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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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?
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8answers
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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 ...
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78 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 ...
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30 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 ...
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3answers
123 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 & ...
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1answer
86 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 ...
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4answers
238 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 ...
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4answers
271 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. ...
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113 views

Does Judaism believe the doctrine of predestination?

Is there any indication of predestination doctrine in Judaism?
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130 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 ...
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5answers
173 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', ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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4answers
102 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 ...
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2answers
99 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 ...
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172 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 ...
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5answers
392 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?
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4answers
80 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 ...
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29 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 ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
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2answers
96 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 ...
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3answers
212 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 ...
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2answers
323 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?
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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 ...
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5answers
458 views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
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4answers
1k views

Zeh klal gadol batorah - really?

In the Talmud Yerushalmi, Nedarim 9:4 ואהבת לרעך כמוך: אמר רבי עקיבא זה כלל גדול בתורה: "You shall love your fellow as yourself. Said Rabbi Akiva: This is a great principle in the Torah." ...
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3answers
249 views

Issurei arayos worse than rape

Why does the Torah treat forbidden relationships, even when consensual, more seriously, from our perspective, than it treats rape?
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47 views

Killing with hate?

At the end of parashat Emor it is written: וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיּוֹצִיאוּ אֶת-הַמְקַלֵּל אֶל-מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה, וַיִּרְגְּמוּ אֹתוֹ אָבֶן; וּבְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשׂוּ, ...
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4answers
620 views

Why a human Messiah?

I understand that Mashiach is going to be a human. What is the source for this, and are there any explanations why it must be so? Can't G-d Himself redeem us?
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83 views

Why does the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot 3:2 end in a pasuk without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk trying to teach us?

Why does the Mishnah in Avot 3:2 end by quoting a pasuk (biblical verse) without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk in Eichah (verse from Lamentations) trying to teach us? Pirkei Avot 3:2 ...
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0answers
135 views

What does it mean to make up for prayers unavoidably missed - Tashlumin?

The laws of Tashlumin (making up for prayers unavoidably missed) are delineated in Halachipedia “If one forgot to say Shacharit one should say Mincha twice, the first for Mincha and the second ...
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1answer
469 views

If God was never incarnated, how come He sat in front of Abraham's tent and appeared among the oaks of Mamre? [closed]

http://yltbible.com/genesis/18.htm Update: This is a jewish source that think that the guy that approach Abraham is indeed God: But is it not so that he [Avraham] did not go to stand before Him? ...
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4answers
169 views

How does one calculate how much time to devote to torah learning and how much time for livelihood?

In Judaism, the study of torah is considered above all else. However, there is also a need to be able to provide for one's family. How does one calculate the amount of time one should devote to torah ...
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4answers
713 views

Why is Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos so “controversial”?

I have heard that Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos is controversial, and that one needs a rebbe in order to learn it. What does the author say that is so difficult to understand?
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3answers
420 views

How do we know that we have free will?

Where in the torah does it state that humans have, and are entitled to in perpetuity, free will?
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3answers
190 views

Astrology in the Torah

The Torah seems to have many examples where astrology is deemed real. (such as the astrology predictions that Moshe would be struck by water which made Paraoh throw the jewish males in the nile river. ...
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1answer
48 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 ...
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1answer
59 views

Derech Hashem - Looking for a complete set of online Shiurem?

I am looking for a complete set of audio Shiurem on the Ramchal's Derech HaShem The audio quality should be very good Should be no longer than 45 - 50 min per Shiur The series should cover the whole ...
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1answer
109 views

Original Sources for Ideas about Hidden Path to Moshiach

I sat in a class recently and listened to an Orthodox rabbi expound on the convoluted path that had to be taken in the past and will presumably be taken in the future to get to Moshiach. I may not ...
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1answer
102 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? Specifically looking for sources pre-...
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4answers
557 views

What is the source of hatred perceived by Jews in different parts of the world?

I don't know if this is off topic but a similar question is here at Christianity SE and I thought it would be interesting to ask the corresponding one here. It intrigues me how people from other ...
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1answer
63 views

Dina D'Malchuta with regards to the State of Israel?

Simply put, I've heard that the 2nd oath (of the 3 oaths Ketubos 111a) (i.e. not to rebel against the nations of the world) doesn't apply within the State of Israel. I don't know whether or not that ...
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62 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
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2answers
134 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?
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3answers
664 views

Why was an imperfect world instructed in capital punishment?

So, according to wikipedia (I know... but still it was the best source I could find) Leading rabbis in Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism tend to hold that the death ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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1answer
56 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 ...
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86 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.
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61 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 ...
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41 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.
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3answers
410 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...