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I Kings 1:1
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Rashi cites a Midrash that if one treats clothes with contempt, ultimately they will do him no good. David mistreated garments when he cut Saul’s cloak (in I Samuel 24). This is why the power of clothes to warm a person later deserted him.
Psalms 99:9
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Continuing pesukei d’zimra, the morning verses of praise What’s the connection between prostrating towards the Temple mount and G-d being holy? The Radak explains that when people see the awe-inspiring Temple and are impressed by its holiness and majesty, they will start to comprehend how supremely holy and awesome G-d Himself must be.
I Chronicles 16:8
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Hodu, the first of our verses of praise, comes from the Book of Chronicles. It was sung when King David led the procession to escort the Ark to Jerusalem. The ibn Ezra tells us that “call His Name” means to spread the teaching of G-d. He bases this conclusion on Genesis 21:33, “Abraham planted an […]
Genesis 48:22
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The Targum understands “sword” and “bow” as metaphors for prayer. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik tells us that a sword is used for fighting up close; that corresponds to prayers for one’s own immediate needs. A bow is used for fighting at a great distance; that corresponds to prayers for the nation’s long-term well-being. (From The […]
Ezekiel 37:19
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In this prophecy, G-d discusses how he will reunite the two kingdoms – the kingdom of Judah, comprising Judah and Benjamin, and the kingdom of Israel, made up of Ephraim and the rest of the Tribes. He symbolizes this by having Ezekiel join two sticks together, making them one. The Metzudas David explains that the […]
Leviticus 24:2
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In parshas Emor, the commandment of lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) immediately follows the Torah’s description of the holiday of Succos. This proximity of topics alludes to Chanukah – the holiday involving the Menorah that would later follow Succos in the Jewish calendar. The Rokeiach (R. Eleazar of Worms, d.1238) sees something additional […]
Deuteronomy 17:11
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When we light the menorah, we recite a bracha that G-d commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights. The Talmud in Shabbos (23a) asks the logical question: the Chanukah story occurred many, many centuries after the Torah was given. Where did G-d ever command us to light candles on it? Two answers to this question […]
Numbers 33:30
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One of the allusions to Chanukah in the Torah is that the 25th place the Jews camped was called Chashmona. (Chanukah is the 25th day of the month of Kislev and the Maccabees were Chashmonaim.) The 26th place the nation camped was called Moseiros. The Peirush Yochanan says that this name comes from the word […]
Genesis 45:16
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Why should this news particularly please Pharaoh and his servants? Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik explains that having an ex-con like Joseph in such a position of authority did not sit well with the Egyptians. Now it was made known that Joseph was descended from the famous Abraham, which was tantamount to noble lineage. Additionally, given […]
Numbers 10:10
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We understand what yom tov and Rosh Chodesh are, but what are these “days of joy?” The ibn Ezra explains that this refers to such as holidays as Chanukah and Purim, which the rabbis would institute in the future to commemorate victories over foreign oppressors. (It’s noteworthy that the Torah commands certain things even of […]