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.

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33
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10answers
855 views

How do I get myself to yearn for moshiach if I'm comfortable in the diaspora?

Intellectually I know that we're supposed to yearn for the coming of the mashiach and the in-gathering in Eretz Yisrael. I know that one of the Rambam's 13 principles calls for this. We pray for ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

The wicked rewarded here seemingly aren't rewarded in full. Fair?

I'm reading volume 1 of Strive for Truth, Rabbi Aryeh Carmell's English-language adaptation of Michtav Meeliyahu, and one of the first essays cites Chazal as explaining that one reason good things ...
4
votes
2answers
383 views

Is believing that God, Israel, and Torah are one Avodah Zarah?

The Zohar said that God, Israel, and Torah are one. I thought Judaism is strictly monotheistic. When Jesus said, "I and the father is one", he was being a heretic. So how come the Zohar includes even ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What's the difference between the resurrection of the dead and heaven?

It seems like the final destination for a Jew is heaven ("Olam Haba") if he behaved properly. What then is the purpose of the resurrection of the dead and how does it differ from heaven?
1
vote
5answers
205 views

Has a gadol be'Torah ever drastically changed his type of avodas Hashem? [closed]

I know that my question is a bit broad and maybe abstract but I'm not sure how to phrase it better. I'm looking for any change in avodah. It can be a change in which group of Jews he associated with ...
17
votes
1answer
480 views

Who is Moshiach?

How do I know that someone is Moshiach? Will I just know? Are there requirements? If someone tells me that he is the Moshiach, is he to be believed. It would seem seem strange to say so.
8
votes
4answers
197 views

Why did Hashem create the world in such a way that a leap year is needed?

I understand why we have a leap year; to keep the sun and moon cycles in sync, so that Pessach is always in the spring. That's all technical, as a result of the moon orbiting too slowly - or the sun ...
6
votes
3answers
91 views

The Necessity of 12 Tribes

Why was it necessary for there to be 12 tribes, with different portions of Israel given to each? The Midrash even states that when the sea split, there were 12 separate paths for each tribe (Pirkei ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

The disappearance of וסת קבוע and הרגשות

At some point in history, Jewish women used to have very regularly scheduled Monthly cycles, and used to have some sensation that accompanied the onset of menstruation. Both of these play important ...
14
votes
11answers
737 views

Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d

One of the foundations of modern quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is not an assumption, but rather is derived from assumptions made with regard to the structure of ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Transcendence, Immanence, and Ya'akov

I've been following some of the discussion here: Does Judaism believe in a form of Panentheism? and here: Hashem is here and there and everywhere? And I have to admit I am more confused than ever! ...
8
votes
3answers
172 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the meaning of life according to Judaism? [duplicate]

I've heard different things, like improving your middot, etc. Is there an agreed upon meaning to life in Judaism?
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Intrinsic Value of Mitzvot

The question is the following: do mitzvot have intrinsic value, or only extrinsic value. A ramification of this is the following scenario: A person has two ways of performing an act; one of them would ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

What's the point of an oath?

There's an argument whether annulling an oath needs an excuse. Even if there needs to be an excuse, the excuse could be something weak like "I didn't know I shouldn't take oaths". What's the point of ...
1
vote
3answers
204 views

The Meaning behind the Kaf

Searching for the root for Kipah (כפה) I found the word Kaphaph (כפף) from the root Kaph or Kaf כף. Kaf (as a word) means (hand)palm, while yod refers to yad (the hand). Kaf (as a letter כ) has a ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Why no “Musaf” for Korban Pesach?

Your average Jews in Temple times did not go participate actively in the regularly scheduled Temple offerings. For them, probably the biggest sacrificial experience of the year was the Korban Pesach ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Difference between judgement and discernment in Torah thought

Pirkei Avos (2:5) tells us 'Don't judge your friend until you are in his situation'. I was wondering about the term 'judge' Merriam-Webster online defines:- 'judgement' as 'the process of forming ...
1
vote
7answers
153 views

What is the purpose of life on this earth

We know that hashem created the whole world only for the purpose of human's on earth. Everything else is there for his benefit to obtain his purpose. So the question is, what real purpose does he ...
2
votes
5answers
239 views

Is the “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in the U.S. Declaration of Independence really a right “endowed by the Creator”?

Near the beginning of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, we have these words: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among ...
4
votes
2answers
617 views

What's up with the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva guys?

I know they learn a lot slower, dress a little flashier, and learn more mussar than in most mainstream yeshivos, but can someone specify exactly what is the philosophy of the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Hashem testing a person

The Chofetz Chaim al Torah says, Chazal teach in bereishis rabbah, "Hashem does not elevate a person to greatness until He first tests him." Where in bereishis rabbah do chazal say this?
13
votes
8answers
974 views

May one love a non-Jew?

May one love a non-Jew? Not romantically in the sense of marriage, but rather in the sense that one loves a friend or family. May a Jew love his Gentile father, for example? May a baal teshuvah ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

How are those that interact with the Israeli government viewed from a halachic standpoint by anti-Zionist groups?

How does Satmar, Neturei Karta, and other similar groups view Religious Zionists and Haredim that interact with the Israeli government, from a halachic standpoint (i.e. are they acceptable as ...
3
votes
6answers
119 views

what is good and what does it mean that God is good?

what does the term "tov" (good) mean. I am asking especially in how it relates to God. i.e. what does "tov" mean and what does it mean that God is "tov". an example where God is ascribed "tov" is in ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there “Torah Inerrancy”?

