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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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?...
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1answer
126 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 ...
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3answers
135 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 ...
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1answer
123 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 "...
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2answers
118 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 ...
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0answers
67 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 ...
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5answers
308 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 ...
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6answers
261 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 ...
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3answers
832 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 + ...
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1answer
84 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-...
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1answer
76 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
311 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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9answers
990 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 ...
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1answer
53 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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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 ...
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0answers
28 views

Question about jewish vegans [duplicate]

What does Judaism think about Veganism, as expressed in relevant traditional Jewish sources?
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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 ...
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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, ...
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4answers
248 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 ...
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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. ...
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8answers
398 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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
41 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
172 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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0answers
110 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
86 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
118 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
27 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
106 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
158 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
115 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
902 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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7answers
16k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
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2answers
108 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
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 ...
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3answers
203 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
134 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
108 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
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 ...
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3answers
244 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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
100 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 "...