Question
Genesis 49:31 says, "There (the cave of Machpelah) they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebecca, and there I (Jacob) buried Leah." I remember reading in the Torah about the deaths of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah, and that Rachel died and was buried on the way to Bethlehem. Where in the Torah does it mention the deaths and burials of Rebecca and Leah?
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Question
Why did Jacob, when blessing all of his sons, bless them out of their birth order? He doesn't even bless them in the order of their mothers like it might seem, as all of Leah's children are blessed first and all of Rachel's are blessed last. Bilhah and Zilpah's children are not blessed in groups, but rather Zilpah's children are blessed between the birth of Bilhah's two children. Also, Leah's last two children are blessed out of birth order. Is there a midrash on this somewhere? I'm sure it must be based on Jacob's previous blessings of Joseph's children out of order, but I cannot seem to find it. Thank you.
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Question
My friends and I have questions about I Samuel 16:2. Is there any particular reason Samuel was told to offer a female animal rather than a male animal? Since the Ark was in the possession of the Philistines and the Tabernacle and the Altar for sacrifices had, apparently, ceased to function after Eli and his sons died and the Ark was lost in battle, how and where did the Israelites "do" sacrifices since there was no functioning Tabernacle and The Temple had not yet been built? Samuel was not a priest/Levite so what "kind" (name? category?) of sacrifice was he offering? It almost seems as though he was offering an illegitimate sacrifice "on a high place." How can this be explained? We would appreciate ANY light you can shed on this topic! Thanks for giving us your time!
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Question
Why does it seem that Rachel, the wife of Rabbi Akiba, is not given the same or even more honor than her husband? It is because of her what Rabbi Akiva became. She suffered and sacrificed so much. Also, where is she buried? Most people go to pray with requests at the gravesite of Rabbi Akiva, not hers. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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