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

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359 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
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5answers
221 views

Was Kriyas Yam Suf difficult?

The gemora in Pesachim 118a says "קשין מזונותיו של אדם כקריעת ים סוף", and there is a similar expression in Sota 2a and Sanhedrin 22a "קשה לזווגן כקריעת ים סוף". What exactly was difficult about ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
190 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
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 ...
6
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5answers
81 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 ...
6
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1answer
519 views

Why does God tolerate demons? What is their purpose?

The Bavli records in many places the existence of demons, and answers to this question cite rishonim and acharonim who take this seriously. Pesachim 112b relates a story in which demons are ...
6
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2answers
162 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
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1answer
542 views

What is the difference between Orthodox, Reform and Conservative? (Re: Theology)

I'm asking purely in a da ma l'hoshiv context. I grew up frum (Orthodox) and currently work for a Jewish organization that hires a lot of non-jews as well as Conservative and Reform Jews. One of the ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

Does G-d only hear one language?

I'm a little confused by Rambam Hil. Tefilla 1:4. Consequently, when someone would pray, he would be limited in his ability to request his needs or to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, in ...
6
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1answer
109 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 ...
5
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5answers
339 views

Why is learning Torah today harder than 1000 years ago?

Why did Hashem make it harder for this generation to learn Torah, rather than making it equal for every generation? We have all these distractions like tv or games.
5
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4answers
257 views

Lubavitch and Geocentricism

I read here in an article by Rabbi Gil Student that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a believed in the geocentric model despite the modern scientific evidence to the contrary. What is the source for this ...
5
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4answers
273 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 ...
5
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3answers
413 views

Getting benefit from a church

I recently heard that one is forbidden to get any benefit from a church (or any other place of worship other then a shul). They went on to say that the prohibation included while giving directions ...
5
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1answer
130 views

Can Hashem see under our covers?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 3 Sif 1 אלא ילבישו ויפשיטו כשהוא שוכב על משכבו מכסה. ואל יאמר הנני בחדרי חדרים ובחשכה מי רואני, כי הקדוש ברוך הוא מלא כל הארץ כבודו, וכחשכה כאורה לפניו יתברך שמו. My ...
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1answer
126 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?
5
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
5
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3answers
249 views

Does HaShem need rest?

Why did HaShem create Shabbos? He doesn't need rest!
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1answer
106 views

How exactly should I understand the Divine Presence?

I'm reading Talmud Bavli (the one from Koren) and I have a question concerning what I read in Shabbat Daf 12b. G-d is called the Omnipresent several times, implying to me that G-d is present ...
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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 ...
5
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3answers
494 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 ...
5
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1answer
171 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 ...
5
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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 ...
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6answers
805 views

How can God be just in light of Deuteronomy 23:3?

Deuteronomy 23:3: A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the LORD. I asked a similar question here ...
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3answers
298 views

Theology on evolution from khan academy

In this video on khan academy, Khan makes a few theological points regarding evolution. His main point is that evolution can be reconciled with intelligent design by saying that God could have created ...
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2answers
420 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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4answers
372 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 ...
4
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2answers
186 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 ...
4
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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 ...
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2answers
420 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 ...
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2answers
98 views

Thanking God for things

Considering that we do not know God's ultimate plan, and we know that things that seem good now can actually turn out to be for the better down the road, we must also assume that things that seem good ...
4
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2answers
142 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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2answers
412 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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1answer
75 views

Why does the Rambam require repentance, and not just more good deeds, before Yom Kippur?

The Rambam says if someone's virtues-vs-sins balance is even as of Rosh Hashanah, their verdict happens on yom kippur. If they did teshuva in those ten days, they get a pass; if not, they don't. ...
4
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2answers
337 views

Should someone who isn't 100% certain of God's existence be considered a kofer?

I was told by two respected Roshai Yeshiva that one who isn't certain of God's existence (an agnostic) is not deemed to be a kofer (denier of His existence) as long as he thinks that His existence is ...
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1answer
134 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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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 ...
4
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1answer
132 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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2answers
307 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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1answer
586 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
192 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
113 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 ...
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2answers
226 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. ...
4
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2answers
342 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 ...
3
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5answers
594 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?
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3answers
182 views

Am I supposed to Ignore Most Non-Religious Jews?

Most of this question comes from Moznaim Rambam Mishneh Torah Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 2:5 In Hilchos Teshuva it says. "Five individuals are described as minnim: a) one who says there is no God or ...
3
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2answers
219 views

From the Torah itself how do we know that various names of God points to the same God?

Jews believe that God, while having many names, is actually one. So the idea is that El Elyon, Elohim, El Shadai, YHWH, Adonai, El, are just names mostly referring to the same being. Is there any ...
3
votes
4answers
486 views

What's the Closest Thing to a Systematic Theology in Judaism? [closed]

Many religions have authors who pen "systematic theologies," books that present the religions in a systematic manner from point A to Z. There are ups and downs with this approach, especially since it ...
3
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3answers
269 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?