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

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14
votes
2answers
7k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Garden of Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
-4
votes
6answers
507 views

Can G-d ever take on a physical form?

There are 3 religions that says so. The obvious one is Christianity with that being it's central term. The second one is Hindu. Khrisna is said to be a God incarnate. But in torah I often see stories ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
6
votes
3answers
353 views

What is the Yetzer Harah?

What is the meaning of the "Yetzer Harah" - יצר הרע? How does it compare to the סטן?
6
votes
3answers
401 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?
3
votes
3answers
552 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?
9
votes
3answers
267 views

How do scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder understand the fourth day of creation?

If I understand correctly, scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder have readings of Genesis Chapter 1 that fit with the current scientific understanding of how the universe/planet/life ...
7
votes
2answers
130 views

Why are several Biblical characters called “man of the Lord” (Ish HaElokim), but no one in the Bible is ever “man of God” (Ish Hashem)?

Ramban makes this observation (Deut. 33:1), and says "anyone with a good intellect" can figure out the reason. Okay I'm stumped ... help me out here please?
2
votes
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 ...
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: ...
7
votes
4answers
192 views

If the odds are against you in life (Bais Shammai's opinion), why did G-d bother?

I'm asking this question only because I recall hearing an answer, but unfortunately I don't remember the answer, or from which rabbi. Help me please? Mesilas Yesharim says G-d made creation out of ...
4
votes
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. ...
3
votes
2answers
336 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
457 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
207 views

Yearning for Moshiach while the Temples stood

Did we (the Jewish people) yearn for the complete Redemption (with the Techias HaMasim, etc) like we do today, at the time the either Temple was standing? It can't be that we just assumed "This is ...
5
votes
3answers
427 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
403 views

Who owns Gehenem (Hell)?

Who owns Gehenem (also known as Hell)?
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Number of days of Creation

How many days of "Creation" where there? If the answer is 7, then why is shabbos considered a day of Creation?
-3
votes
2answers
302 views

Why say Hashem wrote the torah? [closed]

Why do people say Hashem wrote the torah, shouldn't it be He created it, made it, edited it, etc?
5
votes
5answers
340 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.
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Is Hashem in time? [closed]

Is Hashem in time?
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Hashem and time [closed]

If hashem is beyond time, then how could he talk about it? Is it because he created time?
6
votes
5answers
240 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.
7
votes
5answers
450 views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
11
votes
9answers
767 views

do we really have free choice?

I was told Hashem created us with free will; so we can make a choice to do good or evil, right? Well, Hashem knows what we are going to do in 10 minutes. So do we really have free will? Hashem can see ...
3
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
335 views

Is Hashem spiritual? [closed]

I know that Hashem is not physical but is He spiritual? Also does He exist in time?
5
votes
3answers
251 views

Does HaShem need rest?

Why did HaShem create Shabbos? He doesn't need rest!
9
votes
6answers
435 views

Is Hashem corporeal?

I heard of a discussion over Peseach about whether Hashem is corporeal. Which classical Jewish sources (Talmud/Achronim/Rishonim) offer definitive opinions about this? (Please cite references!) I ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
28
votes
9answers
2k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?