Question
How we are supposed to academically, and religiously, understand the book of Daniel? Daniel is a noble Jewish youth of Jerusalem, taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He serves the king and his successors with loyalty until the time of the Persian conqueror Cyrus, while remaining true to the God of Israel. Question, is this supposed to be Nebuchadnezzar II (605 BC – c. 562 BC) Most modern scholars see the book of Daniel as actually being written during the reign of the infamous Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 BCE) (the villain of the Chanukah story), although based on older materials. Question: Do any classical, medieval, or modern Jewish rabbis also see it this way? Any info would be appreciated. In the book, knowledge of the Babylonian-Persian period (Nebuchadnezzar era) is vague or erroneous. For example, "Belshazzar (Bel-shar-user) is identified as the son of Nebuchadrezzar and is called "king" (5:1), but we have seen that his father was Nabonidus and that, though he was a regent, he never became a king. King Darius is called a Mede, the son of Xerxes (Ahasuerus), in Daniel 9:1, although we know that he was a Persian and the father of Xerxes. As the story moves into the Greek period, it becomes more accurate. The writer knows of the desecration of God's altar by Antiochus IV in 168 (9:27; 11:31) but not of the restoration of worship by Judas Maccabeus three years later. The book must have been completed between 168 and 165, probably closer to 165. The presence of Persian and Greek loan-words lends support to the Hellenistic dating." (Old Testament Life and Literature, Gerald A. Larue ) How do we understand this book in an authentically Jewish and also academically responsible way?  

Question
In Exodus 12 Moses tells the Israelites to keep the lamb “until” the 14th day of the 1st month and kill it at twilight. Does the word “ until” mean at the beginning of the 14th day or into the 14th day? Also was the lamb killed at the beginning of the 14th when the sun set just before darkness or later on in the afternoon of the 14th ?

Question
Is there anything in the Hebrew GRAMMAR that would prohibit this interpretation (#2 below) regarding who “he” refers to in Gen 32:25? Q: Who are the first two “he”s and the “him” referring to? Is it (1) “he” [the angel] saw that “he” [the angel] had not prevailed against “him” [Jacob] – or – (2) “he” [Jacob] saw that “he” [Jacob] had not prevailed against “him” [the angel]? If possible, it would read thusly: “When he [Jacob] saw that he [Jacob] had not prevailed against him [the man], he [the man] touched the socket of his [Jacob’s] thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him." Jacob c. 91 years old - 28:1 (c. 77) ... 31:41 (20 years). Why would an angel not be able to prevail over any man, and esp. a 91 yr old man? And, why would the angel allow the man to wrestle with him “until daybreak”? IF the proposed suggestion above is allowable, it was to teach Jacob a lesson, i.e., God’s blessing could not be attained by his own strength and cunning, but through faith and dependance on God as he did in his fervent prayer (Hos 12:4).

Question
In Genesis 1:26 and again in 1:28 a word is often translated as "dominion" or "rule over." What is that word in Hebrew? I have heard that there is a connection between that word and shepherding-- is this true? And lastly, the charge to "rule over" seems to be connected to "according to the likeness of us, in image of us"-- seemingly to mean to "rule over" as our Creator would "rule over", and in the context of the Creation story: as a creator. Any comments will be appreciated. Thank you.

Question
Hey Rabbi, when I read in the Torah there seem to be sections that speak about violence and other topics I’m not sure are suitable for all ages. Is this perhaps a reason why children or youth below a certain age should not read the Torah? I’m pretty sure the Torah is for all ages, but I’d appreciate your helping me understand this issue better. Thanks!
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Question
In the beginning of Amos, he claims to prophesy during a time that is during the reigns of both Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel, and 2 years before a great earthquake. This looks to be in the first 14 years of Uzziah's reign, as these are the only years when Uzziah and Jeroboam II reigned contemporaneously. Thus it cannot be the earthquake that occurred when Uzziah rebelliously offered incense in the Temple. Are there any records that indicate in what year of Uzziah's reign the earthquake of Amos occurred? As always, Thanks.
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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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