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12

Yes. Belief in God is axiomatic to Judaism. Jewish prayer features, at least twice a day, every day, the Shema, a compact assertion of this belief from Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Jews traditionally teach this prayer to our children almost starting at birth. I strongly suspect that almost any Jew with any ...


8

There is a midrash in Bereshit Rabbah 39 where Avraham deduces the existence of God who created the world, and only then did God call out to Avraham lech l'cha. A summary of the midrash from my notes after a class: Mashal: One day a man was traveling and he saw a tower (birah) "on fire" (doleket). He said, this tower has no owner? A man peeked out and ...


6

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein writes (OC2:111, "to a certain scholar") that it is entirely permissible to purchase life insurance and it indicates no shortage of faith, even for an exceedingly righteous person. (Faith, he writes, is "I will work hard and I believe that G-d will provide me with enough to pay the premiums.") He writes that is, in fact, davar tov ...


5

the central prayer in the Jewish prayer order is the Amidah and yes it is addressing God. see more about it here. The God being addressed is the one spoken about in the torah, as the amidah starts "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob".


3

There are 2 gemaras that you may be thinking of. Bekhorot 30b says: ת"ר הבא לקבל דברי חבירות חוץ מדבר אחד אין מקבלין אותו עובד כוכבים שבא לקבל דברי תורה חוץ מדבר אחד אין מקבלין אותו ר' יוסי בר' יהודה אומר אפי' דקדוק אחד מדברי סופרים. Soncino translates: Our Rabbis taught: If one is prepared to accept the obligation of a haber except one religious ...


3

In my opinion, the arguments have not been disproven only that we do not understand the arguments. see the shaar yichud with commentaries (i.e. we don't study the arguments in enough depth to understand them, therefore we mistakenly think they have been disproven. hence study with the commentaries, and even then if something doesn't make sense, ask wise ...


2

Rabbenu Bahhya writes in Hovot HaLevavot (Sha'ar HaBitahhon, Chapter 4) that hishtadlut is indeed necessary. You can see this also by the Jews in the desert. They had to do hishtadlut (efforts) every day to get their manna in varying degrees, but they knew all along that the amount they would get was preordained. Sha'ar HaBitahhon does not say, however, ...


2

If we look at bnei yisroel as "free" then we will not understand the true nature of yetzias mitzrayim. We were not "freed" in a complete sense -- we are bnei chorin in that we serve a different master. This sums up OUR responsibility as avdei hashem. You can look at the Emancipation of American slaves then, in a parallel light. Someone who is not a slave to ...


1

There are records of Cyrus also restoring the gods of Babylon that Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire, had moved from various Babylonian cities to the capital. That means that he promoted polytheism in that instance as a way to strengthen support from priests of Marduk in Babylon and the priests of Nabu in Sippar. This was undoing the work ...


1

there's a story in "A Tzadik in Our Time" (forgot the page) where Rabbi Aryeh Levine was offered life insurance. He answered with a story describing how the heavenly court wanted to take him away but an angel was speaking on his behalf saying what about his wife and children who will be left orphans, etc. and afterwards the prosecutor said "wait! he has life ...


1

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was a proponent of the view that one should rely on simple faith rather than intellectual sophistication, and avoid philosophical works. Here are some quotes from his works that explain his approach. They do not explicitly define simple faith, but they give you an idea of what he had in mind. "Believe in God with pure, simple faith ...



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