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

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How can one give HaShem “Nahhat Ruahh”?

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 Yohhanan makes a similar ...
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6answers
253 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 ...
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1answer
102 views

How long does it take to become a kofer?

If a person for whatever reason momentarily has a thought which denies God, but then afterwards reaffirms his belief in Hashem, is that an act of kefira? Does a momentary lapse in belief constitute a ...
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3answers
211 views

If God has no body, then how does He act in the world?

The Rambam in beginning of Hilchos Deos asserts that God has no body - physical or otherwise. Hence, God is totally intangible. If so, how can the untangible affect anything in this world? If He has ...
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3answers
152 views

Why do we pray?

Say you have a very good king--he is very nice to his servants and makes the country prosperous and peaceful for everyone. Wouldn't he find it annoying if one of his servants praised him daily, three ...
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2answers
270 views

“God is Fire”: Trying to Source an Analogy for Prayer

I remember reading once a very clever analogy, which I was sure that I had found in the writings of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (who sourced it, from memory, in the writings of the Rav, R' Yosef Ber ...
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2answers
254 views

Is believing that God, Israel, and Torah are one Avodah Zarah?

The Zohar said that God, Israel, and Torah are one. I thought Judaism is strictly monotheistic. When Jesus said, "I and the father is one", he was being a heretic. So how come the Zohar includes even ...
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0answers
64 views

How do you know Judaism is true? [duplicate]

there are many religions out there, each with its own framework of beliefs/premises about God (or something else.) How do you know the Jewish perspective is the correct one?
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4answers
222 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 ...
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4answers
340 views

How do we know that God does not take human form?

Christianity believes that God takes human shape in the form of Jesus, and comes down to earth as a man. Of course, Jews do not believe that God ever takes the shape of a human, but how do we know ...
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0answers
59 views

Significance of man relative to God

God is totally infinite in space/time and beyond, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-everything. Compared to God, man, the universe, and everything in it - everything is completely insignificant. If so, ...
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1answer
111 views

Is it possible for God to have rejected us, even in theory?

The very last pasuk in Eicha says "כִּי אִם-מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ, קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד-מְאֹד.". The translation from the Atrscroll reads something like "For even if you had rejected us, you have been ...
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3answers
248 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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2answers
191 views

What if someone is unable to believe in God?

Suppose someone really truly wants to believe in Hashem, but is simply unable to. Even after much trying and learning Torah, he still is simply unable to believe in God. Would that person be ...
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3answers
178 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 ...
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1answer
277 views

What God must gentiles believe in?

In the Rambam's Mishne Tora, the end of chapter 8 of M'lachim reads: Any [gentile] who accepts seven commands and is careful to fulfill them is among the pious of the nations of the world and has ...
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2answers
118 views

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

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 ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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1answer
97 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?
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0answers
37 views

Why did God create outer space? [duplicate]

Everything God does has a reason. He created the world for us to serve him. How does most of outer space help us serve God. Or just plainly why was space created?
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1answer
107 views

What about the Kohen?

It is a given that the Kohen blesses the people, but who blesses the Kohen? Is the Kohen excluded from the Brakha or is he included in the one he makes on the kehillah's behalf?
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2answers
109 views

Did HaShem “regret” creating someone/something

I heard once that it says somewhere in Chazal that there were certain things or people that HaShem "regretted" (had "charatah") in creating. Although I don't remember which examples were given or if a ...
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1answer
136 views

Infinite Chain of Cause/Effects

In the Shaar Yichud of Chovos Halevavos, one of the premises for proving that God exists is that there cannot be an infinite chain of cause/effect hence there must be one Cause which had no previous ...
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6answers
400 views

Why is God so hidden from us

Why did God institute a natural order so that His presence would be hidden. I know so many people who are hopelessly convinced of the scientific perspective that the world is basically a machine ...
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2answers
202 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 ...
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5answers
331 views

Is God active or passive?

This is bothering me a lot. Is God active (he changes things, tunes a little when it goes wrong) or he is passive or even he "passed away" when creating this Universe, meaning we are made from God ...
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6answers
452 views

Can God destroy Himself?

