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Isaiah 60:1
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This haftarah has many positive prophecies: nations will go by your light, you will be radiant, caravans will come to you, etc. But who is the “you” being addressed? The Radak informs us that the prophecy is being addressed to Jerusalem.
Deuteronomy 4:39
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This verse is recited as part of the prayer Aleinu. In his Aramaic translation, Onkelos paraphrases this verse to avoid potential misconceptions on the part of the reader. Rather than saying that G-d is “in Heaven above and on the Earth below” – which could lead one to think that G-d physically occupies those places, […]
Isaiah 51:13
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This verse is referenced in the prayer Aleinu. The Mahari Kara points out an interesting fact about these oppressors. They prepare to destroy but, ultimately, they are only planning their own destruction. He give the example of Haman, who cast lots to determine the auspicious day to destroy the Jewish. The Jews were terrified but […]
Isaiah 45:20
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This verse was originally referenced in the prayer Aleinu, though it was later removed from many versions of the prayer. The Radak explains what it is the idolaters don’t know: they have no reason to think that a lump of carved wood could be a god. Nevertheless, they carry it around and pray to it. […]
Deuteronomy 28:9
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“Walk in His ways” is the mitzvah to emulate G-d. As the Sifre puts it, “as He is compassionate, so should you be compassionate….” But, the Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 611) asks, what about G-d’s “negative” traits? Should we be wrathful, jealous, etc.? “Not so fast!” the Chinuch replies. G-d doesn’t actually have any negative characteristics. […]
I Kings 8:45
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Kaddish Shalem (whole Kaddish) is recited between Ashrei-U’va l’Tziyon and Aleinu. The words unique to this form of Kaddish, “tiskabeil tzlos’hon u’va’us’hon” – “accept their prayer and their supplication” – are an Aramaic paraphrase based on this verse (as well as from Onkelos’ translation of Genesis 48:22). Rashi and Radak both explain the third part […]
Isaiah 54:1
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The Radak (and others) explain that the woman in this verse is a metaphor for Jerusalem. Jerusalem had been desolate for many years but its destiny is once again to be a populous, bustling city.
Isaiah 42:21
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This verse is the last verse in the prayer U’va l’Tziyon. Is it also cited by the last mishna in tractate Makkos: “Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya said: The Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to give Israel merit so He gave them Torah and mitzvos in abundance, as is written: Hashem desires for His righteousness’ […]
Psalms 9:11
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The Metzudas David explains: People will recognize G-d and put their faith in Him specifically because they have seen that He does not forsake those who pursue Him. (This is the penultimate verse in the prayer U’va l’Tziyon.)
Isaiah 65:23
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This verse is paraphrased in the prayer U’va l’Tziyon, in the line that begins “Hu yiftach libeinu.” The Radak explains that ‘They will not…bring forth for terror” means that the children will not predecease their parents. “Their offspring will be with them” for the parents’ entire lifetimes.