Jewish philosophy as well as Jewish perspectives - i.e. not only formal philosophy. NOT for questions about Jewish practice unless there's a philosophical component.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

1
vote
0answers
42 views

What if Purim hadn't happen?

It is widely known that Purim is often compared to Yom Kippur in its level of holiness, etc. It is said that the spiritual heights to which one can rise to on Purim are essentially unparalleled at any ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Midrashic(?) Proof from Design story about overturned inkwell

I believe I read years ago about an instance where a rabbi presented a heretic with a well written poem that he claimed had actually formed accidentally when he overturned his inkwell. I though I had ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Chovos Halevavos' Proof from Design

Where (preferably online) is the passage of Rabbeinu Bahya Ibn Paqud in his Chovos Halevavos (in Shaar HaYichud I believe) in which he proves the existence of the Creator by citing a story where a ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Judaism have a concept of holy text literalism?

Apologies if this is an ignorant, foolish or offensive question. I am not Jewish, and am asking to satisfy my curiosity. Some time ago, on a political forum online, I was discussing religious ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Rationalism in Judaism

what exactly is the difference between the rationalist approach and the non-rationalist approach in Judaism. I assume both believe in miracles.
0
votes
2answers
119 views

What caused God? [closed]

I recently came across this webpage, in which I read the following: You say everything needs a cause, right? So what caused the 1st cause? Why is the 1st cause the exception to the rule? Maybe the ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Do animals have a connection with God?

According to Jewish sources, do animals have a connection with God? by connection I mean some kind of awareness of His existence or perhaps some sort of communion.
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Why two genders?

Why did G-d make it that all animals need both genders to procreate? Couldn't He just make one kind of animal per species and give it the ability to produce children on its own?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Seeing signs from God

What is Judaism's view on signs from God? Let's say, for instance, that I am planning to take a bus somewhere, but the bus came a minute or two early and I missed it. Can one take that as being a sign ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Is it permissible to bring back extinct species?

Is it allowed according to halacha to bring back extinct species? The technology is on its way, and i have seen some discussion in non-Jewish contexts about the ethics of it, and how we might be ...
-3
votes
1answer
54 views

Children saying Divrei torah at the Pesach seider [duplicate]

Are there any Gedolim who oppose the concept of children saying Divrei torah to their parents at the Pesach Seider?
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

The proper Jewish response to ISIS smashing “idols” [duplicate]

I saw a video going around facebook of members of ISIS smashing ancient statues in a museum. It was essentially a needless act of destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSmhC4rpho4 However, it ...
4
votes
2answers
397 views

G-d doesn't have emotions? Why?

Here I've read, that the Rambam in yesode hatorah says, G-d has no emotions. But the Torah is full with things like: what He hates (usually the breaking of His laws, especially the sins related ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

Judaism and dementia

Are there any books/articles that discuss dementia from a Jewish perspective? I am looking for a perspective that include coping with, and relevant hashkafa. The intended audience being not the sick ...
0
votes
2answers
333 views

Is Judaism only intellectual or is it emotional? [closed]

1) Is Judaism only intellectual or is it emotional? 2) How does one feel an emotional attachment with G-d (i.e. the Shechinah) like the Jews felt at Har Sinai?
0
votes
3answers
436 views

Does G-d want intermarried couples to divorce?

Does G-d want intermarried couples to divorce? I don't want to provide too much explanation, but rather leave it open-ended. I will ask those who post answers to consider a broad range of cases, ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Individual Life Mission

What are the earliest sources that support or contradict the view of Sfas Emes and Chiddushei HaRim that each person (or Jew) has a unique mission in the world?
7
votes
2answers
38 views

Do I have to be certain that there is a God? [duplicate]

Does the Torah require me to believe/know that God exists based on premises that I consider to be and reason to be certainties? Is it proper or even just ok to believe that God exists based on ...
8
votes
2answers
80 views

Would they have died anyway?

I preface my question by noting that this question can be uncomfortable to some people, but hope that this great community can answer it Take any tragic event where people died, be it 9/11 or the ...
3
votes
0answers
20 views

Is there any significance in the 10th of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith quoting a Passuk?

If you read Rambam's 13 Ani Maamin's, 13 Principles of Faith, you'll note that only the 10th one makes reference to Tanach. Is there a reason for that? (Looking for sourced answer, rather than ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Why should you be seeking medical attention?

From what I understand, all sicknesses and injuries fall upon a person because either G-d wants to wake him up to repent or to punish him. With that being the case, by seeking healing the person is ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

Complete wickedeness instead of tikkun as path to redemption?

Rabbi Yochanan tells us that “אין בן דוד בא, אלא בדור שכולו זכאי, או כולו חייב”. “the son of David (Mashiach) comes only in a generation that all the people have merits or in a generation that all are ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Who was for and against Jews fighting back against the Germans in WW2?

There was a famous controversy regarding the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that was the largest uprising the Jews performed against the Nazis. I have heard tell that a lot of Rabbonim banned fighting back ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

A prayer not accompanied with personal efforts to solve the problem – how is it viewed?

This article by Rabbi Berel Wein reminds us that that our father Yaakov prepared for his encounter with Eisav by adopting three possible strategies and not relying on prayer alone. He says ...
3
votes
3answers
70 views

What distinguishes humans from animals?

