18

Your question is based on an incorrect supposition. Archaeology has shown that the typical Israelite dwellings during the Iron age were two floors with animals living on the bottom floor. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_room_house Here's a picture of a model of what they think they looked like: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/...


14

Gitin 57b says that the grandchildren of Sisra taught children in Yerushalayim. Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen in Poked Ikrim - Os 5 - page 36 - line 3 - second columm says that this Gemara, according to the teachings of הרמ"ע is talking about grandchildren that came from the relations Yael had with Sisra. I do not know whether she had a son or daughter nor whether ...


11

The source is Gemara Nazir 23b: אמר ר"נ בר יצחק גדולה עבירה לשמה ממצוה שלא לשמה והאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לעולם יעסוק אדם בתורה ובמצות אפי' שלא לשמן שמתוך שלא לשמן בא לשמן אלא אימא כמצוה שלא לשמה דכתיב (שופטים ה, כד) תבורך מנשים יעל אשת חבר הקני מנשים באהל תבורך מאן נשים שבאהל שרה רבקה רחל ולאה א"ר יוחנן שבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע באותה שעה שנאמר (שופטים ה, כז) ...


8

"What might Yiftach have had in mind when he talked about something coming out of his house?" I believe he had in mind that a male member of his family, i.e. one of his sons, would come to greet him. Notice his wording "וְהָיָה לַיהוָה וְהַעֲלִיתִיהוּ עֹלָה", which the commentators translate "It will be for God or I will bring it as an olah offering (if ...


8

The Babylonian Talmud (BB 14b) writes that the prophet Samuel wrote his eponymous book, the Book of Judges, and the Book of Ruth. For a likely Tiberian perspective, the Masorah in the back of the Leningrad Codex (here) concurs.


7

Excellent question. Back in an agricultural society, people had animals around. So he was thinking it would be a cow, sheep, or goat. Nonetheless, the Talmud said he should not have taken that oath -- what if it was a horse or donkey? (Which can't be used as a sacrifice.) Some Christians took this story as a message "oh, always fulfill your oaths." The ...


7

The people wanted a king so that they could more closely resemble the other nations (Sh'muel I, 8:5,20; Radak ad loc.). This motivation made their desire for a king contemptible (Sanhedrin 20b; Sh'muel I, 8:7-8; cf. D'varim 17:14-15), despite the fact that, according to some opinions, there is a biblical obligation to appoint a king (see the dispute in ...


7

In Maayan Beis Hashoeivah 31 7, Rabbi Shwab asks this very question and suggests that perhaps Midyan was a tremendous nation or perhaps two nations, and only the ones under the jurisdiction of the five kings living on the border of Moav were killed, leaving the Moavites near Egypt alive. He also answers with this idea how Pinchas would wage war against his ...


7

Pirke Avot 1:1: Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly. That "a generation arose" does not have to mean every single person after Joshua. In fact, the verse you cite makes this distinction. First it says:...


7

This primary source for this story is actually it's own book, The Book of Judith (English Translation, Chabad Summary). Chapter 13: So Judith was left alone in the tent , with Holofernes stretched out on his bed, for he was overcome with wine... She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung ...


6

This is indeed what Rabi Yochanan says in maseches Sota 10a.


6

This article gives a pretty traditional rendering of the story, but it also gives a little bit of insight as to why the story is neither widely known, nor, or more accurately, widely known in some accurate and standard form. The latter point, in a nutshell, or so they claim, is because the only remaining text of the Book of Yehudith is an inaccurate Greek ...


6

According to Nazir 4b, Samson, having a special form of nezirut (Nazirite status), was allowed to become tamei (ritually impure or "unclean") even though the typical nazirite vow would preclude such a leniency: נזיר שמשון מותר ליטמא למתים שכן מצינו בשמשון שנטמא A nazir shimshon is allowed to become impure via [contact with] the dead, for we find by ...


6

This topic is dealt with extensively by Rav Asher Weiss on his website. The following is a summary. To begin with, two major authorities have already said that today there is no practical application of Chazal's dictum גדולה עבירה לשמה: The Ramchal (Kinas Hashem Tzevakos II ענין יעל) and Rav Chaim Volozhin (As pointed out by @Alex, in Keser Rosh § 132). The ...


5

Rabbi Shlomoh Aviner writes this in regards to how Devorah was appointed: Her unique appointment is explained by the Tosafot in the following way: 1. She was a prophetess who received a unique prophetic ruling (Tosafot on Niddah 50a). 2. She was willingly accepted by The Nation of Israel for this reason (Tosafot on Baba Kamma 15a). In fact, an ...


