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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Why are we here if the chances are zero

A somewhat philosophical question (based on a saying by Albert Einstein): If God existed eternally and Olam Haba is infinite in time and this world is finite in time duration, then the chances of one ...
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1answer
93 views
+100

Does Judaism prefer that Jews not be employed but to get sustenance from business if possible?

What is the gradation of preferences regarding sources of sustenance for jews heard that an employee is like a slave to the employer. And maybe this is the source of this idea The Cohen Gadol's ...
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2answers
39 views

When the Torah states that the Israelites “saw no form” when they were at Sinai, is this referring to G-d being perceived as formless?

Devarim 4:15 states: Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves—for ye saw no manner of form on the day that the LORD spoke unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire— And also in ...
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1answer
74 views

Do communal and individual prayers correspond to different sacrifices?

Prayer, in general, is compared to the sacrifices that were offered in the Temple, as alluded to in Hoshea 14:3. But, halacha distinguishes between the prayers of an individual (תפלה ביחיד) and the ...
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3answers
151 views

Must one “work” and “deserve” to observe Shabbat?

The verse on the Ten commandments, also read in Kidusha Raba by certains (Exodus 20, 8-9) says שֵׁ֤שֶׁת יָמִים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד וְעָשִׂ֖יתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ: וְיוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיהוָֹ֣ה ...
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3answers
293 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 ...
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1answer
43 views

Where can I buy Or Hashem?

I found a new printing of Or Hashem by R. Chasdai Crescas on hebrewbooks.org (here), but I can't find it or any other print for sale. Any ideas?
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90 views

Do the Rishonim that hold G-d can have physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.) also hold he can incarnate?

Among the various Rishonim that hold that G-d can take physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.), do they also hold he can "incarnate" into physical form (i.e come down to Earth and be born to a woman ...
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1answer
82 views

How could the Jews have been sure the Golden Calf wasn't actually G-d?

This probably sounds like a ridiculous question, but in all seriousness, many Jews lost their lives in the aftermath of the worship of the Golden Calf (Shemos 32:27-28). While I understand only 40 ...
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3answers
115 views

Women in Leadership Roles

If women are holier than men and naturally closer to Hashem, which is why they aren't obligated in as many mitzvos, why is there at its least a minhag and at its most a prohibition barring them from ...
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0answers
24 views

Does the Torah speak about mental illness? [closed]

I was wondering where does the Torah speak about mental illness, our reaction to mental illness and what is a person who has mental illness obligated to be accounted for?
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3answers
86 views

Free choice versus the Will of G-d

What are the different Hashkofas (outlooks/philosophies) in understanding free choice in a matter versus HaShem's Will occurring in that same thing? For example, if my wife divorces me, did she ...
4
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1answer
60 views

Do you have to know kol ha Torah kula?

Is there a requirement for a Jewish man to know the whole Torah (including every gemara, tosafot, Midrasch…) or is it OK to know the Halacha that is relevant to you and then to use the rest of ...
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2answers
116 views

What if Purim hadn't happened?

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 ...
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3answers
136 views

According to Judaism, how is God's promise to bless all nations through Abraham fulfilled?

I am a Christian and a gentile. Could you please help me understand how the promise of God that appears in Genesis 12:3 to bless non-Jews is viewed both currently and historically in Jewish circles. ...
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5answers
104 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 ...
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2answers
212 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
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3answers
718 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 ...
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6answers
15k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
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2answers
103 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 ...
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7answers
233 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 ...
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3answers
195 views

Why were there no Jewish philosophy tracts until the Rasag?

Jews had their first bump into philosophy when Alexander the Great conquered Israel (in the early Tanaic period). Since then, we lived under the Greeks and Romans for a few hundred years. Both of ...
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3answers
130 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
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1answer
65 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
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3answers
241 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
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5answers
264 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
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2answers
170 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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4answers
108 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 ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
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3answers
263 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?
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1answer
66 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?
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7answers
171 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 ...
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281 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 ...
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3answers
123 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
248 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?
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2answers
394 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 ...
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2answers
59 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 ...
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6answers
194 views

What is the basis for the focus on the difference between Jews and everybody else?

I have noticed that in a large portion of the questions and answers here, the distinction between Jews and other people is repeatedly emphasized. I know enough about the Tanakh to understand that ...
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3answers
357 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
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3answers
146 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 ...
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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, ...
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2answers
85 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, ...
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0answers
49 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 ...