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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 ...
Joel K's user avatar
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15 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. ...
user6591's user avatar
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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 ...
user6591's user avatar
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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) ...
Double AA's user avatar
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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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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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 ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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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,...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
8 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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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 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
8 votes
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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 ...
robev's user avatar
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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,...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
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 – ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
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 ...
sam's user avatar
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5 votes

Does Rashi refer to Arabs when describing the 3 people who visited Abraham?

While I don't know whether Rashi meant this exactly, there were definitely Arabs at the time, i.e., there were nomadic tribes settled in Arabia that may be considered some of the ancestors of modern ...
Harel13's user avatar
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5 votes
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Yom tov and non-Jews

The Mizrachi on that Rashi says it was on the 17th of Nissan: א"נ מה שפי' גבי כעת חיה פסח היה הוא בעד י"ז בניסן שהוא בפסח ומה שאמר ובפסח הבא נולד יצחק הוא בט"ו The Maharal says that ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
Dov's user avatar
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4 votes

Sarah is Abraham's sister?

Rashi on Genesis 20:12 points out that she was actually Haran's daughter and thereby the granddaughter of Terach. To explain the fact that she is called Abraham's half-sister, he employs the Talmudic ...
Chaim's user avatar
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4 votes
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Attributes of God--Why does God have to come down to check out Sodom and Gemorrah?

I'm not sure if this answers any of the questions you ask, but I hope that it helps. Rashi's commentary on the first text you cite is I will descend now: This teaches judges that they should not ...
rosends's user avatar
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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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

Why was Sarah asked to bake cakes, not bread?

There is a mistake in your lecture of Rashi, the "cakes" are bread, ugot refers to the shape form. Later rashi writes that they eat butter, milk and meat but the bread (& / the cakes) is not ...
kouty's user avatar
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4 votes

What is the source that Yitzhak knew that he was being sacrificed?

Rashi on 22:8 says their 'walking together' shows he was ok with it. A rundown of those pesukim by request: With rashi. Verse 6 they walked together meaning both were equally happy. Avraham who ...
user6591's user avatar
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4 votes

What is the source that Yitzhak knew that he was being sacrificed?

According to B'reishit Rabbah, Yitzchak not only knew but approved and cooperated. (All quotes here are from the Soncino translation.) 56:4 tells how Samael interfered, first by trying to dissuade ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
4 votes
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Did Avraham learn Lot's fate?

Yes, Rashi (20:1) says that Avraham moved away from that area (among other things) because he wanted to get away from Lot and the bad reputation he'd gotten from the episode with him and his daughters....
Meir's user avatar
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4 votes
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Was Hagar Abraham's second wife or his pilegesh?

The Haamek Davar writes, לאברם אישה לו לאשה. תיבת לו מיותר. וביעקב כתיב ותתן אותה ליעקב לאשה. אלא כדברינו שכך היה התנאי. דלגבי אברם לבד תהא לאשה ולא לשפחה. אבל לגבי שרה תהא לשפחה כמו שהיה וע׳ להלן ...
rosends's user avatar
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4 votes
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"If eight couldn't save the world, certainly eight couldn't save one city." Why not?

1) The simple answer is that the 8 righteous people by the flood didn't save the world, or any part of it. If Abraham could point to the flood history and say that the waters washed away everything ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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