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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8
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4answers
202 views

How to define success in life?

What defines success in life (in a Jewish outlook)?
2
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1answer
35 views

If G-d does not lack anything what is meant when it says that he desires prayers of the righteous? [duplicate]

I believe that rashi says that the reason God made the avos/imos barren is so that they would pray since God desires the prayers of the righteous. There's also the idea in Judaism that God is a ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?

Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament; Jews disagree. Why couldn't Jesus be the Messiah spoken of? Or could he possibly have been?
3
votes
6answers
140 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Does G-d have a sense of humor? [duplicate]

Is there scriptural evidence, from the Tanakh (not Talmud) that humor is an attribute of G-d? If so, can a chapter or verse be cited?
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Sefer of Jewish Philosophy

Is there any Sefer which goes through the various philosophical issues according, and explains the opinion of the jewish philosophers? (Example what is space; according to the rambam, rasag... What is ...
2
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2answers
338 views

How to explain a specific phenomenon

Following happened to me: I took randomly a book on the last Shabbat and started read. I've read there an explanation of a certain pasuk which I saw for the first time. Leaving out many details but ...
1
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0answers
60 views

What is the meaning of the saying “two Jews, three opinions?” [closed]

There is an old saying that goes something like "ask two Jews, you'll get three opinions." What is the meaning of it? More specifically, why the numbers two and three, as opposed to "ask two Jews, ...
0
votes
3answers
64 views

Alternative to “mensch”

When talking to a Torah Scholar, if you want to say that they are a "mensch" (as well), is there a better word that fits with a more Haredi/Litvish hashkafah? I am asking as (it seems to me) a more ...
2
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2answers
154 views

How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?

I've heard that the Rambam says that when the Torah speaks about magic it is meant as a parable. If this is the case, how does he explain Pharoah's sorcerers and other incidents in Tanakh such as ...
0
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1answer
102 views

Poems on Atticism by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal) [closed]

Can anyone find poems on Atticism for me by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal)?
12
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3answers
803 views

Is Shadal a mainstream commentary?

Shadal (Shmuel David Luzzatto) wrote, among many other things, a commentary to the Torah. I do not know very much about the style and approach of his commentary, but strangely, I've actually never ...
3
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4answers
106 views

Meaning of snow

Rain is mentioned commonly in the Torah, G'mara and prayers. And it's viewed as a blessing in Judaism. But what about snow (שלג)? If it is, what's its meaning?
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Near Death Experience and Judaism

How does Judaism view Near Death experiences? do we believe they are a figment of the imagination, or do we accept them? and if we do accept them, how do we believe stories of people who claim that ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

God created both the written law and the oral before the world was created. Why didn't he make all of it 'written'?

If He wanted to us to follow all of it and the oral law was most of what we received at Mount Sinai why didn't He tell us to write it all down?
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?

It is the Rambam's 8th Principle of Faith that the entire Torah (possibly except the last several verses) was dictated by God to Moses. Why do we believe that? Why, for example, can't we say that the ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Jewish considerations regarding moving to Mars

My question is independent of particular halachic issues that a Jew would face on Mars. It is not even about the legality of the decision to move to Mars in light of the knowledge that many obstacles ...
1
vote
4answers
50 views

Should we replace fear of G-d with love of G-d?

I've always heard that we should love G-d with all our hearts but also fear Him. I've understood all my life that fearing G-d is a fundamental midah, something every Jew must have. But I've also heard ...
10
votes
5answers
262 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
150 views

Mashiach in year 6000?

I have heard in various discussions that we have an idea that mashiach will come at the latest by year 6000. Is this a normative belief? Furthermore, is this a belief that is understood literally by ...
0
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1answer
55 views

What are the basics books of rationalist jewish philosophy?

According to wikipedia, there is a lineage of rationalist jewish philosophy books. 1° Rambam: More Nebuchim 2° Ralbag: Sefer Milhamot Hashem 3° R' Hesdai Crescas: Or Hashem 4° R' Albo: Sefer ...
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votes
2answers
162 views

Is tearing the hymen something that should be avoided

I have always heard that tearing the hymen by beilas mitzva (first intercourse with a virgin after marriage) is a good thing and it should not be avoided (maybe to tear it is the mitzvah as it seems ...
38
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11answers
3k views

How do we know that God exists?

Simple enough question, and very much related to the topic. According to traditional Jewish sources, on what basis should people believe that there's a God?
3
votes
1answer
26 views

Most auspicious times for bathing in Mikve according to Kabbalah

I am interested in the Kabbalistic answer to this question (below) because of my interest in the deeper spiritual experience and philosophical knowledge, but if you know of an answer according to ...
3
votes
3answers
280 views

What is the role of a wife towards her husband according to Jewish thought?

