Biblical Names

Found 27 Search results

  1. Yehuda and Tamar

    Rabbi David Silber

    תאריך פרסום: תשעב | |

    We examine the story of Yehuda and Tamar, looking for linguistic hints from the names and symbolism of items mentioned in the narrative. Though seemingly unrelated to the “Yosef” stories which bracket it, the “Yehuda and Tamar” story reverberates with echoes from the preceding chapters. Tamar teaches Yehuda a transformative lesson that will shape his leadership in the following stories involving his interaction with his brothers.

  2. What's in a Name?

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Names of biblical characters are often an integral part of the story. This lesson will explore the meaning of names in the Book of Ruth: Elimelekh, Mahalon, and Kilyon, Naomi and Ruth.

  3. Chapter 1: The Transition of Leadership

    Rabbi Michael Hattin

    Who is Yehoshua, the protagonist of our Book? This lesson examines Yehoshua’s character through his appearances in the formative events in the life of the nation, his name, and his role in the completion of the Torah. These serve as background for Yehoshua’s appointed role, and for God’s encouragement “"be strong and courageous."

  4. Perpetuating the Name: The Levirate Marriage

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    While no legal link exists, Boaz links the buying of the land to the marriage of Ruth in order to maintain the name of the deceased – by producing a child who will inherit the land. The end of the book of Judges is full of nameless characters. Boaz maintaining names sends the Nation to its Davidic destiny. 

  5. The Brief Reign of Avimelekh

    Rabbi Michael Hattin

    Yotam, in his parable comparing Avimelekh to an Atad is stating that Avimelekh lacks any of the constructive and useful qualifications to become a good king and useful leader, he has seized the vacant position by force. And though he promises to protect those who had been persuaded to appoint him, in the end he will destroy them and himself with his self-centered recklessness. 

    This chapter serves as a severe caution, providing us with a profile of the anti-ruler who must not be empowered even when the people are justifiably desperate for leadership.  The anti-ruler candidate possesses a lust for power that should immediately be regarded with suspicion and alarm.

  6. Ramban on Matot Masei - Cities and Name Changes

    Rabbi Ezra Bick

    תאריך פרסום: תשס"ט | | 32 minutes

    We examine exegetical comments by Ramban on two different pesukim in Mattot- Mas’ei. First, we look at something strange in the lists of cities, formerly in Sihon’s kingdom, which were settled by the people of Reuven. After two names of such cities, the Torah states that the names were changed. Were they changed from idolatrous names? If so, why aren’t the new names recorded, and why are only two cities singled out? Ramban, disagreeing with Rashi, has another explanation: the cities had their former names (from the time of Moav) restored. What is the significance of this? And is the command to inherit the land and settle it a practical sequencing suggestion, or is it one of the mitzvot? 

  7. God Gave the Land of Moav to the Moabites

    Ramban on Parshat Devarim

    Rabbi Ezra Bick | 37 minutes

    Perek Bet (Chapter Two) of the Book of Devarim starts with Moshe summarizing the voyages of Bnei Yisrael in the desert. As his narrative reaches the point where Bnei Yisrael come close to other nations who are blocking the way, some strange and seemingly contradictory phrases appear. At first it sounds like Bnei Yisrael turn away and avoid attack out of fear, and then the narrative states that they did not attack Moav or Edom because the Lands of Moav  and Edom were designated as such by God. What is going on here? We turn to Ramban for insight into these passages.

  8. Verses Added to the Torah at a Later Date: The Phenomenon and its Ramifications

    Part 4

    Rabbi Amnon Bazak

    Certain places mentioned in the Torah are called by names that are only given to them many years after the death of Moshe. Spinoza claimed that such examples indicated that the Torah as a whole was written at a much later date than is traditionally assumed. Medieval commentators make several suggestions to solve this question.

    In modern times Yehuda Elitzur suggested a different approach. In many places the Torah alludes to the fact that the division of the land existed and was known in general form from ancient times, going back to the blessings of Yaakov. Therefore, the familiarity of the writer of the Torah with the division of the land, which would only occur later on, cannot serve as proof of later authorship of the Torah, since the division of the land is frequently presented as ancient knowledge.

  9. Tanakh and Archaeology

    Part 3 - The Era of the Forefathers

    Rabbi Amnon Bazak

    The stories of the forefathers in and of themselves cannot be proved or disproved from an archaeological point of view. The main discussion in this regard therefore centers on the surrounding reality depicted in these narratives. The theme common to those who deny the reliability of the Torah's account of the era of the forefathers is that the Torah's description displays elements of anachronism, the projection of various phenomena dating from a later period to the period of the forefathers. Their claim is that these accounts in the Torah use facts and information which do not belong to the era that is described.

