Questions regarding our understanding of God, such as it is. NOT for every question about Jewish beliefs.

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attributes of God--Why does God have to come down to check out Sodom and Gemorrah?

I've always thought it rather curious that God came down to check out the corruption of the city: כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו, לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת-בָּנָיו וְאֶת-בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו, וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Does Rambam contradict the Shema

Does Rambam teach one should not say "God is one" but rather "God is not multiplicity?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maimonides See segment labeled "Negative Theology."
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0answers
52 views

Is it possible for God to father a child [closed]

Is it possible for God to father a child? If the mother were Jewish, would the child be Jewish (as is usual from a Jewish mother)?
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2answers
73 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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2answers
84 views

Knowing Hashem how? [duplicate]

It says veyadata es Hashem elokecha And ladas ki Hashem hu Elokim devarim 4:35 What does it mean to know Hashem (God)? How can our finite and limited minds grasp him and understand him? Not Hashem's ...
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1answer
40 views

Why should we use lightning rods? [duplicate]

If God won't kill us, we won't be hit by a lightning. If He wants our death, a lightning rod won't defend us. Same reasoning could work for seat belts. Which is, on my opinion, a false reasoning. ...
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2answers
44 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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2answers
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Is it correct to read the pasuk of Deuteronomy 15:11 with the “never” term?

In one of the Torah Readings for the eighth day of Pesach, falling in a week day, there's the following passukim (Deuteronomy 15:10-11) י  נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ:  ...
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0answers
108 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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2answers
82 views

Are there any specific laws and consequences for claiming to be God?

Is there a specific command to not equate yourself to God? For instance, someone says, "I am God." This someone is a believer and a member of the Jewish faith, not an unbeliever. I'm curious if ...
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3answers
85 views

Laws of Belief in G-d

Does anyone know of a sefer or other halachic source that deals with the halachot of what one must believe about G-d? e.g., obviously Jews are required to believe G-d exists, and that He is the only ...
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1answer
73 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
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1answer
113 views

Is Panentheism considered heretical?

(Closely related to this post, but I think it is still a bit different) Panentheism: A doctrine that the universe subsists within Gcd, but that Gcd nevertheless transcends or has some existence ...
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2answers
89 views

Was Abraham's religion original?

In what way was Abraham's religion different from Noah's, Shem's or Eber's? Weren't they all monotheists?
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2answers
297 views

How can G-d regret anything?

Does G-d regret making or creating something? Of course not! I've always believed this question to be silly and somewhat inappropriate, knowing that G-d is perfect, knows everything, has infinite ...
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1answer
46 views

Bereishit 3 :22 Angels or Hashem

Bereishit 3 22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree Here is a major question I ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
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1answer
67 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?
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1answer
34 views

Hashem, dwell in their midst

Shemot 25 8 And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst Vaikra 15:31 and Bemidbar 19:13. It is being implied there that the body is the temple of Hashem. 31 Thus shall ye ...
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2answers
59 views

The ten commandments ,are the five first and the five last connected:1-6,2-7,3-8 and so on?

The ten commandments ,are the five first and the five last connected? Rabbi Mordechai Kraft teaches that the sages(I have no source)did teach that the first five commandments works together with the ...
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1answer
104 views

Is it a mainstream view that Satan is an angel testing us for Hashem so that He can reward us in Olam Haba?

An American Rabbi claims that Satan is an angel and he is not evil. That Satan is testing us and that is good, so that Hashem can give us a good reward in Olam Haba. Is this a majority view in ...
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1answer
352 views

If I knew Him I would be Him

Anyone know the source of the phrase "If I knew Him I would be Him," and its meaning? (heard it a few times though don't recall where. rumors abound that the rambam said this though have never seen a ...
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1answer
121 views

How was Moses able to speak to G-d “face to face”?

I'm trying to resolve what seems to be a conflict with two verses: Exodus 33:20: וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֹ֥א תוּכַ֖ל לִרְאֹ֣ת אֶת־פָּנָ֑י כִּ֛י לֹֽא־יִרְאַ֥נִי הָאָדָ֖ם וָחָֽי׃‏ And He said: ‘You can ...
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1answer
39 views

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa understood “Ain od mivado” to also exclude the powers of cishuf, what is the source of this?

In Chulin 7b, Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was not concerned with the threats of a sorcereress due to his understanding that "Ain od Milvado (Devarim 4:35)" included even the powers of sorcery. What was his ...
3
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1answer
73 views

What is worse: not believing in G-d or believing in many G-ds? [duplicate]

I have been wondering - for no particular reason - what is worse between being an atheist and being an idolater? I thought that a logical place to look for an answer would be the Ten Commandments, ...
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7answers
2k views

Why is the Bible not a work of theology?