I was thinking about it lately. If God can do everything, can He destroy Himself? Is there something about this possibility in any of the holy books?
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4answers
334 views

Seeking Clear Definition of God in Judaism as Presented in Tanakh [closed]

I am curious to know if/how God is crisply defined in the Torah: What is God and what is God not? For example, here is what can be considered a crisp definition of God in the Quran (necessary ...
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2answers
242 views

Why does God care about our service?

The Rambam in yesode hatorah says that God has no emotions. He does not change, he does not get angry nor have joy. Everything you see in tanach is just so that we can understand. The commentary ...
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3answers
222 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
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4answers
238 views

Did Moshe Rabbeinu See God?

Did Moshe Rabbeinu see God? Doesn't Maimonides assert that all references to the physicality of God are metaphorical? If so, how did Moses see God?
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0answers
110 views

Writing HaShem's actual name in English

Is it permissible to write out HaShem's actual name (the "Tetragrammaton") in English (or any other, non-Semitic, language)? Does it make a difference how you spell it, ie., whether you write it in ...
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2answers
272 views

Am I yotzei in my davening if I believe that God communicated with Mohammad?

I have been reading through the various questions about Islam and its relationship to Judaism, and about the Rambam's view that Islam is a monotheistic religion and not idolatry and I am wondering: If ...
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1answer
125 views

May one learn from a heretic?

The Rambam writes in his introduction to Shemona Perakim: "kabel ha-emet mimi she-amerah - accept the truth from whoever speaks it". Furthermore, the gemarah Chagigah 15b indicates that Rebbi Meir ...
3
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4answers
452 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?
3
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0answers
57 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"?
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0answers
34 views

Where is G-d according to Judaism? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hashem is here and there and everywhere? Sometimes to make the idea controversial, atheists depict G-d as a humanly being residing in the space. Then compare this to ...
2
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4answers
261 views

How can we know God?

How can we know God? Isn't God unknowable? We learn and study and follow God's commands and pray, but how do we know God (as opposed to what God wants)? What is a true way to know GOD better? ...
3
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0answers
108 views

Why are there only a finite number of people?

If the purpose that we ascribe as the reason for creation (as stated in the Ramchal's Derech Hashem, Klach Pischei Chochma and other works) is for God to bestow his goodness unto creation (bearing in ...
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2answers
126 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 ...
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2answers
144 views

Where is a mediator between God and man forbidden

I don't believe that there should be mediators (like Christians believe Jesus is a mediator between God and man whom they pray to and/or pray through) between us and God, but is there anywhere in the ...
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5answers
809 views

Does God love non-Jews?

I've read the topic of whether or not God discriminates between Jews and non-Jews, but does God love non-Jews? Does it say anywhere that He does love non-Jews. I don't believe that God hates non-Jews ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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2answers
152 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 ...
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1answer
206 views

Belief in Yechidah

According to Chabad.org, Yechidah connotes the essence of the soul--its unity with its source, the singular essence of G-d. For the essence of the soul of man is "literally a part of G-d ...
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4answers
468 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 ...
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1answer
334 views

Why can't we say God's name?

Why are we no longer allowed to pronounce the name "Elokim" in everyday speech?
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2answers
339 views

Is Reconstructionist Judaism essentially atheistic?

Is Reconstructionist Judaism essentially atheistic? It seems that they treat Judaism as mere "culture" that they should cherish. In fact, that's what atheism's view is on most religions: that there ...
5
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2answers
66 views

In Kaddish — what consolation can we offer G-d?

In the Kaddish, we say that may G-d be praised "beyond any blessing, hymn, praise, and consolation said in this world." I understand how we can bless or praise G-d -- but how exactly (or even ...
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1answer
82 views

Is there any concept of “troubling” G-d?

Is there any idea mentioned on Judaism of not wanting to "trouble" G-d with something too trivial? Obviously, G-d is infinite, and it's no more trouble for Him to do a thousand things than it is to do ...