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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7answers
226 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

How does Judaism views Secularism?

In present day world, most of the democratic countries follow Secularism, i.e. separating state and religion. What is the opinion of Judaism on Secularism: Should a state following Halacha endorse ...
7
votes
4answers
262 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
2k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Exorcism in Judaism

What is the consensus today regarding dybbuks, demons and possession? Do we attribute these things to mental illness or do we acknowledge their existence?
0
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2answers
178 views

greek philosophy and Judaism

Why is it that the Rishonim and many Achronim used to be fluent in philosophy (mainly Greek) and these days it's unheard of, is it due to our weakness but is really allowed?
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Why are large parts of the Torah not applicable nowadays?

There are 613 mitzvot enumerated in the Torah. There are many mitzvot (more than half) that are not directly applicable today e.g. laws pertaining to the temples. Despite there being some remnants of ...
8
votes
3answers
640 views

Belief in midrashim

The ramban in sefer havikuach asserts with regard to medrash " mi shemaamin bo tov, mi shelo maamin bo lo yazik" whoever believes in it, good, he who does not believe it, will not be harmed. Are ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

Do sociopaths/psychopaths lack “דעת” of Good and Evil?

As YeZ points out in this answer, "daat" is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do sociopaths and/or psychopaths lack the דעת of the distinction between good and evil?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did God do nothing against the Romans that desecrated the Temple?

When good guy made a mistake, like Uzzah trying to fix the ark, God killed him (see II Samuel 6:6). However, Uzzah does not seem that evil. I mean, the ark stumbled and he just tried to help. Then, ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Hormonal manipulation: Taharas hamishpacha vs. the woman's health

I know* it is quite common among observant Jewish couples to use hormonal methods to prolong, shorten, and/or reschedule the woman's cycle to make taharas hamichpacha timing align better with ...
2
votes
4answers
415 views

Is one permitted to study other religions?

Is one allowed to study other religions? If not, how is one supposed to know that Judaism is correct? If yes, is such study encouraged?
9
votes
2answers
525 views

Is it heresy to read the Bible literally?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in this debate with Richard Dawkins says: Rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: If a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific ...
12
votes
3answers
407 views

Why is Moshiach a “fundamental belief” (iqar)?

In what sense is belief in the eventual coming of Moshiach fundamental to Judaism? Rambam famously includes it as the twelfth in his list of iqarim, but why? Considering the other iqarim, Judaism ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

Using a Mitzvah to Get Prayers Answered

If one prays specifically after performing a Mitzvah, in the hopes that G-d will be more likely to answer their prayer: Is that considered improper, as it is using the Mitzvah for his/her own benefit?...
7
votes
3answers
413 views

Is it wrong to be racist?

Is there anything wrong about being a racist? By racist I mean believing that certain groups of people are objectively worse in any qualitative way based on their race.
2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
326 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
1
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1answer
61 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?
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Hashgachah pratis according to Rambam/n

Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim 3:18 and Ramban in his commentary to Iyov (do not remember exactly where) as well as on Parashas Vayeiroh (Bereishis 18:19) say that for the majority of humanity, including ...
3
votes
3answers
142 views

Is it possible to have Yiras Shomayim but not subscribe to Orthodox Halachic practices?

This question came up in a discussion and I guess is a topic up for debate. The questions are. (1) What is the definition of Yiras Shomayim? (2) Based on that definition, is it possible to not ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between Muskalot and Mefursamot?

The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim writes that before Adam ate of the tree of knowledge the human being existed with concepts of "truth and falsehood," whereas afterwards their perception was in terms of "...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Jewish-specific books that respond to atheism

Aside from there being (relatively) few online debates by eminent Jewish scholars with atheists, what would be considered recommended reading for a religious Jew who is interested in learning how to ...
0
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0answers
68 views

Does God Compensate Animals For Their Pain During Shechita?

Rav Sa'adia Gaon states the following regarding ritual slaughter of animals: I will make this matter understandable and say: the Creator has decreed that every animal will die, and has given ...
1
vote
5answers
309 views

What is the benefit to praying with a Minyan?

What is the benefit(s) of Praying with a Minyan? Besides for all the additional things you can now do with a Minyan (Kaddish, Kriah etc). By prayer, I mean the Shmoneh Esreh. What is different in ...
-2
votes
6answers
263 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
833 views

Does demolition of terrorists' homes have any basis in Judaism?

Israel is currently implementing a policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists, even after they have been 'eliminated', as a deterrent to others. Is this kind of action OK, according to halacha + ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Should a robber pray to be successful in robbing a bank?

If a person plans to do something that they know is an aveira, should they daven to be successful? I think one of the main things this question is exploring is how a person should relate to God vis-a-...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

According to the beginning of the Mesilas Yesharim, the entire purpose of creation is for man to merit Olam Haba (the bliss of the next world). If so, why is there no mention nor description of Olam ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is being vegan “kosher”?

Is being a vegan completely okay according to halacha? Even if a vegan is not eating anything traif (non-kosher), perhaps it's not truly correct because you are not following the commandments to ...
18
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Is God Praiseworthy?

In many Jewish prayers and throughout Tanakh, God is strongly praised for His goodness, that which He does for the Jews, His amazing miracles etc. However, those same sources, and most Jewish sources, ...
16
votes
4answers
250 views

Should Jews be self-employed?

Under what method of employment should a Jew sustain himself? Is there a preference for self-employment over working for an employer? I've heard that an employee is like a slave to the employer and ...
2
votes
3answers
67 views

‫ is self esteem good or bad?

The penultimate Lubavitch rebbe writes in his principles of education (Chapter 10, starting here), that to feel down is not good but to feel secure and have a healthy self esteem is not good either. ...
19
votes
8answers
399 views

“I never saw a tzaddik be abandoned…” - how do we understand this?

At the end of bentching we say that "I was young, and I also became old, and I never saw a righteous person be abandoned, and his children asking for bread" (Tehillim 37:25). How do we reconcile that ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Seeking the book of Rav Moshe Taku

I read in a post on mi yodeya here that this Chacham, Rav Moshe Ben Chasday Mitaku wrote that G-d has a body. I am sure that the text is very interesting and I am curious to understand what he means. ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

רבי vs תלמיד חכם [closed]

There is a point where one can choose between becoming a Rebbi (In this context rebbi refers to one that teaches students in school/Yeshiva) and learning all day looking to be a Talmud Chachum, Gadol ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Moshiach or gan eden [duplicate]

What is the purpose of everything, our Torah and mitzvos. Is it to go to gan Eden in olam haba or is it to bring moshiach? Whenever I ask people usually I get either answer. Can someone clarify like ...
1
vote
2answers
45 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
173 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
111 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
120 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
28 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?
2
votes
3answers
108 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
119 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
159 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. ...