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

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4answers
191 views

Maybe God lied?

How do we know that God didn't lie at Sinai? Maybe he said he was good and compassionate, and promised us reward, but it's all a trick? Why believe that God is true?
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3answers
365 views

Do Jewish people believe in God?

This may sound like a simple question, but every time I speak with a Jewish person and ask them if they believe in God they talk about all kinds of things but they never give me a straight answer. ...
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3answers
359 views

Why did God reveal himself only before there were recording devices?

Inspired by this: For most of what's written in Tanakh, the only evidence that we have of its truth is Tanakh itself. Since many people are skeptical of a book with no independent sources backing up ...
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votes
1answer
438 views

If God was never incarnated, how come He sat in front of Abraham's tent and appeared among the oaks of Mamre? [closed]

http://yltbible.com/genesis/18.htm Update: This is a jewish source that think that the guy that approach Abraham is indeed God: But is it not so that he [Avraham] did not go to stand before Him? ...
6
votes
4answers
853 views

In Judaism, does God have a body?

In the Bible it says [Gen 3:8]: "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day". It seems God has carnal body (thus he could walk). In Judaism compared with ...
1
vote
1answer
255 views

Elohim - Female Image of G-d

There is a group that teaches that analyzing the words in Genesis 1:26 : And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over ...
8
votes
4answers
387 views

If Hashem doesn't change, how does prayer work?

If Hashem is perfect and unchanging, how can we pray to Him to have mercy on us? Doesn't that imply a change? I've heard it implied that the way this works is that the prayer itself has the effect ...
3
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5answers
618 views

Does Judaism recognize other religions?

Does Judaism acknowledge that there are some other religions that come from G-d? If yes, how? Which religions are that? Please give me some examples. And what are the reference for this claim?
0
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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 ...
13
votes
6answers
468 views

Hashem studies Torah?

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah 3b lays out the 12-hour schedule of Hashem's day. I realize that any kind of description of Hashem in human terms is allegorical as Hashem is not a human bounded by time and ...
11
votes
5answers
489 views

What did the 70 elders see?

Parshat Mishpatim says of the 70 elders who went up on Har Sinai with Moshe and Aharon: וַיִּרְאוּ, אֵת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְתַחַת רַגְלָיו, כְּמַעֲשֵׂה לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר, וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you know what is God's will in a particular situation?

After reading this superb article by the great Rabbi Noah Weinberg I'm left pondering point number 5 "Make your will God's will". I understand that this does not mean that whatever you personally ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
254 views

What is the proof that HaShem's purpose in creation was to bestow good?

Rabbi M Ch Luzzatto in Derech HaShem (1:2:1) gives HaShem’s purpose in creation to “bestow of His good to another”. (Translation Aryeh Kaplan.) The translator in his notes gives several ...
6
votes
2answers
375 views

Better for Man to Not have Been Created

The Talmud in Eruvin 13b concludes that it were better for a man not to have been created than to have been created. How can we understand this given that God is absolutely benevolent. Wouldn't it ...
6
votes
3answers
416 views

The Absolute Unity of G-d

As we all who know Hebrew can assert, the sufix "im" in the words usually means plurality. How can HaShem be Elohim or Elokim if He is absolutely One and the Only Lord?
5
votes
4answers
276 views

How did Abraham conclude that the world must have a master?

Abraham is said to have arrived at the existence of Gd in Gen Rabah 39: אמר רבי יצחק משל לאחד שהיה עובר ממקום למקום וראה בירה אחת דולקת אמר תאמר שהבירה זו בלא מנהיג הציץ עליו בעל הבירה אמר לו ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for gentiles, or is it just practice?

Suppose a non-Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for gentiles?
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Shabbat songs that rhyme only with Hashem's real name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronouncing Hashem's name in a song Many songs we sing and the Shabbat table we use the word Hashem instead of Hashem's real name even when the song was written in ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

Why is being religious a duty if God chose to not have a proof to his existence in this world?

According to the answers to the question "How do we know that God exists" it seems some (if not most) religious Jews believe there is no way to verify whether or not God even exists. If this view is ...
3
votes
4answers
232 views

Why is Avraham's monotheism not mentioned in the torah?

One of the more famous achievements of Avraham was his discovery in a single God. However there is no mention of this accomplishment anywhere in the Torah. In fact there is no conclusive proof that he ...
2
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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 ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Does God have complete knowledge of future?

This question Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus? ask around the idea that G-d would choose His holy places during exodus time. However, if he knows the future, he couldn't ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

How can one give HaShem “Naḥat Ruaḥ”?

