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Proverbs 3:1
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Even though the very first verse of this Book tells us that King Solomon wrote Proverbs, do not think that here he is personally addressing his own children. The Metzudas Dovid tells us that Shlomo is speaking “in loco Dei” – as if he were G-d speaking. It is G-d, Who loves the Jewish people […]
Psalms 3:1
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This Psalm is the first appearance of the familiar introduction “Mizmor l’Dovid” (a song of David). The Talmud in Pesachim (117a) tells us that when a Psalm starts with that phrase, it means that G-d’s “spirit” rested on David, inspiring him to sing the song. The converse introductory phrase, “l’Dovid Mizmor” (of David, a song) […]
Ezekiel 2:1
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“Ben Adam” (son of man) is a unique form of address used throughout the Book of Ezekiel. Metzudas David tells us that this term was used to keep the prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel) grounded. Since he was being shown the vision of G-d’s “chariot” and other hidden wonders, he needed to be reminded that he was […]
Judges 16:28
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If Samson wanted vengeance on the Philistines for the loss of one of his eyes, what did he want as a reward for sacrificing the other? Rashi cites the Talmud Yerushalmi that he wanted to use that merit to be assured of entry to the Next World. At this time, however, he wanted to use […]
Exodus 40:38
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This is the last verse in the Book of Exodus. In his Aramaic translation, the Targum Onkelos inserts the words “of glory” to describe the cloud since it was G-d’s glory that filled the Mishkan (Tabernacle), not G-d physically Himself (see verses 34-35). Onkelos also clarifies that it was “an appearance” of fire and not […]
Psalms 81:4
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The word keseh (KSH) is what’s called a hapax legomenon, a Greek phrase for a word that only occurs once in a text. Since this word only occurs once in all of Tanach, its meaning is obscure. The Metzudos explains that it means a time that is designated for a particular holiday, namely Rosh Hashana. […]
Isaiah 27:13
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Continuing the Shofros recited on Rosh Hashana, this verse refers to both the Ten Tribes, who were lost in Assyria, and the rest of the Jews. The Radak tells us that those who were “dispersed” – as opposed to “lost” – refers to the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin who were exiled, returned after 70 […]
Exodus 19:19
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This verse is one of the Shofros – verses describing shofar-blowing that are recited as part of the Rosh Hashana musaf service. Rashi points out what we have all observed: when a person blows shofar, the longer he blows, the weaker the sound becomes. G-d, however, is not subject to such limitations. The longer His […]
Psalms 106:45
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The Metzudas Dovid explains that this refers to the covenant that G-d forged with our Patriarchs as per Leviticus chapter 26: G-d will recall the covenant He made with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov (verse 42) and He will not destroy them because of it (verse 44). He does this not because of any merits the […]
Psalms 111:4
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What memorial did G-d make for His wonders? According to the Rashi, this refers to the Jewish calendar. Shabbos causes us to recall Creation, and the various holidays cause us to recall the miracles that G-d performed for us at various times. He did all of these things for us because He is gracious and […]