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R. Yehudah HaChasid

Rabbi Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg (1150 – 1217)

Edomite Kings List: Is It Post-Mosaic?

Genesis 36:31 introduces a list of kings who ruled “before a king ruled in Israel,” ostensibly a reference to Saul. Traditional commentators, committed to the Mosaic authorship of the Torah, have long struggled to reinterpret this phrase against its plain meaning, though some accepted its implications.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Dictation Model of Torah Revelation

Rabbi

David Bigman

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When Moses Placed Ephraim Before Manasseh

R. Judah HeḤasid, in his comment on Jacob’s blessing asserts that the subject of Genesis 48:20b, “he placed Ephraim before Manasseh,” and 48:22, “I have given you [=Joseph] an extra portion…,” is not Jacob but Moses, referring to when Moses put Ephraim before Manasseh in the tribal listings in Num 2:18-21. This further leads him to conclude that Moses could not be the author of v. 20b.[1]

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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Do Animals Feel Pain? Balaam’s Donkey vs. Descartes

In contrast to Descartes’ theory of animals as automatons, the Torah and rabbinic text express deep concern for animal suffering. One vivid example is the donkey’s rebuke of Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me?” (Num 22:28).

Prof.

Yael Shemesh

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The Song of the Well, Psalm 136, Was Removed from the Torah

Numbers 21:16–18 speaks about the Song of the Well, but only records a short snippet. Whereas most commentators assume that the song was simply very short, R. Yehudah HeChasid offers the radical suggestion that the song was actually cut from the Torah and placed in the book of Psalms by none other than King David.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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