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Rabbi Yoḥanan makes a similar ...
2
votes
3answers
276 views

Is it true that there was a time when Jews believed in the existence of several Gods instead of just One?

Is it true that there was a time when Jews believed in the existence of several Gods instead of just One? Somebody told me that there was a time when they even worshiped different Gods - even after ...
0
votes
0answers
124 views

Ancient Texts Claiming that G-d is Perfect

I am looking for a list of sources (early Rishonim and before) explicitly claiming that G-d is perfect. One place I found is Devarim 32:4 "The deeds of the [Mighty] Rock are perfect, for all His ways ...
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votes
3answers
483 views

Should anyone be burned to death?

In Leviticus 20:14, it states that a man who has relations with a woman and also with her mother is a despicable lech, whose punishment is to be burned to death. This is one of two transgressions ...
6
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2answers
384 views

Source of Ramban's famous debate

Where can one find the 'disputation of Barcelona' between Pablo Cristiani and the Ramban?
6
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5answers
224 views

Rashi and Corporealsim

Shemos 7:4- וְלֹא-יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה, וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת-צִבְאֹתַי אֶת-עַמִּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בִּשְׁפָטִים, גְּדֹלִים There, Rashi ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the Shekhina?

To what are people referring when they talk about the Shekhina? Is it a form of God? A part of God? An attribute of God? Perhaps it is something else entirely? Also, what is the etymology of the ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

How is knowledge of G-d different from any other knowledge?

The Rambam, in his Morei Nevuchim, says that when it comes to knowledge about G-d, we can only know what G-d is not. I.e. He is not limited in space, or time, He does not have property A, nor does he ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Hashem calls people twice and Hinneni

In many places in the Tanach Hashem uses a name twice (ie Avraham, Avraham in Breshit 22:11; Jacob Jacob in Breshit 46:2; Shmuel shmuel in Shmuel Aleph 3:10 and more). Rashi says that this is an ...
6
votes
5answers
241 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
115 views

Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus?

Around the time of the exodus, the Torah says (Deut. 12:11, in Rabbi Kaplan's translation): there will be a site that God will choose as the place dedicated to His name. It is there that you ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Anim Zemiros is highly anthropomorphic; how come we sing it in public?

Shir HaKovod - Anim Zemiros. This is amazingly anthropomorphic and all that without even once the word כביכול (= as if such a thing could be true). Admittedly the references come from texts such as ...
3
votes
4answers
117 views

What does אדון הכל mean?

The Shulchan Aruch says that when saying G-d's name אד-ני one should have in mind that G-d is אדון הכל, master of all. What does this mean? Does it mean G-d controls everything? I don't think so, ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for Jews, or just idolatrous practices?

Suppose a Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for Jews? We see from this answer that similar ...
3
votes
0answers
68 views

אלקים בגימטריא הטבע and not טבע?

There's a oft quoted saying that "אלקים בגימטריא הטבע." Why is it הטבע and not טבע? Isn't it "cheating" to add the extra "ה"?
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Why btzelem elokim and not btzelem yud-kay-vav-kay?

The torah states that humans are made btzelem elokim. We know that the shem elokim connotes middat ha-din. What ramification does this have on humans (if any)? Why were humans not made btzelem the ...
3
votes
4answers
462 views

Hashem is here, Hashem is there…REALLY?

The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

What did Bnei Yisrael experience at Matan Torah?

I'm having trouble understanding what the Israelites actually experienced at the Revelation at Mt Sinai. Did they all see God? Did they all hear Him? Did they all understand Him? Did they hear all of ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

What's the best rewording of “midas harachamim aleinu hisgalgli” for those uncomfortable with it?

In the Selichot (fifth day of Aseret Yimei Teshuvah, HaPizmon shel Yud Gimel Middot HaRahamim) and in Ne'ila of Yom Kippur, there's the stanza that reads: The concern is the few middle lines: ...
2
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4answers
410 views

Who owns Gehenem (Hell)?

Who owns Gehenem (also known as Hell)?
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0answers
107 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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Are there any Lubavitchers that believe that their Rebbe more than mortal

I have heard that many people think that some Lubavitchers (obviously mistakenly) think that their rebbe is somehow more immortal than everyone else. Does anyone know if this is true and to the extent ...
1
vote
2answers
278 views

Why go to the doctor?

According to Jewish belief, God gives you sicknesses and god gives you cures. If you are sick it's because God wants you to be sick. Once he deems that you no longer need the disease you are then ...