What does the Torah, encompassing all of the Jewish works, say about the duties and responsibilities of a wife towards her husband? I would like some sources on the matter.
3
votes
3answers
121 views

How to arrive at total Devekut HaMachshava

The Sefarim (first Rama in Orah Haim) discuss "Shiviti Hashem Lenegdi Tamid" in other words Devekut Hamachshava. Does anyone have an Etza to reach this amazing Maala?
6
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the argument between Rashi and the Ra'avid about the meaning of HaMelech HaKadosh

I was reading בחינת דת, a work of Hashkafa by Elias ben Moise del Medigo and in it he references* an argument between Rashi and the Ra'avid regarding the meaning of HaMelech HaKadosh. The context is ...
3
votes
3answers
95 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
3answers
73 views

What method of reasoning did Abraham use to reach Enlightenment?

What method(s) of reasoning did Abraham use to discover HaShem's existence and that he is Adon Olam? I'm wondering about particular methods. [1] ...
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votes
8answers
2k views

Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body?

I've always thought that our true essence, who we actually are, our personalities are our souls. To me, bodies are just temporary "homes" for the soul. My body can perish, but my soul will continue ...
4
votes
2answers
110 views

Role of the soul in living things

Are the bodies of living things (bacteria, plant, animals, humans) running like a purely physical machine or are they coupled with some kind of spiritual soul to breathe life into this machine. Our ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

What is the hebrew Word for the rationalist approach [closed]

What is the hebrew term for the rationalist approach of the Rambam, the Ran, the Rivash, Ralbag etc.?
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Teaching Machshava and Hashkafa to Non-Jews

I know there is a prohibition against teaching Oral Torah to Non-Jews, but what about Machshava and Hashkafa? Sometime Non-Jews ask questions and the answer relates to either Hashkafa/Machshava. Is it ...
10
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0answers
632 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
9
votes
6answers
611 views

Drawing my own conclusions from the Torah

I've always made my own inferences and interpretations from the Torah. Whether it's from a story, a Perashah or something from the Tanach. But I don't know how good/permissible that is. A problem ...
2
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
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votes
2answers
143 views

Did God create life forms containing infinite wisdom

In Tehilim King David said (92:5): "How great are Your works, Lord, how deep your thoughts!" According to Chazal (Torah sources, ideally Talmud, Midrash but can be Rishonim also) does this mean God ...
3
votes
2answers
54 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
516 views

Where is it taught that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome?

I heard various rabbonim say that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome. Where is the source for this?
4
votes
3answers
116 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 ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Giving up being a Jew [duplicate]

If one is born into a Jewish family can one renounce Judaism and cease to be a Jew? Is being a Jew more ethnicity than faith?
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Reb Yoel's opinion on Torah of Baal Shem Tov

In the answer here, an opinion that 'the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov is forgotten' is attributed to Reb Yoel of Satmar. Is there an actual source for these words being said by him? Is there any ...
0
votes
3answers
152 views

How do we know that non-commandments in the Torah still apply today?

It has been stated elsewhere on here that the laws of the Torah are eternally binding on all Jews (e.g no chametz on Passover, shake the 4 species etc.), is there anywhere that discusses whether other ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How can we be sure that Judaism is true/the truth?

I borrowed (with permission) a question from Ahmed Han, which is: People of every religion claim that they are the ones in the right path. Even the people of sects in these religions think that ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

Should lust for one's wife be curbed?

According to Judaism illicit relations are forbidden. I always thought that the way one can control his lustful desires is by marrying. In the Garden of Peace, Rabbi Shalom Arush says that a man ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Has any rav / gadol answered Maharal's question on why we pray?

I located this in beurei hatefilah מהרל נתיבות עולם א עמוד פא נתיב העבודה פרק ה And there are those who ask about tefila: if a person is worthy that G-d should grant him what he is requesting ...
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7answers
3k views

Why does belief in Judaism require irrationality?

In conversations with Rabbis, and in watching debates between Rabbis and atheists, I have often found that the response to questions which attack Judaism either on the basis of some of its perceived ...
5
votes
1answer
467 views

What are the most important writings of Rav Kook for Emunah and Hashkafah?

I would like to return to learn some of the writings of Rav Kook in order to improve my Hashkafah and Emunah. In the past I attended an Israeli "dati leumi" yeshiva where i learnt a bit of them, but ...
3
votes
4answers
231 views

Where does the sense of morality come from?

Where does our sense of morality which impels us to right conduct come from? Is it something internal to us, or perhaps it is external to us? Is it physical or spiritual, etc. For example, does our ...
1
vote
3answers
178 views

Do Amalekians not have souls?

I remember reading once (in Sender Zeyv's novel Ten Lost), that some Jewish sources say that Amalekians don't have souls. Obviously, this might not be so reliable, coming from a work of fiction, so ...