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

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6
votes
5answers
222 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
635 views

Does Judaism believe in a form of Panentheism?

Is the Jewish view that everything in creation is a hidden manifestation of God, i.e. that God is enclothed so to speak, in every element of creation, similar to panentheism. Or is God "outside" of ...
0
votes
0answers
123 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
257 views

Who is “us” in Genesis 1:26 if God is one?

Gen 1:26 says: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness What does the word "us" imply here? There are also other instances of this "us" found in Gen 3:22: Behold, ...
-6
votes
2answers
118 views

Absolute unity and singularity of God

What does Judaism believe regarding the nature of God? Is He a single being or multiple being as believed in most Christian denomination? What is this "Absolute unity and singularity of God" means ...
7
votes
6answers
219 views

Books on the Existence of G-d?

I was wondering if anyone would be able to recommend to me books from a Jewish perspective on the existence of G-d. Something along the lines of proving G-d's existence. I would prefer an evidentiary ...
-4
votes
1answer
111 views

How does Judaism reconcile God cannot be seen/incarnate/etc. with Pilar of Fire story? [duplicate]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_of_Fire_%28theophany%29 Exodus 13:21-22. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire ...
6
votes
1answer
555 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Is Sabellianism avodah zarah (idolatry)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabellianism They do not believe that God is three in one. They believes that God, being omnipotent, can appear to humans in many forms, including becoming human like ...
-6
votes
1answer
133 views

Why the Lord didn't simply claim that He is God of all in the Torah?

I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
114 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

HaGadol HaGibor veHaNora

In the beginning of the amida prayer, God is ascribed these three titles: HaGadol HaGibor veHaNora. (the source is from the torah) What does each one mean and how are they different?
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Which contemplations about God are not allowed?

which contemplations about God are not allowed? I am not asking on kabalist knowledge, but rather on simple layman type of contemplations, such as contemplating the "infinite" aspect of God.
2
votes
4answers
166 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
458 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
177 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
470 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
444 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
73 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?
8
votes
4answers
379 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
502 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
89 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
354 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
382 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
420 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
179 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 ...
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 ...
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?
1
vote
0answers
41 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?
5
votes
1answer
129 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?
4
votes
3answers
180 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
143 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
512 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
370 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
599 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
506 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?
-5
votes
4answers
416 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
273 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
3
votes
4answers
358 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?
5
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
349 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
157 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
votes
5answers
615 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
votes
0answers
67 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"?