5

The Mishnayot in the last chapter of Zevachim outline the journey of the Tabernacle. When the Jews arrived in Israel: The Tabernacle was in Gilgal for the 14 years of capturing and dividing the land. It then moved to Shiloh for 369 years. When Shiloh was destroyed (I Samuel 4), the Tabernacle was moved to Nov until it too was destroyed (I Samuel 22:19) ...


4

This is a good article, and it brings sources that Pinchas of these parashiyos is the same as the Pinchas of Shoftim.


4

On a peshat level, Yiftach (see Shofetim 11) was not exactly the most educated or refined of individuals. 1) He was the son of a harlot (pasuk 1) 2) He was a gang leader of a group of no-goodniks (pasuk 3) who was only brought back and promoted because a tough guy was needed (pasuk 8). 3) He is not theologically sophisticated, and in speaking to the king ...


4

I believe answers your questions are all found in the Metzudos David. The first thing to note is that based on the explanation of the the commentary. It is to be noted that he is of the opinion that Jepthah did not bring his daughter as an offering in the traditional sense and rather is of the opinion that he did not allow her to be married to another man (...


4

She has no name in the Biblical text, nor (as far as I can tell) in any 'canonical' ancient midrashic or Talmudic texts (see Tamar Kadari's article here). The only pre-modern source to name her is, as @Danno commented, Pseudo-Philo, who names her "Seila," i.e. "She'ila" (Questioner). This name has been picked up by a number of modern writers; e.g. Louis ...


3

The answer is in their story in Shoftim. Barak didn't want to be a Shofet unless Devorah agreed to lead with him. Shoftim ch 4 8 But Barak said to her [Devorah], “If you will go with me, I will go; if not, I will not go.” 9 "Very well, I will go with you,” she answered....


3

See Seder Hadoros (2719) for some information. He quotes Gilgulie Neshamos by R' Menachem Azarya Mipano) that he was a gilgul of Binayhu ben Yehuyada who brought the Shamir worm to Shlomo Hamelech (see Gittin 58a); thus the name תולע (lit. worm), and his location being Shamir. There is a bit more discussion about him here, here, and on wikipedia.


3

Exodus 6:25 seems to speak of the birth of Pinchas before the Exodus. In terms of entering the land of Israel, the Ohr haChaim writes that the decree of death extended from people who were age 20-60, not the ones younger and not the ones older. So Pinchas may have been a young lad at the time of the spies, and the decree would not have extended to him.


3

Rambam, Hilchos Nazirus 3:13: Samson was not a nazirite in a complete sense, for he never took a nazirite vow.It was merely that the angel caused him to be separated from impurity. What were the laws applying to him? He was forbidden to drink wine and cut his hair. He was, however, permitted to incur impurity due to contact with the dead. This ...


3

The Malbim explains that תחילה applies to time, negates previous conditions and is regardless of following events. ראשון applies to sequence (ie. there will be following events) and doesn't imply a negation of anything previous to it. He explains that תחילה wouldn't be appropriate to use in place of בראשית because it negates any time before it. There was no ...


3

In the book Orchot Chaim (also called Keter Rosh) R. Asher Ashkenazi collected stories/rulings/teachings from his teacher R. Chaim of Volozhin, many of which in turn came from R. Chaim's teacher R. Elijah of Vilna. One of the entries there (#132) is about the concept of aveira lishma. In short, he states that the concept does not really exist. Once we have ...


3

Midrash Bereshis Rabba 60,3 says clearly that Yiftach's daughter did not need to comply as Yiftach's neder was not valid to bring his daughter as a sacrifice and therefore according to Reish Lakish Yiftach also was scot-free, and according to Rabbi Yochanan even though she wasn't a Korban at all and was free, He was obligated to bring her value in money just ...


2

(Note that Avihu is translated as "his Father", so it would not be strange for it to specifically mention his father at that point if all of his father's family accompanied him to be buried next to his father. This is stronger if we assume that his brothers are only from his father, as his mother was barren, although Abarbanel disagrees with this analysis.) ...


2

R' Chaim Vital in Sha'ar HaGilgulim writes that Tola's soul was an incarnation of Haran's soul, as was Aharon HaKohen and Shmuel HaNavi (Hakdama 36). The Yalkut Shimoni notes that we can learn a lesson from the list of shoftim: all of the tribes except Shimon had a representative among the shoftim or kings. This was a consequence for the tribe's involvement ...


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