10 votes

How does the oral Torah not contradict Dvarim 4:2?

In order for the Torah Shebal Peh to be "added" to the Torah it would be necessary to conclude from independent evidence that it wasn't part of the Torah to begin with. To argue that Torah Shebal Peh ...
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10 votes
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Why does the weekday Torah reading for Va'etchanan end in the middle of the Shabbat's 2nd aliyah?

I asked this question to one of my Rabbeim when I was a teenager. His response was "We do not want to finish an Aliya with the name of an Avoda Zara וַנֵּשֶׁב בַּגָּיְא מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר therefore ...
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10 votes
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Significance of "Shema Yisrael"

The Sefer Hachinuch interprets this verb as the source that the commandment stated here is to believe in God, and not merely to profess belief in God. His piece on Commandment 417 begins: מצות אחדות ...
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9 votes

Why did Ahron Hakohen not daven to be allowed to Enter E"Y?

Rashi explains in the beginng of פרשת ואתחנן, that Moshe only prayed to enter eretz yisroel after he entered the land of sichon, which was part of עבר הידרן that would be considered eretz yisroel. He ...
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  • 423
7 votes

Ramban and Shituf. What is his position?

R' Yaakov Kaminetzky discuses the opinion of Ramban in his Emes LiYaakov, parshas ViEschanan 4 19 on the verse וראית את השמש ואת הירח גו׳ אשר חלק ה׳ אלקיך אתם לכל העמים תחת כל השמים. He says there ...
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7 votes

Were the Jews so few in number?

The commentator Rashi explains that the reference is not to numbers, but to estimation: you regard yourselves as small, as, e.g., Abraham did who said, (Genesis 18:27) “For I am dust and ashes", ...
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6 votes

Significance of "Shema Yisrael"

The words Shema Yisrael are usually translated as "Hear, Israel" or "Listen, Israel." However, the word appears with a different meaning elsewhere in Tanach: Shmuel 1 15:4: ...
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What type of theft does Lo Signov refer to?

Rashi and Ramban hold (citing Rabbi Yoshiyah in Sanhedrin 86a) that "lo tignov" in Shemot 20:13 means that one should not kidnap another person. Rashi's reasoning is that those who break the ...
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5 votes

Why is the wording "הערים האל" used? (Deut 4:42)

In the first instance (hap-tip to Joseph for the list) of the use of "האל" in the Torah meaning "these," Bereishit 19:8, Rashi and Ibn Ezra comment on it, both indicating or ...
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5 votes
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Discrepancy in number of Pesukim in Va'eschanan

Those Chumashim are unfortunately mistaken. All old manuscripts of the Torah have listed that there are 119 verses (see clips from 8 of them here). If you count the Decalogue as 10 verses, as is read ...
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5 votes

Moshe davening 515 times to enter Eretz Yisrael

This is found in the Midrash Aggada (ed. Buber) to Deuteronomy (3:23): ואתחנן. תקט"ו תפלות עשה על זה הדבר כמנין ואתחנן אעפ"כ לא קבל הקדוש ברוך הוא תפלתו Vaethanan: He prayed 515 prayers on ...
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5 votes

What type of theft does Lo Signov refer to?

Aside from the Seporno mentioned by Ezra, there a few other rishonim who also include monetary theft in Lo Signov. R. Saadia Gaon writes: לא תגנב לא תסרק R. Avraham Ben Harambam writes: פשטיה ...
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5 votes

Are Devarim 4:32-33 an argument from ignorance? If so, why are they often used as a rational basis that Judaism is true?

I do not believe the Torah is putting forth a proof of its own truth. The passuk is telling us that we should consider these acts of God, which have not been claimed anywhere else, as a demonstration ...
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4 votes

Significance of "Shema Yisrael"

Often in Tana"ch, the word "Shema" doesn't mean "hear" - using ears. It means "understand". Example of this - Na'aseh V'nishma - the response B'nai Yisra'el gave upon accepting the giving of the Torah ...
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4 votes

Channukah and Bal Tosif

First, a correction to the question. The Ramban does not say that Megillah is not a problem because it was instituted by nevi'im, rather he says that it is not a problem because a source was found ...
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Only arm tefillin are a sign?

In R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary on Shemot 13:9, he distinguishes the functions of the two tefillin as: לְאוֹת עַל יָדְךָ - "a guide for all your acts" לְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ - ...
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4 votes
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Why didn't Rashi mention lo sechanem includes gifts

From R. Ovadya of Bertinoro's Amar N'ke commentary to Rashi here, it is apparent that Rashi did mention all three! He discusses why Rashi lists the three in the order that he does: favour, free gifts, ...
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3 votes
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Lo Sachmod Prat U'klal

You need to read the Mechilta: "לא תחמוד בית רעך" - כלל. "ועבדו ואמתו ושורו וחמורו" - פרט. כלל ופרט - אין בכלל אלא מה שבפרט. וכשהוא אומר Once the passuk says "anything that is to your friend,"...
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3 votes

Different words for "desire"

לא תתאוה refers simply to having a desire. לא תחמד refers to not only desiring someone's stuff but acting on that desire to actually get it. If one takes it from him forcefully, he's violated the ...
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  • 33.5k
3 votes

Why did Moshe want to go into Eretz Yisroel

The Meshekh Hokhmah (Deuteronomy 11:31) answers that before the land was apportioned into tribes, the mitsvah of settling the land of Israel included Transjordan. Accordingly, Moshe already fulfilled ...
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3 votes

Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

I'm not aware of any references in the Chumash itself, but the only two passages in the entire Tana'kh that may be relevant to your question, to my knowledge, are (JPS): Yeshayahu 40:22 "It is He ...
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3 votes

Sun, Moon, Stars and all the host of heaven are allotted to all the people

According to R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on this verse: The first part of the verse enjoins us from falling into the trap of being so overcome by the number, size, and brilliance of ...
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3 votes

Source of the claim that Moshe's tefillah could change Hashem's mind

Refer to the Ohr HaChaim there which alludes to the point you make "that if Moshe had continued davening, Hashem would have had to have given in and let him into Eretz Yisrael". עוד נראה ...
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  • 20.6k
2 votes

Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

Quoting Natan Slifkin's essay "The Sun's Path at Night": ...from both general history as well as the interpretations of the Geonim and Rishonim, the view of the Sages of Israel was ...
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2 votes

River flowing from the southern end of the Dead Sea?

In addition to @SabbaHillel's answer, this site appears to show streams flowing into the Dead Sea from all directions:
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2 votes

River flowing from the southern end of the Dead Sea?

The map on page 923 showing the borders of Eretz Yisrael does not show that line. It appears to be an artifact of the cut and paste method used to create the map or of the boundary line between the ...
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2 votes

Channukah and Bal Tosif

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot explains that the Ramban is only bothered by Purim because it was an institution of the Nevi'im - prophets. What does Rashi mean? A simple understanding of his words would ...
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  • 31.4k
2 votes

Are there contradictory verses describing G-d's uniqueness?

I agree with DoubleAA, the traditional translation of your second verse is powers or judges. You can find a similar example in Bereishis 14:20 and 14:22, where Hashem is referred to as אל עליון, ...
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2 votes
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Different words for "desire"

There are at least two opinions that differentiate halachically between the two terms: The Rambam in M.T. (Gzeilah 1:9-10) and Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 359) hold that לא תתאוה refers to plotting to ...
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  • 6,384
2 votes

Repetition of 10 commandments

All those who had been born in the past forty years had not been at Har Sinai. As a result, Moshe Rabbeinu needed them to hear and understand the עשרת הדברות and understand that all of them whether ...
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