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16 votes
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Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

There is a certain amount of ambiguity here. On the one hand, we see that our Sages praise the daughters of Lot, and especially the elder daughter who took the initiative. Nazir 23a: אלא משל ללוט ...
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13 votes
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Why did the Davidic dynasty need to come from questionable relations?

See the gemara in Yoma 22b. This was orchestrated in order to ensure the longevity of his kingdom. As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: One appoints a leader over the ...
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13 votes
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Are there any Midrashim where Yitzchak was actually sacrificed by Avraham?

A collection of four medrashim can be seen here along with their translations and an explanation. Pirkay DeRabbi Eliezer, ch. 31. ר' יהודה אמר: כיון שהגיע החרב על צוארו, פרחה ויצאה נשמתו של יצחק. ...
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12 votes

Sarah is Abraham's sister?

There is a Midrash (Megillah 14a) that Sarah was really the same as Yiskah (from Gen 11:28), which would make her Avraham's niece, which is pretty close to a sister. However, Ibn Ezra (Gen 20:12) ...
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11 votes
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Why is Sarah rebuked for laughing whereas Avraham is not?

The commentators have several different approaches here. [Sources are from a shiur my father gives. Text copied either from Sefaria (first two) or his sourcesheet (last two).] Rashi's take (17:17), ...
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11 votes
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Date of the Akeida?

R. Yehuda Ayash points out that there are contradictory passages in the Zohar. In Parshat Vayikra it says that the Binding of Isaac took place on Rosh Hashanah, while in Parshat Vayeitzei it implies ...
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11 votes
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Is it sourced that Avrohom Avinu charged his guests payment if they did not make a Brachah?

The Shita Mekubetzet to Sotah 10b brings exactly what you are remembering in the name of midrash. והודו ושבחו וברכו למי שאמר והיה העולם. יש במדרש שלא רצו לברך ברצונם עד שאמר להם אברהם אבינו פרעו מה ...
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11 votes

Is it sourced that Avrohom Avinu charged his guests payment if they did not make a Brachah?

Midrash Rabbah 49:7 (Sefaria Link) (Hebrewbooks.org Link) brings the story in full, including the details about the exorbitant prices Avraham would charge, since he was located in the desert. כִּי ...
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10 votes
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Why does the haftarah of Vayeira include the miracle of the oil?

The mefarshim on this portion of Navi (Targum, Rashi, Radak, etc.) explain that the man who died was actually Ovadiah (see Melachim Aleph 18). He was the man who kept 100 true prophets alive during ...
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10 votes

Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

There was an element of good in the naming as brought out in this story of Rav Moshe Feinstein zatzal. I have edited the story which appears in full at the link. The original is in Igros Moshe vol. 8,...
9 votes

Did Abraham know that Lot survived the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Rashi on Genesis 20:1:1: ויסע משם אברהם. (excerpt) להתרחק מלוט שיצא עליו שם רע שבא על בנותיו My translation (and context): The parsha (paragraph) following the story of Lot mentions that Avraham ...
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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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8 votes
Accepted

Where, and what, is Elonei Mamre? And who is Mamre?

Ber. 13:18 Abram moved on. He came and settled in the (1)Plains of (2)Mamre, in (3)Hebron, and there he built an altar to God. (1)Plains Eloney Mamre in Hebrew. Others translate it, 'Terebinths ...
8 votes
Accepted

Why does the Artscroll commentary to Vayeira mention Ishmael?

They're coming from Genesis 18:7: וְאֶל־הַבָּקָ֖ר רָ֣ץ אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיִּקַּ֨ח בֶּן־בָּקָ֜ר רַ֤ךְ וָטוֹב֙ וַיִּתֵּ֣ן אֶל־הַנַּ֔עַר וַיְמַהֵ֖ר לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת אֹתֽוֹ Then Abraham ran to the herd, took ...
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7 votes

Punctuation of Genesis 22:14

First of all, the plain-sense meaning of the verse (even without the te'amim) is that בהר and יי are in construct ("the mountain of God"), as is evidenced by the niqqud. As mevaqesh noted in a comment ...
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7 votes

Why did the angel overturning Sodom visit Abraham?

