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

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25
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?
11
votes
5answers
966 views

Sheidim, fact or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
20
votes
8answers
914 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?
13
votes
4answers
811 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?
13
votes
3answers
281 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
6
votes
1answer
863 views

Is there any difference between Jewish G-d and Muslim G-d? [closed]

Do Jews and Muslims worship the same G-d? If so, do they understand G-d the same way? As a related point, is there any linguistic or theological connection between "Allah" and "Eloha" (or "Elohim")? ...
11
votes
6answers
379 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
4answers
337 views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
11
votes
4answers
340 views

Is belief in a G-d a commandment?

I am studying to convert to Judaism and one of the questions I was asked was about the Ten Commandments. I remember reading at that time that there was debate about the division of the statements ...
11
votes
9answers
553 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

How does Judaism deal with God and paradoxes?

How does Judaism deal with paradoxes relating to the omnipotence of God? For example: Can God create a rock that he himself cannot lift?
11
votes
5answers
248 views

Why did Yonah run away?

If Yonah understood that he was being commanded by God, then how could he have possibly thought that he could run away? Did he believe that God was tied to a particular land, the way pagan gods were ...
6
votes
3answers
391 views

Is there sufficient evidence to support the theory that ancient Israel practiced monolatry?

I just came across this Wikipedia article on monolatrism that says some people believe ancient Israel practiced monolatry. The highest claim to be made for Moses is that he was, rather than a ...
3
votes
3answers
214 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
13
votes
8answers
623 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
280 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
464 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?
-3
votes
3answers
144 views

Would Israel's sibling nation do Yibbum?

If Klal Yisrael would all die, ch"v, then would Edom become obligated in Tora uMitzvot because of Yibbum? (because Jacob's/Israel's brother is Esav, Edom.) Or would chalitzah happen because no other ...
8
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
113 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
1answer
290 views

Why can't we say God's name?

Why are we no longer allowed to pronounce the name "Elokim" in everyday speech?
4
votes
6answers
662 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
290 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
2answers
236 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
98 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

Why Wait for Moshiach

The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah says God has no joy or sadness. If so, why do we wait for moshiach? For G-d's glory? G-d does not need anything from us. How are we supposed to have intent to ...
-1
votes
3answers
233 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
179 views

Can a Noachide continue to believe in religious tenets that are against the Torah?

Say you have a Christian* or a Muslim (or a member of any other monotheistic religion) who accepts the Seven Noachide Laws, and (as per Mishneh Torah, Hil. Melachim 8:11) does so because he believes ...
6
votes
5answers
481 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
620 views

How do you know what is God's will in a particular situation?

After reading this superb article by the great Rabbi Noah Weinberg I'm left pondering point number 5 "Make your will God's will". I understand that this does not mean that whatever you personally ...
6
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
254 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
171 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
105 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
351 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
267 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?
6
votes
4answers
214 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.
5
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
82 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
91 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?
4
votes
3answers
257 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
219 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
56 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"?
3
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
165 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
258 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 ...