Abravanel's World of Torah

Zev Bar Eitan's Blog

From Parasahat Vayishlach

In this parasha, Yaakov’s long, anticipated reunion with his brother Esav unfolds. Building suspense makes it one of the most dramatic and tense narratives in Sefer Bereshit. 

Yaakov’s preparation for the event was two-fold. On one level, a physical one, the patriarch readied his family and property for potential hostilities should Esav’s forces attack. A second additional tack employed by Yaakov took into account mental and emotional preparedness.

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From Parashat Vayetze

Bible students need not be put off by the fact that the Torah is written in fantastic shorthand. It does, however, mean that serious students are expected to do a fair amount of sleuthing and honest investigation if they are to properly apprehend its enduring wisdom.

While this observation is true in a general sense, it is equally as relevant when we try to get a better feel or read on major Biblical personalities. To be sure, midrashim go a long way in these crucial areas. But in addition to hallowed Jewish Tradition, human critical thinking is an invaluable tool, as well.

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From Parashat Toldot

The Torah devotes three parshiyot to Avraham (Lech Lecha, Vayera, and Chayei Sara) and the balance of Bereshit (from Vayetze to Vayachi) deals with Yaakov and the twelve tribes. Toldot is the sole parasha that teaches us about Yitzchak's life.

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From Parashat Chayei Sarah


Q: What was Avraham thinking when he made his public plea to procure in perpetuity Hevron’s multi-tiered cave (Ma’ara Hamachpela). To clarify, the question here is not why Avraham desired the Cave in the first place. That can be answered very simply enough. Namely, he badly wanted it on account of its association with Adam and Eve having been buried there. Jewish tradition attests to that. Rather, the question concerns Avraham’s method of obtaining the Ma’ara Hamachpela.

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Blog on Parashat Vayera

Vayera opens with “And the Almighty appeared to him [Avraham] in Elonei Mamre as he sat at the tent’s entrance in the heat of the day.”
Q: If the Torah wanted to pinpoint the place or locale from where this prophetic vision emanated, then the verse only needed to state “in Elonei Mamrei” or “at the tent’s entrance.” Why was it important to add a prepositional phrase regarding this event’s timing “in the heat of the day”?

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