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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2
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5answers
118 views

Can Chazal be wrong?

I understand that a later ruling can't contradict an earlier one, but does that mean that Chazal are infallible, the way Catholics believe the Pope is infallible? And if so, where's the line? Who was ...
11
votes
2answers
215 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
4
votes
3answers
971 views

Is “siman tov u'mazal tov” a halachically problematic phrase?

Literally translated, this is what is commonly said in the Jewish community, upon hearing very good news (typically lifecycle events as such as engagement, marriage, birth). "A good sign and a good ...
15
votes
7answers
16k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
8
votes
2answers
112 views

How to go about finding a personal Rav

The mishna in Avot (1:6) tells us: יהושוע בן פרחיה וניתאי הארבלי קיבלו מהם. יהושוע בן פרחיה אומר, עשה לך רב, וקנה לך חבר; והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות When living in different areas I have gone ...
9
votes
7answers
236 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
5
votes
3answers
135 views

How does punishment in the World to Come make sense?

If a person is able to make choices in this world, and especially if a person is able to disbelieve that there is a Divine order of any type, how does it make sense for a person's soul to be punished ...
5
votes
5answers
201 views

How can two contradictory ideas exist in Matzah?

מצה embodies two ideas: poor man’s bread (slavery) and free man’s bread (the bread that was made in haste when they left Egypt). These ideas seem to contradict one another; how can they both exist in ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

How to choose a yeshiva for an adult?

Usually a parent would have the job of deciding during their youth where to go and as a result will have a better idea of where he wants to go for adult learning. What do the sources have to say about ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

How far does dina demalchusa dina go?

Does this apply to laws which are clearly corrupt and based on lies? At what point does a law which solely benefits one political group but harms everyone else stop being legitimate through the lens ...
2
votes
3answers
251 views

Could G-d change His mind about the future of humanity?

Jews believe that G-d made a permanent covenant with them. We also believe He made a covenant with mankind. We believe in a Messianic redemption and ultimate restoration of the world to peace and ...
4
votes
5answers
270 views

Since G-d is Omnipotent Why Does He Need Our Prayers?

What are some good answers to the Question if God is all powerfull what does he need our Prayers for? I would appreciate as many answers as possibile
5
votes
2answers
176 views

Why did God created physical impulse towards the “wrong” women

When I was young and had struggles with my "yetzer hara" - sexual impulse, I was fascinated by the Jewish attitude towards that impulse. God created this impulse for a purpose. It is meant to push ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Judaism permit sexual relationships outside of marriage?

I am eager to know more about different religions from Islam to Judaism. Furthermore, how different religions look at women and comparing their kinds of approaches to the matter of gender and ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

What are the “four worlds” in Kabbalah?

A friend told me something about there being "four worlds" in Judaism. I think he was referencing something about Kabbalah (though I'm far from an expert at that). I was wondering: What are these "...
3
votes
4answers
112 views

How are we to fear the Lord?

What is it to fear The Lord? How and when do we fear Hashem? There are many verses in The Torah that talk about fearing the Lord. What do the Rabbis and the Talmud say about the question? Is there a ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Is there a source for a man not addressing his wife by her first name?

I know a man who when addressing his wife calls her [for example] Mrs Doe as opposed to 'Jane' or 'Honey' [he does this when he is home too]. This person is very religious and what some might call '...
-3
votes
3answers
308 views

Does adhering to Torah make one a Jew?

I have heard Rabbi Asher Meza say that if one "adheres to Torah," this makes one a Jew; is this true at all?
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Does Graphology Have Any Basis In Judaism? [duplicate]

Graphology is the theory/science that one's middos can be deduced from one's handwriting. Is there any source for such ideas from the rishonim or earlier?
2
votes
7answers
172 views

Books on the significance of the months in the Jewish calendar

I am looking for books/sefarim (Hebrew or English) that discuss the different months of the Jewish year, and their overall significance in relation to: Zodiac Signs Tribes Chagim Animals Tanach/...
8
votes
7answers
293 views

Resources for learning about the foundations of Judaism

I recently met an intelligent Soviet immigrant interested in learning more about Judaism. He would like to start with understanding the basics. Such as: How do we understand G-d? What are the ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Recommend Book on Jewish Philosophy contrasting Secular philosophies

BSD I am looking for a contemporary book with Jewish philosophies and how it relates to other philosophies throughout history whether comparing or contrasting. Not comparative religion books but ...
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votes
2answers
57 views

What is free will and do we have it?

I guess to do evil and good there must be somekinda free will.If someone kills another without understanding it,one can´t say He /She did no evil,but you can say they are without fault. So I would ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

What does it mean to be judged by the good or evil inclination?

Berachos 61b: תניא רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר צדיקים יצר טוב שופטן שנאמר ולבי חלל בקרבי רשעים יצר רע שופטן שנאמר נאם פשע לרשע בקרב לבי אין פחד אלהים לנגד עיניו Rabbi Yose HaG'lili said: The ...
5
votes
2answers
267 views

Is free will limited to humans?

Do other beings besides humans have free will? Perhaps animals have free will? What about angels? Does the status of other types of beings' freedom of will affect us in any way?
11
votes
2answers
404 views

Is it correct to say now “Moshiach must come in this generation”?

Is it correct to say “Moshiach must come in this generation”? Related How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach? The statement was made in a shiur I attended. I asked the maggid shiur ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

Divine Providence and Mishpatim 21:13

The Rambam, and many other Rishonim believed that divine providence extends to people in accordance with their righteousness. It follows that they believed that many times, G-d lets things happen ...
6
votes
3answers
367 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
8
votes
3answers
159 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 d'...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it important that God created the first pair of tongs?

It says in Pirkei Avot 5:6 that God made the first pair of tongs immediately before creation. Could not one have made tongs out of bone or wood wrapped in leather or made with a metal, such as gold, ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Arabic Philosophical Works in Translation

several noted Ge'onic and Rishonic philosophical works were written in Arabic, including R' Sa'adia Ga'on's Emunot V'Deot, Rabbeinu Bachya's Chovot HaLevavot, and the Rambam's More Nevuchim. However, ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Meaning of “emunah shlaima”?

The Rambam's 13 Articles of Faith begin with the statement: "אני מאמין באמונה שלמה" - "I believe with complete faith...", words that then go on to express our faith that God "creates and guides" all ...
8
votes
4answers
202 views

How to define success in life?

What defines success in life (in a Jewish outlook)?
2
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
20
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
144 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
69 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
46 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
votes
2answers
340 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
vote
0answers
107 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
votes
2answers
164 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
votes
1answer
105 views

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

Can anyone find poems on Atticism for me by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal)?
12
votes
3answers
821 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
votes
4answers
108 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
122 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
98 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
129 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
98 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
52 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 ...