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

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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 ...
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2answers
220 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 ...
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4answers
518 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 ...
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3answers
274 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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3answers
554 views

Bad Jew or Good Gentile?

Whom does Hashem love more: Gentiles who love Jewish people and Israel or Jews who are against Jewish people and Israel?
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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 ...
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3answers
168 views

Does Jewish mysticism involve “feeling” G-d?

I have read an accusation from the Traditionalist Catholics that Modern Catholicism has changed under the influence of Judaism its understanding of the Holy Ghost. Modern day Catholicism together with ...
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3answers
342 views

How can we say everything is good?

Considering that we can do things that are against the divine will (like sinning, for instance), how can we say that everything that occurs is for the good? I understand that everything that God does ...
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3answers
644 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 ...
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4answers
368 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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1answer
77 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! ...
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2answers
89 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 ...
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3answers
89 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) ?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
463 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 ...
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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, ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
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2answers
344 views

How do you understand the Rambam on Free choice in Teshuvah 5:5?

What is the Rambam really bothered by in Teshuvah 5:5? רמב"ם הלכות תשובה פרק ה הלכה ה שמא תאמר והלא הקב"ה יודע כל מה שיהיה וקודם שיהיה ידע שזה יהיה צדיק או רשע או לא ידע, אם ידע שהוא יהיה צדיק אי ...
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3answers
183 views

What does Hashem see right now? [closed]

I know Hashem looks down at us and watches everything we do. The question I am trying to ask is, what does he see right now? I don't think Hashem exists in time, as he is not in the past or the ...
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2answers
74 views

Is God Praiseworthy?

In many Jewish prayers and throughout Tanakh, God is strongly praised for His goodness, that which He does for the Jews, His amazing miracles etc. However, those same sources, and most Jewish sources, ...
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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 ...
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3answers
206 views

Walk His way; Derech Hashem

Within the Torah we find many places where God commands us 'to walk His way(s).' What does 'to walk' mean? And what is His way? some examples of walking: It is written: walk in that which is ...
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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 ...
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1answer
74 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, ...
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4answers
194 views

What precisely is meant by “G-d can do anything”?

There's a general concept in Judaism that G-d can do "anything". I've seen How does Judaism deal with God and paradoxes? and this answer, so I understand that it is limited to the possible. However, ...
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0answers
53 views

How do מושב יקרו and שכינת עזו work in the Oleinu prayer?

I would like to understand in the Oleinu prayer what is meant by (1) מושב יקרו Artscroll translates as “the seat of His homage” and (2) שכינת עזו Artscroll translates as “His powerful presence” ...
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0answers
69 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
119 views

A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?

The Gemara (Ber. 32a) quotes R' El'azar that when HaShem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisrael and Moshe intervened, it is comparable to a king who beat his son terribly, and the king's friend was at his ...
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414 views

Who owns Gehenem (Hell)?

Who owns Gehenem (also known as Hell)?
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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 ...
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4answers
298 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? ...
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3answers
175 views

Is Hashem in time? [closed]

Is Hashem in time?
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3answers
209 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 ...
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2answers
168 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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2answers
60 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
126 views

What should a chazan do if he has theological problems with the congregation's text?

There are several places in the selichot where there are controversial phrases, e.g. addressing prayer to angels not G-d. I'm not asking for opinions on this, but I've heard some people just skip ...
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3answers
85 views

Laws of Belief in G-d

Does anyone know of a sefer or other halachic source that deals with the halachot of what one must believe about G-d? e.g., obviously Jews are required to believe G-d exists, and that He is the only ...
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2answers
111 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 ...
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2answers
117 views

A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
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3answers
159 views

Does satan know our thoughts

Does the satan know what crosses our minds and thus whisper to us what is in accordance with our thoughts to instigate us in harboring negative thoughts and committing sins? Was also asked on ...
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1answer
244 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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1answer
29 views

attributes of God--Why does God have to come down to check out Sodom and Gemorrah?

I've always thought it rather curious that God came down to check out the corruption of the city: כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו, לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת-בָּנָיו וְאֶת-בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו, וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ ...
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1answer
79 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).
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3answers
102 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, ...
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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: ...
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1answer
119 views

how does one not get lost in the details?

Halachah is very detail oriented and of course all of these details are important but sometimes it seems easy from time to time to get so focused on the specifics of the right way of how to so ...
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4answers
120 views

Shaar Yichud - Unity of God

According to the Shaar Yichud of Chovos Halevavos, an Eternal being must be infinite and everywhere since whatever is finite is necessarily bounded and whatever is bounded is preceded by the framework ...
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4answers
90 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 ...