The Bible contains stories, and poetry, and history, and myth, and rules, and a few other bits and pieces. What it does not contain is theology, per se. Nowhere in the Bible does anyone attempt to ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Observant Jews' view of the mind of God in relation to rules

Is it the view among observant Jews that God in fact cares about all the intricacies of observance? (as opposed, say, to what is in a person's heart and mind).
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4answers
633 views

Why does God exist?

Why does God exist as opposed to nothing existing. Is this just a contingent fact that we must accept or is there some kind of reason we can understand a bit why it must be so? Please source.
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2answers
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Ezra spreading out his hands 'unto' G-d, Solomon's hands towards heaven

In Ezra 9.5, there is a reference to Ezra 'spreading his hands unto G-d'. Similarly, Solomon 'spreads forth his hands towards heaven' (2 Chronicles 6.13) and subsequently addresses G-d. In line with ...
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4answers
90 views

Source for Rambam about God's emotions being for the ignorant?

I believe that the Rambam somewhere in Mishneh Torah (although it could possibly be the Guide) states that the Torah only says that God "gets angry" etc. in order so that the masses will be scared to ...
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0answers
68 views

Is it generally accepted by Jewish scholars that Judaism was at one stage henotheist and/or monolatrist? [duplicate]

It is widely believed, among scholars of the history of Judaism and the Jewish scriptures, that the earliest books of the Tanakh display a gradual shift from a position of henotheism, to a form of ...
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3answers
56 views

In Rambam's negative theology, why are G-d's attributes of action considered something that we can know about G-d?

In Rambam's negative theology, there is a distinction between descriptions of G-d's essence (which we can only speak about in negative terms, e.g. G-d is not physical, non temporal, non ignorant, ...
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3answers
89 views

Is it forbidden to try to give a specific description of HaShem?

Is it forbidden to try to give a definition of G-d as (i.e. a person/entity/consciousness who is unlimited without a physical shape not limited to space and time) ?
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What constitutes a name of G-d? [duplicate]

A now-deleted question on this site asked about what halachik justification there was for an attempted stoning of Jesus. In the passage quoted by the OP, Jesus had said "Before Abraham was, I AM!", ...
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1answer
406 views

In what sense did G-d live in the Temple, in the understanding of Jews prior to the Temple's destruction?

I'm going to be extra careful with this question, because I think that it would be easy to say something the wrong way and cause serious offense. If I do cause offense, I apologize in advance, and I ...
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2answers
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In Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:7 the Rambam says one who believes in more than one ruler is a heretic. What is the basis for this?

In Hil. Teshuvah 3:7 of the Mishneh Torah (in his listing of heretics - minim), the Rambam makes the following statement: והאומר שיש שם מנהיג אבל הן שנים או יותר "The one who says there is indeed a ...
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2answers
89 views

What can one do to see clearer that God is really in charge of everything?

Based on my Jewish learning it is clear that God created the world, oversees everything and everything that happens is in accord with his will. However as I carry out my day to day activities it ...
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1answer
81 views

How to understand Gd eating? [closed]

How does our tradition understand the mention in Devarim 4:28 of our Gd eating? In what respects does Gd "eat"? וַעֲבַדְתֶּם־שָׁ֣ם אֱלֹהִ֔ים מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יְדֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם עֵ֣ץ וָאֶ֔בֶן אֲשֶׁ֤ר ...
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1answer
77 views

Transcendence, Immanence, and Ya'akov

I've been following some of the discussion here: Does Judaism believe in a form of Panentheism? and here: Hashem is here and there and everywhere? And I have to admit I am more confused than ever! ...
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1answer
64 views

Why does G-d desire the prayer of the righteous? [duplicate]

If I am not mistaken, I believe that Rashi comments that the reason that G-d made the patriarchs and matriarch not have children until an old age was because he desired their prayers. If G-d is ...
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2answers
316 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
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4answers
102 views

Did God acquire His good qualities?

Did God acquire or improve His good "qualities" (ex. wisdom, kindness, righteousness) or were they always a part of Him? (we can see for example, that God possesses the characteristics of wisdom and ...
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6answers
141 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 ...
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4answers
269 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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3answers
86 views

What does HaShem benefits from making the human being?

HaShem made the human being with free will (to choose), but what does it mean to HaShem, or what does He gain/benefits from making the human being and why making this human being with the the ability ...
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3answers
102 views

Understanding the dwelling of the Shechina

The Shechina, or Divine Presence, is mentioned as being present in a number of different situations in the Talmud: When 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 people sit and occupy themselves with Torah, (Avot 3:2,6, ...
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Mocking God- sources

Is there an issur for a Jew to mock God by means of satire or a joke? is joking about God halahcically distinct from "birkas hashem," (cursing God) which is prohibited even to Bnei Noach (per ...
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2answers
85 views

Divine Names for Judgement and Mercy

I have been told that the name of God אלוקים‏, Elokim represents the מידת הדין‏ or aspect of judgement, and that the name יקוק‏, the ineffable name represents the מידת הרחמים or aspect of ...
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1answer
54 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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2answers
111 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 ...