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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

2
votes
1answer
26 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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?
-5
votes
1answer
28 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
55 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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
votes
1answer
67 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, ...
8
votes
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
votes
1answer
68 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).
1
vote
4answers
607 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.
2
votes
2answers
48 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
50 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
52 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
84 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) ?
0
votes
0answers
12 views

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!", ...
6
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 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 ...
-2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
73 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! ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
310 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
100 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
136 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
264 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
79 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
100 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
109 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
204 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
996 views

What should our response be to ancient scripts that mirror the Torah?

There are quite a number of ancient documents that have been found that (supposedly) predate the Torah, and yet they share many lines practically verbatim. If the Torah is truly divine, how could this ...
7
votes
1answer
64 views

What are respectful ways to depict a vision involving Hashem in fiction?

I'm Jewish writing a story that at least Modern Orthodox I hope will consider fit to read, even if not necessarily to be consider frum by some to the right. I'm at the point where the heroine needs a ...
4
votes
2answers
419 views

G-d doesn't have emotions? Why?

Here I've read, that the Rambam in yesode hatorah says, G-d has no emotions. But the Torah is full with things like: what He hates (usually the breaking of His laws, especially the sins related ...
7
votes
2answers
53 views

Do I have to be certain that there is a God? [duplicate]

Does the Torah require me to believe/know that God exists based on premises that I consider to be and reason to be certainties? Is it proper or even just ok to believe that God exists based on ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Kedusha as pertains to G-d

Throughout our prayers we talk about G-d's Kedusha. For example, we say "Ata kadosh", "Nekadesh es shimcha", etc. Kedusha is generally translated as "holiness". Holiness, in turn, generally refers to ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Masculine Terms applied to God

Since ancient Israel was a patriarchal society, does that mean that the intermediary humans that wrote the Tanach were inclined to apply masculine aspects to God because men were dominant in those ...
6
votes
2answers
371 views

Source of Ramban's famous debate

Where can one find the 'disputation of Barcelona' between Pablo Cristiani and the Ramban?
5
votes
2answers
211 views

When Moshiach comes how will people know about God?

When mosiach comes it says everybody in the whole world will believe in Hashem (Zecharya 8:23): כֹּה אָמַר ה' צְבָאוֹת בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה אֲשֶׁר יַחֲזִיקוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִכֹּל לְשֹׁנוֹת ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the meaning of “ we are the children of God ”? [closed]

Shalom , What is the meaning when the jew say that and according to this can we say that Moses is the son of God as he is the biggest teacher " while not meaning what the Christians said " ? I hope I ...
7
votes
2answers
490 views

What does “servant of G-d” mean?

The mussar texts are replete with the idea that we should be servants of God, and the first paragraph of the shema itself says "and you shall love your god with all your heart and all your might." So ...
-2
votes
1answer
54 views

Usage of the term Baali

In Hosea 2:18, if G-d was called "Baali," does this allude to the concept that God was perceived as a bull as Baal was portrayed in Ugaritic texts?
2
votes
1answer
91 views

How do we logically know that there are not 2 Gods (according to the Chovos HaLevavos)?

The Chovos HaLevavos in Shaar HaYichud Chapter 7 in the paragraph's that start "The 3rd way" and "The 7th way" explains why it makes sense for there to be only one God and not (none or) two. 1- Can ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

How do we respond to the argument of “stupid design”?

What would counter-arguments from the Jewish perspective be to arguments like the ones in this video against intelligent design? The basic premise is that humans, Earth, and the universe are, in fact, ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

infallible reasoning for believing in a god that created and runs the world [duplicate]

In the Torah it is written that we should serve God, love him, have trust in him, believe that he runs the show and in return we are promised a share in the world to come - a world of eternal bliss. ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

So who is this “angel of the Lord” that call himself “the God of bethel”?

There is only one "God". So there is only one being in the whole world that can call God with the word "I" Yet we have this malak hashem repeatedly acting as if he is God himself. ...