't Avraham argue with HaShem about sacrificing Yitzchak just like he argued with Him about destroying Sodom?

Ralbag has an interesting explanation of the challenge of the Binding of Isaac, which could answer this question. He explains that the challenge was specifically to see how easy it would be for ...
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  • 47.8k
9 votes
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Were Esav, Yishmael, and Nimrod Evildoers?

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 ...
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  • 28.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Is it true that every 50th letter of the Hebrew Pentateuch text spells the word "Torah"?

The effect was among many found by Rabbi Dov Weismandel in Prague in the 1950s. It was his discoveries that motivated all the Torah Code stuff, but he made no claims about finding meaning from these ...
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  • 8,660
9 votes

Do the Torah codes offer scientific proof that the Torah is supernatural?

I think there’s a bigger problem with Torah Codes than the one Al Berko mentioned; namely, even if we were guaranteed accuracy in our Sifrei Torah, we would have this problem. That problem is that ...
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  • 33.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Why aren't Job or Psalms 90 in the Pentateuch?

The reason is that Job was not dictated to Moses by Hashem for the purpose of being put into the Torah. The words of the Torah were specifically for the history, halachos, and hashkafa of Bnei Yisrael....
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  • 41.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

The Ramban writes in his hassagos to shoresh sheni of the Rambam in sefer Hamitzvos that there is not even one extra letter in the Torah: אבל הכתוב יכלול הכל כי אין הפשט כדברי חסרי דעת הלשון ולא ...
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  • 34.8k
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

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

I would like to supplement the important answers which precede mine: The "Oral Torah" is mentioned "explicitly" in the sense that [according to our tradition] it is the subject being directly ...
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  • 13.1k
8 votes

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

If not for the prohibition, murder would carry no defined penalty in civil courts. The Torah prohibition makes murder always a capital crime. Same with stealing - if there was no explicit mitzvah, ...
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  • 5,181
8 votes
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Why is תורה sometimes written תורת?

As Gesenius writes in his Hebrew Grammar: (b) The original ־ַת‎ is regularly retained as the feminine termination in the construct state sing. of those nouns which in the absolute state end in ־ָה‎,...
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8 votes
Accepted

Who killed Nimrod?

The Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer does indeed state that Esav killed Nimrod (ed. Higger ch. 31). This is also found in Yalkut Shimoni (Parashat Tol'dot 110) and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (Parashat Tol'dot 25:27)...
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  • 34.8k
7 votes

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

There are already eight answers to this question, including an accepted one, yet no one has quoted any sources where rishonim explicitly state that parts of the Torah are unnecessary. While the ...
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  • 47.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English?

If you're interested in buying meforshim individually (in which case they will come with many more editorial and elucidation notes), here's a few: Artscroll Rashi Metsudah Sifsei Chachamim ...
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7 votes

Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?

The standard definition of heresy as found in the vast majority of contemporary responsa on topics that require its definition, such as whether spmepne with a given belief is an acceptable conversion ...
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  • 8,660
7 votes
Accepted

Looking for a good tikkun kor'im

I decided to get the Simanim tikkun. It's really cool. It provides all of the requirements in the question, and more. This is an example of the beginning of parshat Shmot in the pocket-sized edition. ...
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  • 22.8k
7 votes

What sources try to rectify the difference in the actual vs 600K letters in the Torah?

R' Yaakov Kamenetsky in Emes L'Yaakov refers to a concept that many letters are made up of other letters, for example an aleph is a vov and two yuds. He suggests that if we were adept enough in ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What sources try to rectify the difference in the actual vs 600K letters in the Torah?

The founder of Chabad Lubavitch suggested that the vowels would be added to the count of 304,800-plus letters to reach 600,000 total. Others state that the spaces between the letters for "white ...
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  • 41.8k
7 votes

Is it true that every 50th letter of the Hebrew Pentateuch text spells the word "Torah"?

This is factually untrue. You only need to get 50 letters into the first book of the Torah to discover the letter Lamed, ל, in Bereishit 1:2. Likewise in the book of Shemot, the 50th letter is a Shin, ...
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  • 4,253
7 votes
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Is "Roh-eh Hanoled" a classical expression?

It is not his invention. The phrase appears in the Mishnah in Tractate Avot in Chapter 2 Mishnah #9 or #10 (depending on your version): אמר להם צאו וראו איזוהי דרך ישרה שידבק בה האדם רבי אליעזר ...
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  • 47.8k
6 votes

Potential issue with Theory on Divine Origins of Judaism?

I think you have to put this in context. We're talking about an age where long distance communication was almost non-existent. So while the King had absolute influence over Jerusalem - the further ...
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