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15 votes

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

Did Rashi's works even reach the lands in which the Rambam lived? To summarize Prof. Shamma Friedman's piece, scholars in the early 20th century assumed from Rambam's silence, that he did not have ...
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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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15 votes
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Did Rashi have nevuah?

Unfortunately, indeed we do not have prophets today, and Chazal say that the last prophets were Hagai, Zecharia and Malachi. Rashi's momentous perush on most of the Bible and most of the gemara speak ...
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12 votes

I'd love to but Hashem doesn't let

The Rambam in Shemoneh Perakim, ch. 6, discusses the preferable attitude towards avoiding aveiros, and references this midrash. After citing sentiments of the Nevi'im, such as (Mishlei 21:10) "נֶפֶשׁ ...
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12 votes
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Who wrote/compiled Rashi on the Rif

The consensus of the majority of traditional and modern authorities is that the "Rashi on the Rif" is not written by Rashi, but rather by a different scholar around the 13th and 14th centuries. The ...
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12 votes

Did Rashi learn Kabbalah?

In his commentary on the Gemara, Rashi refers to Sefer Yetzirah several times. One example, on Menachos 29b: אחת בה"י ואחת ביו"ד - חלק את שמו והטיף מכל אות ג' טיפין ומאותן טיפין נעשו מים ואש ואויר ...
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  • 7,362
12 votes
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What is the א"ת ב"ש ג"ר calendar mnemonic?

The Shulchan Aruch 428:3 explains the mnemonic: סימן לקביעת המועדים א"ת ב"ש ג"ר ד"ק ה"ץ ו"ף פירוש ביום א' של פסח יהיה לעולם ת"ב וסימן על מצות ומרורים יאכלוהו ביום ...
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11 votes
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Why did Esav nickname his wife Yehudis?

The Gemarah (Megillah 13a) states that the term Yehudi refers to one who rejects idolatry: רבי יוחנן אמר לעולם מבנימן קאתי ואמאי קרי ליה יהודי על שום שכפר בע"ז שכל הכופר בע"ז נקרא יהודי כדכתיב (...
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  • 6,375
10 votes
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Did Jacob actually send angels to Esau?

Very interesting question! However, Rashi is relying on the Midrash in Bereshit Raba (75:4): מלאכים - אלו שלוחי בשר ודם. ורבנן אמרי מלאכים ממש. Rashi, citing Rabanan, comments that the meaning is ...
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  • 975
10 votes

Authorship of Rashi's Bible commentary

Chida in Shem Hagedolim (page 7 of the file) quotes Seder Hadoros, who says that the commentary on Iyov isn't from Rashi. On that same page he also quotes someone who claims that none of the ...
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  • 1,657
10 votes
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Did anyone other than Rashi think the Ark could "bear itself" (Joshua 4:18)?

Rashi's source is a Gemara in Sotah (35a): נמצא ארון ונושאיו וכהנים מצד אחד וישראל מצד אחד נשא ארון את נושאיו ועבר שנאמר (יהושע ד, יא) ויהי כאשר תם כל העם לעבור ויעבור ארון ה' והכהנים לפני העם ...
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  • 39.9k
10 votes
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What's the link between prostitution and one who "one who sells Mezonot"

This is not a euphemism for prostitution. Your link is to a text which abridges Rashi's commentary. The full text of Rashi is available (in Hebrew) here, and (in English) here. אשה זונה • ת ״י ...
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10 votes
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Hundred like seventy and seventy like five

The question here seems to be based on a problem with the translation. The text of the Rashi in question is: בן ק' כבן ע' ובן ע' כבן ה' בלא חטא There is nothing there about "strength". Rashi ...
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  • 48k
10 votes
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"Amar Rabbi Yitzchak" - Who is Rabbi Yitzchak?