This is an answer that I heard from one of my Rabbeim. It is from the Sefer Chidushei HaRim, on Bereishis 18:9. While he gives the basic pshat mentioned below, he does not quote every source that I ...
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7 votes

What is the connection between "שיח" as prayer and "שיח" as a bush?

Linguistically, either there is no connection, or they are closely related, depending on which root you decide is being employed. Ernest Klein's Etymological Dictionary (page 654) has 2 separate words ...
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7 votes

Avraham's knife was called Ma'achelet. Why?

It was used because "Ma'acheles" means knife (see Bereishis 22:6 with Mefarshim), as quoted from Rashi above (first Pshat), Onkelos, Rashbam, R' Avraham Ben Harambam, and many, many others. Therefore,...
6 votes

Why did the angel overturning Sodom visit Abraham?

Rabbi Dovid Feinstein raised this point in a shiur of his and answered that we find instances where angels keep to their duty, but utilize some wiggle room, such as Gabriel who had coals he was ...
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6 votes

Do we learn any hilchos shechita from the Akeida?

I don't know if this is the only time that we learn halacha for shechita from the Binding of Isaac, but according to the Simlah Chadasha (6:5), we learn that the shechita knife must be unattached from ...
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6 votes

Why did the Davidic dynasty need to come from questionable relations?

Good question. (1) We each have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and the numbers keep growing exponentially in powers of two. So each one of us has A LOT of ancestors – ...
5 votes

Is Sarah old and withered, or young and attractive when Abimelech captures her?

Rashbam on Genesis 18:12:1: עדנה - יתעדן הבשר ויתפשטו הקמטין. Sefaria translation: עדנה, a form of the skin becoming elastic and the wrinkles straightening out. This concept is supported by ...
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5 votes

Did Abraham know that Lot survived the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Maimonides (The Guide of the Perplexed II.42; as explained, I believe, by Rabbi Dr. Menachem Krakowski) maintains that the passage is describing the events as they were prophetically witnessed by ...
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5 votes

What is the connection between "שיח" as prayer and "שיח" as a bush?

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on these two verses and on Genesis 2:5, says that "שיח," in both contexts, refers to "growth." In 21:15, R' Hirsch interprets "תַּחַת אַחַד הַשִּׂיחִם" as, ...
  • 47.2k
5 votes

Avraham's knife was called Ma'achelet. Why?

Rashi vayeira 22:6 (based on Midrash Rabba Gen. 56:3): המאכלת: סכין, על שם שאוכלת את הבשר, כמה דתימא (דברים לב מב) וחרבי תאכל בשר, ושמכשרת בשר לאכילה. דבר אחר זאת נקראת מאכלת, על שם שישראל אוכלים מתן ...
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4 votes

Why "אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו" (Gen. 22:7)?

This seems to be addressed by the Midrash: Bereishit Rabbah Parshah 56 הה"ד ויאמר יצחק אל אברהם אביו אבי למה אבי אבי ב' פעמים כדי שיתמלא עליו רחמים This is why it is written and Isaac said to ...
  • 48.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Doors and Doorways in Parshat Vayeira

Firstly, yasher kochacho on a really good observation! Rav Yosef Tzvi Rimon makes an interesting analysis here. He notes that there are interesting parallels with the story of Sodom and Pesach which ...
  • 24.4k
4 votes

Why was Akeidas Yitzchok a bigger test (Nisayon) for Avraham than for Yitzchok?

R' Yaakov Kaminetzky has a long discussion about this. Part of what he says is that the akeida went against Avraham's nature, which was chessed/kindness. Yitzchak's attribute was gevurah and is ...
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