Joshua 2:1

June 2, 2014, by

Joshua – who had a pretty bad experience as one of Moshe’s 12 spies, only sent two trusted men as spies, and he kept their mission a secret. Rashi employs given facts and basic math as follows: We are told that The Jews mourned 30 days for Moshe and that, after a three-day notice, the […]

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Psalms 20:2

June 2, 2014, by

Many have the practice to recite, in the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei, a verse that starts and ends with the same letter as their name, or that contains their name. This is the verse for the name “Yaakov.” Rashi explains that G-d promised to protect Jacob when he went to go live with Laban. Therefore, […]

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Psalms 107:14

June 2, 2014, by

Many have the practice to recite, in the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei, a verse that starts and ends with the same letter as their name, or that contains their name. This is the verse for the name “Yitzchak.” This verse refers back to verse 10. There, the Metzudas David explains that “the shadow of death” […]

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Nehemiah 9:7

June 2, 2014, by

Many have the practice to recite, in the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei, a verse that starts and ends with the same letter as their name, or that contains their name. This is the verse for the name “Avraham.” The Talmud explains that Avraham’s original name meant that he was to be “av aram” – the […]

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Numbers 13:11

June 2, 2014, by

Two Tribes were descended from Joseph: Ephraim and Menashe. And yet, when naming the 12 spies, the Torah mentions Joseph when naming the spy from Menashe, and not when naming the spy from Ephraim. The Daas Zekeinim explains that Joseph got in trouble for speaking lashon hara against his brothers. His descendant from Menashe, Gadi […]

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Zechariah 3:1

May 30, 2014, by

Clearly Joshua the High Priest wasn’t doing something right, but what exactly was the complaint against him? Rashi cites the Talmud in Sanhedrin (93a) that Joshua’s own sons married idolatrous women from foreign lands, a fact that is revealed to us in the tenth chapter of the Book of Ezra.

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Deuteronomy 16:11

May 30, 2014, by

This verse is discussing the obligation to rejoice on Shavous. Rashi points out that the verse names the four members of a person’s household – his son, daughter, and male and female servants. It then names the members of G-d’s “household” – Levites, converts, orphans and widows. In effect, G-d is telling us, “If you […]

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Numbers 11:12

May 30, 2014, by

Because Moshe was a man and not a woman, Onkelos changes the metaphors in his speech to reflect that reality. In his Aramaic translation, he renders this verse, “Am I the father of this entire nation? Are they my children so that You should say to me, ‘Carry them with your strength as a nurse […]

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Judges 13:24

May 16, 2014, by

Samson’s name in Hebrew is Shimshon. The Talmud (Sotah 10a) explains that the root of this name is the word shemesh, the sun. This is an allusion to G-d, Who is compared to the sun in Psalms 84:12, “Because Hashem G-d is a sun and a shield…”

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Psalms 60:7

May 16, 2014, by

This verse is recited at the end of the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei. The word y’mincha (“Your right hand”) is missing the prefix letter beis, which would indicate “with,” so the verse technically says, “Save Your right hand.” The Radak explains that this is because G-d’s “right hand” is a metaphor for His power. When […]

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