Lots of acharonim theorized about this, but it turns out that this is essentially a Midrash Tanchuma (Buber edition Parshat Bereishit #11): אמר ר' יצחק לא היה צריך לכתוב את התורה אלא מהחדש הזה לכם ...
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  • 48k
10 votes

Why cannot a convert make certain statements? I feel they are being pushed away at the same time respect is being given to them

You're absolutely right to compare this statement to saying "our fathers" in tefillah. The mishnah in Bikkurim 1:4 makes the same comparison and rules that a convert can't say either one. We don't ...
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  • 8,790
9 votes
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The Ear That Heard "Don't Steal"

Apparently although the Mechilta understood the prohibition to be kidnapping it still recognizes the literal meaning of theft. This is implied by this mechilta and also somewhat implied by this ...
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  • 34.8k
9 votes
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How can we say something is a machlokes Rashi vs Tosfos, if Rashi can't respond or defend himself?

The general assumption made while learning rishonim (and even more applicable to ammoraim and tannaim) is that they meant what they said, they are consistent with their own shitos/halachic positions ...
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  • 2,871
8 votes
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Who wrote the anonymous explanations of Rashi printed within the text of Rashi?

According to Avraham Grossman, in an article published by Encyclopedia Judaica ("Rashi"), there is more than one source for these various parenthetical notations. Some of them were composed by Rashi'...
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  • 18.5k
8 votes

Of what would Yosef been suspect in Ya'akov's eyes (Rashi on Breishit 50:16)?

They told him that Yaakov left a request of him to forgive the brothers and not take revenge on them as recorded in the next passuk. Rashi is saying that Yaakov never suspected Yosef of harboring ...
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8 votes
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Legend About Rashi

The source for this is the Chida in Shem HaGedolim letter Shin:7
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8 votes
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Hur in Ki Tisa - You only live twice?

In fact, there is no contradiction between Midrash Tanchuma and Vayikra Rabba. Both maintain that Chur died on the first day, rather than the second. Tanchuma siman 19 reads: וירא העם כי בושש משה ...
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8 votes

Why do fish die?

I couldn't find any commentators on the Midrash addressing this issue. So, instead, I will offer a deflection of the assumptions as my answer. I will argue: Fish, along with plants and bugs, were ...
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  • 32.3k
8 votes

Why did the angel overturning Sodom visit Abraham?

The final decree on S'dom was not made until they visited Avraham and Sarah. Their behavior sealed the doom of S'dom. Had Avraham not received them as he did, there would have been an argument not to ...
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8 votes
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How is it that Abraham didn't ask that four save a city, yet four did so?

Rav Ozer Alport in his Parsha Potpourri Points to Ponder addresses this issue: Question: How was Lot able to intercede in order to save one of the cities (Tzo'ar) from destruction (19:18-22) when ...
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  • 39.8k
8 votes

Why do Tosafot sometimes say the same thing Rashi said?

This is one of the considerations that led R. Tzvi Hirsch Chajes to question the attribution of Rashi on Maseches Taanis. He writes in the beginning of the Masechta: וברוב פעמים פירושים של בעלי ...
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  • 48k
8 votes

Rashi quoting Yerushalmi on Kodshim

Artscroll [Teumrah 6b footnote 12 the last paragraph] quotes a Doros HaRishonim who conjectures, that .. "in the case of Temurah, there existed two types of manuscripts, those that originated ...
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8 votes

What is the difference when Rashi says בגמרא מפרש and מפרש בגמרא?

I heard in the name of the late Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l, the following about the difference: The expression מפרש בגמרא is used to refer to an explanation for a local ...
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  • 696
7 votes

Why does Rashi say תנין is a snake, not a croc?

Lubavitcher Rabbi Zatzal explains that Rashi says that תנין is a snake since further in Posuk 7:15 it says וְהַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לְנָחָשׁ תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ, obviously it turned into a snake. He ...
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7 votes

Where is this Rashi quote from?

Maybe you're referring to one of the many times Chazal employ the concept of כח דהתירא עדיף, it's more substantial to permit something (than to forbid something). Rashi usually explains it in the ...
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  • 18.4k
6 votes

Rashi and Corporealism

Rashi to Exodus (2:5): על יד היאור. אצל היאור, כמו ראו חלקת יואב אל ידי (שמואל-ב יד, ל.), והוא לשון יד ממש, שיד האדם סמוכה לו. ורבותינו דרשו, (סוטה יב:) הולכות לשון מיתה, כמו הנה אנכי הולך למות, (...
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