Both Humans and animals seem to have: Flesh: (Bereshit 6:13) The ketz (end) of kol basar is come before Me. Nefesh Chaya: (Bereshit 1:30) wherein is a Nefesh Chaya Ruach Chayim: (Bereshit 6:17 & ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Is showing excessive honor to Gedolim idolatry?

At what point is the kavod shown toward the Gedolim considered idolatry? Terms like 'Gadolatry' are sometimes used as if to indicate that too much respect is being shown for certain rabbis to the ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Why did God create wild vicious animals?

Can we learn any lesson from the wild beasts that devour their prey? Do the sages have anything to say about wild animals?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

No other King but God…and David?

In The Avinu Malkeinu prayer, it says, "We have no King other than you", what about the House of David/Mashiach?
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Why are observant Jews so reluctant to admit that Chazal could ever make mistakes? [closed]

I have great respect for many of our sages of blessed memory, but there seems to be a tendency among Jews to refuse to admit the possibility that they could have ever made mistakes. I have been ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Do you know of a Rabbi who rejects modern technology?

A little bit like the Amish... I just want to know if such an ideology exists in Judaism. I know that the Hatam Sofer and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein opposed modern philosophy, maybe one Rabbi opposed ...
3
votes
3answers
235 views

Torah and the Holy Bible

Why doesn't the Holy Bible contain only the original First five books of the Bible and nothing else? As I understand the Bible to state that nothing shall be removed and nothing was to be added.
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Can someone have a soul of the opposite gender?

Inspired by this question: Prayer for changing name for transgender reasons? While the subject of transgendered individuals has been discussed, I was wondering if it is possible, from a hashkafic ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Why should God punish the firstborn of another nation that was in Egypt?

The Pasuk describes the victims of the plague of the firstborn as follows: It came to pass at midnight, and the Lord smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What kind of “tikun hamiddos” is advocated by the Torah?

Does the Torah require a person to 1- uproot and change the source of bad middos (and not simply to deny and suppress his desires) or 2- deny and suppress his desires and behavior (but not ...
6
votes
2answers
89 views

Does the Zodiac really have influence on our lives?

Ancient thought, even among the rabbis of the Talmud, was that the Zodiac controlled certain Earthly events. In Hebrew, the signs of the Zodiac are מזלות, now known as "luck". For example, in Shabbat ...
4
votes
0answers
45 views

How is strict doctrine motivated as being the product of God's will? [duplicate]

I'm not Jewish by any interpretation of the term, but curiosity frequently leads me to click on Stackexchange's Hot Network Questions. Questions on judaism.stackexchange.com often stand out because of ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

What is the meaning of “ we are the children of God ”? [closed]

Shalom , What is the meaning when the jew say that and according to this can we say that Moses is the son of God as he is the biggest teacher " while not meaning what the Christians said " ? I hope I ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

Animal sacrifice in Judaism — was it copied from other religions?

Why is there animal sacrifice in Judaism? Animal sacrifice was found in other religions before Judaism, so could it be that the Jews copied the practice of animal sacrifice from other religions?
7
votes
2answers
473 views

What does “servant of G-d” mean?

The mussar texts are replete with the idea that we should be servants of God, and the first paragraph of the shema itself says "and you shall love your god with all your heart and all your might." So ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

What's the takeaway message for Chanuka?

One of the oft-cited teachings of Rav Hirsch is that every Jewish holiday contains an infusion of kedusha (holiness) and a lesson, both of which aren't only important in and of themselves, but rather ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Waving at a security camera on Shabbat

Background: Walking past motion detector/sensor activated lights on Shabbat -- it's better to avoid setting of motion-activated lights on Shabbat. Unintentional closing and opening of electrical ...
7
votes
3answers
342 views

What was the value of the Rishonim's philosophical inquiries about God and the world?

Many Rishonim used the philosophy of their time or previous times to 'prove' God's existence and/or learn about the nature of the world. 1- Why did they do this? (Is there a mitzvah to use ...
-2
votes
2answers
52 views

Testing Hashem (for Monetary Gain)

If I remember right, The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler describes how a son tests his father's ability to sense if a glass has been toveled in a mikveh. The father passed the test consistently. ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

The concept of the “Tzadik” in Chasidut

I've recently started to learn about Breslev Chasidut and was amazed by many great advices of Rabbi Nachman zt'l but I am very confused to read things about the so called Tzadik of the Generation e.g. ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

How do we logically know that there are not 2 Gods (according to the Chovos HaLevavos)?

The Chovos HaLevavos in Shaar HaYichud Chapter 7 in the paragraph's that start "The 3rd way" and "The 7th way" explains why it makes sense for there to be only one God and not (none or) two. 1- Can ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Why did God make such a vast, expansive universe? [duplicate]

The title pretty much says it all — but it certainly seems unnecessary and plays very well into the theories of people such as Richard Dawkins. How are we best to respond to this challenge of theirs?
1
vote
1answer
48 views

infallible reasoning for believing in a god that created and runs the world [duplicate]

In the Torah it is written that we should serve God, love him, have trust in him, believe that he runs the show and in return we are promised a share in the world to come - a world of eternal bliss. ...
0
votes
2answers
179 views

Where do Jews believe The Quran came from? [closed]

The "prophet" Muhammad stated that the angel Gabriel visited him with revelation and he put great importance upon Gabriel. So my question is, where do Jews believe Muhammad's revelation came from and ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Ruach haKodesh and Shekinah?

What is the difference between Ruach haKodesh and Shekinah? Is there a difference between the two concepts or are they exactly the same?