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19

Actually, the earliest rabbinic sources present the Greek translation (the Septuagint) in glowing terms. In the Mishna, Megillah 1:8, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted as having said that Greek is the only language, other than Hebrew, in which it is permissible to write sifrei Torah. Commenting on this, the Jerusalem Talmud (Megillah 71c) says that the ...


18

Jastrow says it indicates the subjunctive mood. If so, in Gen. 26:10, כִּזְעֵיר פּוֹן שְׁכֵיב means "he almost had lain" as opposed to "he almost lay"; in Gen. 31:27, וְשַׁלַּחְתָּךְ פּוֹן means "I'd have sent you" as opposed to "I sent you"; in Num. 22:29, אִלּוּ פּוֹן אִית חַרְבָּא means "if there were a sword" as opposed to "if there is a sword"; and in ...


17

See this summary on Wikipedia. The first five books of the Bible -- Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy -- form the "Torah" (like would be in a Torah scroll). The text of these is, as far as I know, identical between Jewish and Christian Bibles (though there will certainly be differences in translation; studying the original Hebrew is extremely ...


16

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chayos (assuming he falls under your definition of "Orthodox") discusses this in the opening section of his Iggeres Bikores. At first astounded at where Rashi conjures this information given that the implication of the gemara is that a targum existed only as far back as the time of Ezra, he concludes that perhaps what Rashi (and others ...


15

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.


14

Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 285:2) suggests that it is in commemoration of the three times that the generalities and the specifics (כללות ופרטות) of the Torah were repeated (Sotah 37b): once at Sinai, once by Hashem speaking to Moshe from the Tent of Meeting, and a third time by Moshe in the plains of Moav. The reason for doing the Targum one time, he says,...


14

The Talmud (Baba Metzia 59B) says, in the name of R' Elazar HaGadol, that 36 times in Torah we are warned against the wronging of a convert (46 if you count the times it says "because you were strangers in egypt" and the like - Tosafot). The reason given is because a convert has a strong inclination for evil, and you do not want to drive him back to his old ...


14

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 (11th cent.) has a little rhyme at the end of Parashat Pekudei that refers to Sefer Sh'mot. More common is "Sefer V'eleh Sh'mot" found in many Midrashim (...


13

From the Wikipedia article on Chametz (leaven): The Torah has several commandments governing chametz during Passover: The positive commandment to remove all chametz from one's home (Exodus 12:15). Not to possess chametz in one's domain. (Exodus 12:19, Deuteronomy 16:4). Not to eat chametz, or mixtures containing chametz (Exodus 13:3, Exodus 12:...


12

R' Hirsch (Isaac's suggestion) and Ramban (Hacham Gabriel's suggestion) are both widely available in English, and for good reason. Both are very easy to appreciate, both on the simplest of levels, as well as on much deeper planes. If your Hebrew improves or you can get a learning partner who is also capable of being a mentor, I highly, highly recommend ...


12

I've got to put in a plug for the translation and commentary of R' Hirsch, of which I'm a big fan. I love his elegant, holistic, thoughtful take on the whole Torah, especially the ritual stuff in Leviticus (Temple offerings, ritual purity, etc.) that's otherwise most difficult to understand from a modern perspective. When I read R' Hirsch, everything fits ...


12

A possible reason why we do not name children Yisro. Perhaps the reason we do not name Yisro is due to the fact that Yisro decides to return to Midian and ignores Moshe’s plea to remain with the Jewish people and help guide them into the Land of Israel. http://www.torah.org/learning/rabbiwein/5767/yisro.html


12

The source of this midrash is actually the Talmud in Chagigah 13b -- 14a. The Talmud states: תניא אמר רבי שמעון החסיד אלו תשע מאות ושבעים וארבע דורות שקומטו להיבראות קודם שנברא העולם ולא נבראו עמד הקב"ה ושתלן בכל דור ודור והן הן עזי פנים שבדור which Soncino translates as: It is taught: R. Simeon the Pious said: These are the nine hundred and seventy ...


12

Rashi understands it to be referring specifically to the Book of Deuteronomy. Metzodot David understands that it refers to the Law mentioned in the previous verse which the Malbim explicitly states refers to the entire Pentateuch. The Targum also implies that and I think it is the most straightforward read of the verses.


12

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 dropped in conjugation in minuscule type. The book is entirely in Hebrew and I can't read the introduction, so I don't know what other notational conventions ...


11

No edition of the Torah I have seen has included the commentaries M'tzudas David or M'tzudas Tziyon, but that does not prove anything. However, the author of both, in his introduction says the following, implying that the commentary is written specifically on (and beginning with) the N'vi'im (text is from this paper on the commentaries and the translation is ...


11

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 26:12) collects 9 answers. There are even more floating around Jewish literature (especially in kabbalah and chassidus), but I think that these will suffice ...


11

The Rambam (Moreh Nevukhim Part III, 45) writes, concerning Mount Moriah: "The fact that the Torah does not make specific mention of it [Jerusalem], but rather hints at it and says, "…[the place] which God will choose" etc., appears to me to have three explanations. The first: so that the nations would not seize the place and wage power struggles over it, ...


11

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 צִוִּיתִךָ you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you The problem is that we don't find any ...


11

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 Shapiro in Maimonides' Thirteen Principles: The Last Word in Jewish Theology?: Rabbinic sources speak of tikkun soferim, i.e. textual changes introduced by the ...


11

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 questions stemming from the same thought process.. It's been my observation that Christians tend to feel like they understand the Bible better than the Jews do,...


10

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 Abraham to sacrifice his son (i.e. not to see if he would sacrifice his son at all). God's command to Abraham was sufficiently vague that Abraham could have sought ...


9

There are sometimes also differences in chapter/verse numeration. For example, Gen. 31:55 in the KJV is 32:1 in (most if not all) printed Hebrew Tanachs, so the numbering of all of the verses in ch. 32 is one off. Similarly, in Ex. 20 (the Ten Commandments) the KJV divides and numbers each of Commandments 6-9 as a separate verse (paralleling the way it's ...


9

Rashi translates this as Deuteronomy (Devarim).


9

Even if as the others noted the actual book referred to is Deuteronomy or even all five books of the Pentateuch, the Talmud (Menachot 99B) understands the reference to refer at least symbolically to everything which is considered Torah.


9

There are 32 times in Bavli where the Gemara notes (for at least one person in the local discussion) that a certain word was included because: דברה תורה כלשון בני אדם‏ The Torah spoke using the language of man (The next one in Daf Yomi is this week on Brachot 31a.) So I'm not entirely sure what you mean by unnecessary because I assume God actively ...


9

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, ...


9

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 also have a law against murder! Why couldn't they accept G-d's law if it was already illegal by their own standard? Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg ZT"L answers as ...


9

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 patterns; at least not beyond finding them an indication of Divine Authorship. Anyway, start with the "ת" at the end of the word "בראשית", so the first letter ...


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