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24

Either what was posted on that forum is about half-correct, or your understanding of what was said was about half-correct. Traditional Judaism does believe that "[H]oly texts are the revealed word of the divine and thus cannot ever be contradicted by modern research, philosophy or belief systems." It is not true "[t]hat it is understood that the scripture ...


21

I agree with the answer Daniel gave, but I would clarify things slightly differently. 1) Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah is the literal Word of G-d. This is one of the Thirteen Principles of Faith as brought down by Maimonides: "We do not know exactly how the Torah was transmitted to Moses. But when it was transmitted, Moses merely wrote it ...


4

This understanding of the retrospective way in which even negative history ultimately leads to the culmination of G-d's plan is a very standard Kabbalistic idea. This is not a statement about future sin, which is always undesirable. See, for example, the ילקוט ראובני quoted here: הנה כבר נתבאר, כפי ערך גודל הנשמה, כן הוטבעה בתוך הקליפה, והם מבקשים לטנפה, ...


3

shaar yichud ch.7 online The analogy of this: When one sees a letter of uniform handwriting and writing style, one will immediately consider that one person wrote it because it is not possible that there was not at least one person. If it were possible that it could have been written with less than one person, we would consider this possibility. ...


2

As noted here, the Chovos Halevavos makes the argument from overturned ink. However, there is a Midrashic precedent for your recollection as well, cited here: We see this in the Midrash (Midrash Temurah in Midrash Aggadot Bereshit): An athiest [sic] came to Rebbi Akiva. "Who created the world?", he queried. R. Akiva answered, "The Holy One, ...


2

According to this website, Rabbenu Bachya makes this argument in “The Duties of the Heart,” The Gate of Oneness, Chapter 6: Do you not realize that if ink were poured out accidentally on a blank sheet of paper, it would be impossible that proper writing should result, legible lines that are written with a pen? Imagine a person bringing a sheet of ...


2

Rationalism in philosophy is more about the method used to achieve conclusions than the underlying conclusions themselves. Rationalism in religion tends to forbear supernaturalist thinking for scientific style reasoning. Rationalist Judaism as a philosophical school is a relatively modern and loosely defined construct. "Jewish Rationalists" lay claim that ...


1

Key difference between these cases and Shabtai Tzvi's ideas: they were either inadvertent (Lot and his daughters - they thought the whole world had been destroyed) or not technical violations of halachah (for example, Bathsheba was divorced).


1

Rabbeinu Bachya (in Chovot ha-Levavot), from the 11th century: “We ought to trust in God with the trust of one, fully convinced that all things and movements, together with their advantageous and injurious results happen by the decree of the Eternal, under His authority and according to His sentence.” taken from the comments on: ...


1

See Does the Zodiac really have influence on our lives? where the view of the Rambam in his letter on astrology is discussed. To summarize, Rambam is of the opinion that astrology is ineffective and that sages who appear to have believed in it were either mistaken or speaking non-literally.


1

Personally one thing that makes me yearn for redemption in spite of physical affluence, is the increasingly religiously sterile environment in which western Jewry finds itself. (Described for example in Rupture and Reconstruction). Another thing we lack outside of our sphere of physical comfort is stability within the ranks of the religious. We find such ...



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