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

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11
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2answers
4k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Gan 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
31 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” ...
-1
votes
0answers
25 views

Creationists and Evolution [duplicate]

Modern science has proved by observation (and also by mathematical theory) that the universe began with the so called Big-Bang, after which by a series of different kinds of evolutions our part of the ...
8
votes
3answers
139 views

What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
4
votes
3answers
394 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
132 views

What is the difference between תקיף and בעל היכולת and בעל הכוחות כולם?

The Shulchan Aruch says: ובהזכירו אלהים, יכוין שהוא תקיף, בעל היכולת ובעל הכֹחות כֻּלם When saying G-d's name אלוקים one should have in mind that G-d is תקיף, בעל היכולת, ובעל הכחות כולם. These ...
6
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
279 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

What did Bnei Yisrael experience at Matan Torah?

I'm having trouble understanding what the Israelites actually experienced at the Revelation at Mt Sinai. Did they all see God? Did they all hear Him? Did they all understand Him? Did they hear all of ...
-2
votes
2answers
46 views

How are there arguments over how God works?

How can there be arguments over basic, major points in Jewish machshavah? How do we not all agree (and by "all", I mean all major primary sources) over how God works? How did this not come through in ...
-1
votes
4answers
130 views

Maybe God lied?

How do we know that God didn't lie at Sinai? Maybe he said he was good and compassionate, and promised us reward, but it's all a trick? Why believe that God is true?
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
279 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Have Jews believed that Ezra was the son of God?

In reading the Qur'an, I noticed this passage: Qur'an 9:30 The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their ...
6
votes
4answers
167 views

Onkelos, Anthropomorphism, and The Exodus

Onkelos the Convert is said by the Talmud to be the author of the official aramaic translation of the Pentateuch. Rashi and Maimonides understand Onkelos as having a tendency to interpret physical ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Sheidim, fact or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
7
votes
5answers
527 views

How can we be sure that Judaism is the truth?

I borrowed (with permission) a question from Ahmed Han, which is: People of every religion claim that they are the ones in the right path. Even the people of sects in these religions think that ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

1st century Hellenistic Jewish interpretation of Proverbs 8:22( LXX)?

Proverbs 8:22 says that Wisdom is created by God. If so, is God without wisdom before he created wisdom? Other Jewish texts ( though uninspired),also talks about God's wisdom as created by God. I ...
3
votes
4answers
398 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

How do we know that God exists?

Simple enough question, and very much related to the topic. According to traditional Jewish sources, on what basis should people believe that there's a God?
4
votes
2answers
89 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
254 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
102 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
67 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Explaining if the terms 'Father' and 'son of G-d' are used in Jewish books

Within Judaism and their books, was it a custom of the time to refer to G-d as the Father? Is the term son of G-d used in any of your works? I heard this term is used to refer to an observant ...
11
votes
9answers
597 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
401 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
111 views

How do we know that the God we encountered at Sinai is the single, infinite God?

How do we know that the God of the Sinai Revelation is the single God of All other God's? Is it not possible that whatever we encountered was simply a messenger of a greater force? I understand that ...
-5
votes
3answers
106 views

Why Hashem didn't win Randi's $1 million dollar challenge? [duplicate]

By the way this question is NOT intended to be blasphemous in anyway. I am questioning what every agnostic is questioning. You can find a more sober article about this here ...
2
votes
4answers
112 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
118 views

Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shmo-Meaning

I am looking for a good explanation of the phrase, "Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shmo".i.e. why do we praise both Hashem and his "name" separately? Can anyone help me with this? Thanks!
6
votes
1answer
276 views

What does “Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam vaed” mean?

A sentence commonly said during prayer is "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד". How do we interpret it? What does it mean? It sounds like it means: Blessed is/be the name of the ...
-4
votes
1answer
88 views

Does Hebrew have any word that exclusively means god or gods? [closed]

In English, a monotheist may say there is only one god, namely Hashem. The Hebrew would be something like, "There is only one elohim, Hashem". There is a problem with that statement. Many bible ...
3
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
137 views

Is it spiritually dangerous to practice Christianity?

In Sarah Littman's book, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, Littman (a Reform Jewish woman) writes a tale of a Jewish girl who decides to give up Judaism for Lent and practice Catholicism. She takes ...
3
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

How do we answer those who claim G-d doesn't exist? [duplicate]

How do we counter the claims from atheists and doubters that there is no proof G-d exists, and claim the Torah was written by a bunch of little old Jewish guys. Is there a source that can provide a ...
13
votes
8answers
641 views

Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d

One of the foundations of modern quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is not an assumption, but rather is derived from assumptions made with regard to the structure of ...
8
votes
4answers
368 views

What did the 70 elders see?

Parshat Mishpatim says of the 70 elders who went up on Har Sinai with Moshe and Aharon: וַיִּרְאוּ, אֵת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְתַחַת רַגְלָיו, כְּמַעֲשֵׂה לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר, וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם, ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
88 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
118 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?
3
votes
4answers
223 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
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
103 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 ...
-6
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Omnipotence and Omniscience

Where was it first claimed that God is omnipotent or omniscient? Did God or an authorized prophet ever actually make this claim?