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An Introduction to Chronicles
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The Talmud in Pesachim (62b) tells us that from the time that Sefer Yuchsin, the Midrashic commentary on Divrei HaYamim, the Book of Chronicles, was concealed, the strength and vision of the Sages decreased. (In other words, they were deprived of many important Torah insights.) Furthermore, we are told that to expound from the first […]
Song of Songs – Intro
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If you read the introduction to my book, The Nach Yomi Companion Volume I: Neviim – Prophets, then you saw how I was formerly daunted at the prospect of learning such Books as Job and some of the Later Prophets. Boy, was I off base! You know what’s hard? Shir HaShirim. Though we might be […]
Introduction to the Book of Job
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Job is a very unusual Book, unique in many ways. For starters, there is no consensus as to when Job lived – or even if he ever actually lived at all! The Talmud, in tractate Baba Basra (15a-b) relates a number of opinions. R. Yehoshua b. Levi says Job lived in Moses’ day; R. Yochanan […]
Jeremiah: Not a Bullfrog
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Despite what the song may say, Jeremiah was NOT a bullfrog. The prophet Yirmiyahu was one of the three “major prophets” of the Bible, the other two being Yeshayahu (Isaiah) and Yechezkel (Ezekiel). They are “major” because their Books are large, as opposed to the “minor” prophets, whose Books are small. (The “minor” prophets’ books […]
Isaiah and the Haftarah
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The haftarah is a weekly portion from a book of Neviim (the Prophets), that is read after the Torah reading on Shabbos and on many other special days. Typically, the haftarah has a thematic connection to the Torah reading, as it was originally introduced as a substitute for the regular reading at a time when […]
Introduction to Isaiah
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Yeshaya (Isaiah) is the first book of the Neviim Acharonim, the Later Prophets. While the books of the Neviim Rishonim, the Early Prophets, focus heavily on the history of the Jewish people from the time of Joshua until the Babylonian exile, the Later Prophets focus on the actual prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the […]
I Samuel – Chapter 29
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The Philistine army advanced, David and his men among them. The Philistine generals ojected to Achish about the Jews in their ranks; they didn’t trust them. (Rightfully so!) Achish stuck up for David, but the officers wouldn’t hear of it. They remembered the songs praising David for all the Philistines he killed! Achish called David […]
I Samuel – Chapter 28
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King Achish prepared for war against Israel and he appointed David to his personal retinue, thinking he was loyal to the Philistine cause. David answered with an ambiguous, “Just wait until you see what I do!”(At this point, he wasn’t 100% sure how he was going to get out of it.) Meanwhile, Shaul was looking […]
I Samuel – Chapter 27
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David knew that his business with Shaul wasn’t finished. It was only a matter of time before he turned on him again. David decided to “get out of town.” He took his men back to Gath. While his last escape there did not go well, by this time his struggles with Shaul were well known […]