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Ezekiel 29:3
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Why is Pharoah compared to a crocodile of all things? Rashi explains that it is because of Egypt’s dependence on the Nile. Since all of Egypt’s success and prosperity comes from the river, the prophet uses the crocodile as a metaphor for Pharaoh and, in verse 4, fish as a metaphor for the Egyptian people.
Psalms 100:1
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise Rashi tells us that this Psalm was recited in the Temple when a korban todah (thanksgiving sacrifice) was offered. Nowadays, we recite it in lieu of the korban todah. Accordingly, this Psalm is not recited on days when the korban todah was not offered, such as on […]
Psalms 13:6
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise This verse expresses our faith that G-d will save us. The Radak points out that we have this faith in G-d based solely on His attributes of kindness and generosity, not because we have actually done anything meritorious to warrant such salvation.
Psalms 144:15
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise This Psalm descibes many forms of goodness that the nation of Israel enjoys: bountiful storehouses of grain, prolific flocks, healthy farm animals, etc. The Psalm concludes by praising the nation that has such things, the nation whose G-d is Hashem. The Radak informs us that these are […]
Exodus 7:1
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The word “elohim” used to describe Moshe in this verse means a judge or a person of might, but it can also mean a god (or even G-d Himself). The word “navi” used to describe Aharon means a spokesman, but it later came to mean a prophet. Accordingly, Onkelos clarifies this verse by translating it […]
Isaiah 28:5
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“That day,” the Radak tells us, refers to the day when the ten Tribes would be exiled by the Assyrian invaders, “the rest of His people” referring to the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which were not exiled at that time. The king of the two remaining Tribes at the time of the Assyrian exile […]
Psalms 28:9
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise The word “ur’eim” means “tend them” or “cause them to graze,” like a shepherd does his flock. The ibn Ezra applies this metaphor to the next word, “v’naseim” (raise them) as well. A shepherd not only tends his flocks, he elevates them when he takes them to […]
Psalms 20:10
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise Some people read this verse, “G-d save the king,” presumably referring to David, who was both Psalmist and king. The ibn Ezra informs us that such a reading is mistaken. It’s “G-d, save!” followed by “The King (Who is also G-d) will answer us on the day […]
Psalms 78:38
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise. Rashi explains that, while G-d does occasionally have to punish us, He never unleashes His full wrath upon us. This is because He recognizes that we are only human and that we are led astray by our evil inclinations. This is only a temporary defect because our […]
Exodus 1:1
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There is an obligation each week to study the text of the weekly parsha twice and Targum Onkelos (or Rashi or other comparable commentary) once. This is called “shnayim mikra v’echad targum.” The Baal HaTurim tells us that the first words in the Book of Exodus – “v’eileh shemos B’nei Yisroel” in Hebrew – form […]