    Anachronistic claims regarding the domestication of camels, names of locations in the narratives and the appearance of ethnic groups are examined and refuted.

  10. Yitzhak's Name: Laughter or Law?

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  11. The Good that Evil Men Do

    Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz

  12. Yoktan's Name

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  13. Esav is Called Edom

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  14. Names in the Fields of Bethlehem

    Shani Taragin | 3 minutes

    Rabbanit Shani Taragin focuses on a contrast in the second chapter of Ruth. Boaz is introduced by name, and reflected in his name isthat there is strength in him: perhaps not military strength, but valor, which we see in the kindness he demonstrates to Ruth. On the other hand, the naar who attends the gatherers is not kind to Ruth in his description of a strange selfish woman. Ruth notices that Boaz is different. Those who recognize others deserve a name, but those who don’t have their names omitted in the Book of Ruth.

  15. Yehuda: Thanking God

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  16. Suffering or Strength - Ben Oni or Binyamin

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  17. The Meaning of Menashe's Name

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  18. Parshat HaShavua Parshat Vayigash - Groups of Sons

    Rabbi Ezra Bick | 34 minutes

    Parashat Vayigash lists the seventy souls who came to Egypt with Yaakov. What is the significant difference between this list and the one in Parashat Vayishlach? One detail that jumps out is that one refers to Yaakov and the other one mentions Yisrael. But is there more than that? We examine the list of Esav's descendants, as well as the names for other family groupings (such as "Yehuda and his brothers") and find meaning in these distinctions.

  19. Yov and Yashuv

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  20. Chushim - Son or Sons of Dan?

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  21. A Quick Look at Parshat Yitro - Moshe's Sons and Yitro's Visit

    Rabbi Ezra Bick | 15 minutes

    We look at the names of Moshe's sons and their significance in the stories of Moshe, with some midrashic takes on Pharaoh wanting to kill Moshe.

    We also have a look at Yitro's visit and his reaction to hearing about the miracles in Egypt and at the Splitting of the Sea. Is he happy, or does his skin crawl at the news - or both? 


  22. Erev Shabbat Shelach - Midrashim on Yehoshua's Name, the Spies, and the Symbolism of Techelet

    Rabbi Ezra Bick | 25 minutes

    This week's parasha deals with Moshe sending spies to scout out the Land of Israel. Among them is Moshe’s disciple, whose name Moshe changes from Hoshea to Yehoshua.

    The name "Yehoshua Bin Nun" is different  from every other name in that it has "Bin" instead of "Ben" to denote "son of".Why is it Yehoshua Bin Nun and not |Ben Nun?" The Chatam Sofer provides an explanation.

    We also look at some midrashim about Yehoshua's name and about the spies,  the Land of Israel and Lashon Hara.

     We then move to a midrash about tzitzit. How does the techelet  color symbolically serve as a reminder of God and the mitzvoth?


  23. Short Thoughts on Vayechi - Hushim son of Dan and Me'arat HaMachpela

    Rabbi Ezra Bick | 8 minutes

    Yaakov dies and is buried in Canaan. The Egyptians have a mourning ceremony for him, and then his body is brought to Me'arat haMakhpela. We will have a look at a midrash about Dan's son Hushim, and gain an interesting perspective on taking initiative.

  24. The Significance of the Name "Jerusalem"

    Rabbi Yitzchak Levi

    In this shiur we examine the significance of the name Jerusalem. The common view prevalent among Chazal is that the city embodies two aspects, based upon Avram's encounter with Malki-Tzedek King of Shalem, and the Akeida.  Based on Chazal's teaching, we present various understandings of the essence of the city and its character, as expressed both in Avraham himself and in the history of the city throughout the generations.

    Through its name, Jerusalem hints at the fundamental connection between the two parts of the city: if justice is absent from the city, the Holy One will not want His Presence to rest there. 


    Translated by Kaeren Fish


  25. The Place was Called Nahal Eshkol - Why?

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  26. Hoshea - Tanakh Profiles

    Rabbi Jonathan Mishkin

  27. Noach: Why Did God Destroy the World?

    Rabbi David Fohrman |

    When Noach is named, his father Lamech claims that he will provide relief for humankind - and less than 10 verses later, God decides to destroy the world. By comparing textual parallels of the two events, Rabbi Fohrman helps us understand Lamech's mistake, and how to better relate to God today.


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