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Numbers 36:11
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The order of Tzelophchad’s daughters is given differently here than it is elsewhere. Rashi cites the Talmud (Baba Basra 120a) that they are normally listed according to their wisdom. Here, it lists them by age because it discusses their marriages and they married in order from oldest to youngest.
Jeremiah 1:1
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“Divrei” (“the words of”) denotes a harsh prophecy. The Radak cites a Midrash that three prophets – Jeremiah, Amos and Koheles (i.e., Shlomo) – start their books this way. They each spoke harshly to the people so the negative things in their prophecies started with them. Radak explains that this means that their books describe […]
Numbers 9:23
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The last words of this verse are appended to Deuteronomy 4:44 during hagbah, when the Torah is displayed to the congregation. Rashi on Numbers 9:18 explains the meaning of “at the command of G-d by the hand of Moses.” When it was time for the Jews to travel, G-d’s cloud would rise. It would not […]
Deuteronomy 4:44
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This verse is recited when the Torah is held aloft and displayed to the congregation. In context in the Torah, the words “and this” must refer to some specific referent. The Sforno feels that they refer to what immediately precedes this verse. Rashi feels that the referent is what was to be written after.
Deuteronomy 4:4
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After the kohein is called up to the Torah, this verse is recited by the congregation. Of course, Hashem is not a physical Being Whom one can literally hold. Accordingly, Onkelos renders this verse, “But you who held fast to the fear of Hashem your G-d are all alive today.”
Numbers 31:8
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In Talmud Sanhedrin 106b, a heretic asked Rabbi Chanina how long Balaam lived. Rabbi Chaninah replied, “I haven’t seen anything specific on the matter but since Psalms 55:24 says that bloodthirsty and deceitful people will not live out even half their days, I would guess that he was 33 or 34.” The heretic replied, “That’s […]
I Kings 19:9
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Verse 8 tells us that Elijah was brought to Mount Sinai; this verse tells us that he stayed in the cave there. “The cave” (as opposed to “a cave”) suggests that it is one with which we are already familiar. The various commentators (Rashi, Radak, Metzudas David, etc.) all agree that it is the cave […]
Psalms 34:4
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The Talmud in Brachos (45a) derives two laws from this verse, which is recited by the chazzan upon receiving the Torah. First, a zimmun for bentching (the call for grace after meals) requires a quorum of three because “gadlu” (magnify) is plural (minimum two) and “iti” (with me) is another one. Also, it derives that […]
Isaiah 2:3
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This verse, cited in part when removing the Torah from the ark, quotes what the nations of the world will say when visiting the Temple. There is a difference of opinion as to whether the second part, “For out of Zion…,” is part of the quote. The Radak feels that this is the prophet Isaiah […]
Numbers 10:35
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We recite this verse when taking the Torah out of the ark. It and the next verse are flanked by a pair of inverted Hebrew letter nuns, which the Talmud (Shabbos 116a) says designates the section as a book unto itself. Therefore, the Talmud tells us, the Torah consists of seven books: (1) Genesis, (2) […]