Is there Torah inerrancy? In other words, does the Torah contain no factual errors: the Noah flood did occur, Garden of Eden did exist, Adam and Eve did live there and were subsequently expelled, etc ...
8
votes
1answer
67 views

וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד Is the translation of מִמֶּנּוּ **His** very self or his very self?

The Koren Sacks siddur translates the 4th of the 7 wedding blessings as: אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם דְּמוּת תַּבְנִיתוֹ, וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד: who ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Is it permitted that male person to have feminine job? And otherwise?

Is it forbidden for a male person to have feminine job? If so, how is a feminine job defined according to halacha? Likewise, is it forbidden for a female person to have a masculine job?
0
votes
1answer
28 views

What is the practical application or message in the expression המבין יבין והמשכיל ידום?

Follow up to this M.Y. question. I think that I have seen Rash"i or perhaps the Gemarah use this expression, occasionally, Loosely the phrase translates as: "The one that understands will, and the ...
3
votes
3answers
92 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 & ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

During the time when the Sanhedrin was primarily Sadducees, would the average citizen that believed in the Oral Law have to listen to them?

During the reign of Alexander Yannai, the court was mostly Sadducees (Sanhedrin 52b, other places) before Shimon Ben Shetach returned and was able to remove them. During the period before Shimon Ben ...
2
votes
4answers
231 views

Why don't we have a “shulchan aruch of forbidden beliefs”?

When discussing which beliefs are heretical to orthodox Judaism the phrase "there is no shulchan aruch on deos-beliefs" comes up often. I would like to know why this is the case. Why can there not be ...
1
vote
4answers
243 views

Can one refer to God as Vengeful?

I saw a dvar Torah on a site that was talking about Shelach and the sin of the spies. The piece was titled "Relating to a Vengeful God". My first reaction was outrage - it's seemed blasphemous. ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Does Judaism believe the doctrine of predestination?

Is there any indication of predestination doctrine in Judaism?
0
votes
3answers
78 views

Does the Torah 'know' about 'quantum mechanics' and 'DNA synthesis'?

There are many articles and books available on the interplay between science and Judaism. Very often they come in the form of a halachic discussion of applying science to be able to resolve a halachic ...
5
votes
5answers
113 views

Which (if any) Rishonim ascribe to a haskafah of hashgacha pratis over everything?

In contemporary times, HaShem's hashgacha over everything is a common hashkafah, at least in the Litvish/Chassidic communities (see Baal Shem Tov, Aruch HaShulchan, Rav Dessler 'Strive for Truth', ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

How do we know that the revelation at Sinai was not a magician's trick?

As quoted in this answer: On the fiftieth day after they began counting the Omer--that is, fifty-one days after the Exodus, all of the Children of Israel, men, women and children, over two ...
0
votes
4answers
66 views

How could the whole Torah be given at Sinai? [duplicate]

When we have instances of Moshe not knowing how to answer questions in the Torah. One of which happens in this week's Torah portion. Numbers 9 8 And Moses said unto them: 'Stay ye, that I may hear ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Is the proof from creations sound?

In the beginning of Hovot Helevavot the author prooves the existence of God by bringing a proof from all creations. To paraphrase: just as every creation (painting, car, book) has a creator so to ...
5
votes
3answers
118 views

What does Judaism say about meditation?

According to recent scientific studies, it has been found that regular meditation has various benefits such as better focus, reduced levels of stress, etc. Knowing that the roots of meditation comes ...
6
votes
5answers
349 views

Why does evil exist?

I realize this is a very common question, but the problem of evil is an important one, and as far as I can tell, has not been asked here. In short, why does G-d allow evil to exist?
0
votes
4answers
73 views

Where can one find information about common sense?

I remember hearing that either the Rambam or the Shulchan Aruch had a chapter/volume ("something daas") on common sense and the dos and don'ts of human interactions. Is there a particular text I can ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Is there a connection between truth and good?

we find that God is associated with truth and also good and that we are exhorted to pursue both, ex. "Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth" Psalm 86:11 "Turn from evil ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What is the purpose of anti-semitism

Assuming that God runs the world and that nothing happens by chance, what is the purpose of anti-semitism? This has followed the jewish people since their inception in Egypt and is very much alive ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

If Christianity is avodah zarah and Islam is not, why has the Christian world triumphed over the non-Christian, and why do Jews prefer to live among Christians and not Muslims?

The Rambam quite clearly considered Christianity to be avodah zarah. He did not feel the same way about Islam, however, going so far as to condone praying within a mosque, and many Orthodox Jewish ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Why is the big bang considered a proof for Jewish tradition

From the little I understand of the big bang It states that the universe was in a very high density state and then expanded. This is commonly used as a proof that the world had a beginning and thus ...
3
votes
3answers
134 views

What is the traditional/common Haredi “non-Hasidic” response to using the “Three Oaths” as an anti-Zionist argument?

Kesubos 111b lists the "Three Oaths" made incumbent on the Jews and the nations during the Exile. The "Three Oaths" have served as a cornerstone of anti-Zionist literature ...
2
votes
3answers
191 views

What caused God?

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
298 views

What is a non-Jew's purpose in life?

What does a non-Jew have to do in life? Why did God create non-Jews? A Jews purpose in life is to learn Torah and do Mitzvos. What should a non-jew be spending his time doing?
5
votes
2answers
111 views

What were Alter Halpern's main issues with Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary?

I have heard that Alter Halpern, a Rabbi in England, published an article or kuntres presenting issues with Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary (for the Talmud, midrash, targum), i.e Sefer HaMilim. What ...