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12

Rav Hirsch writes in his commentary to the Bible, on Gen. 4:4, the first time that animal sacrifice is mentioned: First, idolatry did not yet exist. It follows, then, that the offering are not a mere concession to polytheism. The offerings antedate polytheism. They are as old as mankind itself, and they are a natural expression of human thoughts ...


7

From a skeptical standpoint it would probably be easiest to presume that the ancient Israelites merely adopted and or adapted the methods of worship common at the time their religion emerged but I see no reason that those of us that do not share such presuppositions would find such an assumption that compelling. Our tradition teaches that although animal ...


6

R Yaakov Weinberg explained that an eved, a servant, is someone who is nullified to someone or something else. When you serve Hashem, it should be as a servant, as someone who is doing the will of Hashem and not his own will. If you serve Hashem because you see how beneficial it is, then you are not really serving Hashem, you are actually serving yourself ...


5

The prohibition against adding and subtracting applies to the mitzvot (commandments). The Torah itself informs us that prophecy would continue after Moses and gives us commandments on how to recognize a true prophet (Deut. 18:15-22). Inclusion in the cannon (the only books we would consider Biblical) is a recognition that the work was written under some ...


5

The Zohar writes that the Patriarch Yitzchok had the soul of a female (Pikudei 257a). The Seder HaDoros (Elef HaRishon) says that it was the soul of Chava.


5

Maharsha writes on that story: הואיל והוו יתבי רבנן ולא מיחו בו: איכא למימר מה שלא מיחו מפני שלא היה בידם למחות אפשר שעשו כן כי החנופה היא שגברה באותו הדור כמ"ש בסוטה גבי אגריפס המלך One could say that the reason that the rabbis didn't object was because they were not able to object. It's also possible that they did this out of flattery, which ...


4

1. Does it fulfill a mitzvah? Not only can it fulfill one mitzvah, but three: The Malbim (Shemos 20:2), Maharam Schik (Mitzvah 26) and Seforno (beginning of Ohr Amim) all explain that the commandment of אנכי ה' אלוקיך, believing in God, is a command to philosophically justify those beliefs The Chovos Halevavos (introduction) explains that there is a ...


4

The next Rashi gives two answers to this question: שהיו שמחין לאידם של ישראל ועוד שלא יאמרו יראתנו הביאה הפורענו' זו They were happy with the enslavement of Israel, and also so that they wouldn't be able to say that their god brought these disasters upon Egypt.


4

The Ashel Avraham (Pri Migadim 23:2 ) writes that one should not wear tzitzs out next to a kever of a child because maybe his neshama is that of a gadol. He also mentions that in a case of a woman it seems that there is no concept of loeg lerash since a woman is not obligated in tzitzs in their life time. He adds by saying that we are not worried that a ...


3

This is a really important question. It seems one should expect that objective morals always overrule what someone believes to be commands from God since it could be that they are wrong or mistaken... Your question is based on two premises. The first is that an ethic independent of God's will exists. As can be seen in the comments section, this is not ...


3

To answer 1 - Some (the Malbim, for one) explain that the Rambam understood the mitzvah of אנכי ה' אלקך to be a mitzvah to know Hashem, which is different than to believe in Hashem. The Malbim explains that the mitzvah according to the Rambam is to turn the belief into an intellectual awareness. So having an intellectual awareness of Hashem and the nature ...


2

I think this actually might be brought by Rebbe Nachman somewhere, but we see in the Gemara that the leaders sought out Honi, the Circle Drawer to pray to Hashem to bring rain (Ta'anit 23a), so this is a related concept of having the Tzadik pray for you. As to those specific Teachings, Rabbi Nachman explains each one within Likutei Mohoran itself. Likutei ...


2

In 1975 the following letter was sent to a local Chabad emissary: June 30, 1975 Rabbi Feivel Rimmler 824 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11213 Dear Rabbi Rimmler, As per our conversation of today regarding taharat hamishpacha [family purity], etc., I did say to you, and am submitting the same in writing by means of this letter, that if the Rebbe would ...


2

This is the topic of the Gate of Service of God in the Chovos Halevavos see there at length some quotes: It is proper to open this treatise with an exposition of the various kinds of benefits human beings render each other, and the corresponding obligations of gratitude. We shall then ascend to the consideration of what we owe to the exalted ...


2

Rav Reuven Leuchter in a shiur says the message is "mesirus nefesh" for Avodah (just as the Maccabees were prepared to lay their lives down [moser nefesh] for the avodah), especially starting around 23 mins 30 secs. Our avodas HaShem has to be real. Particularly our tefilla has to be real, serious. We should decide to stay for davenning to the end. We must ...


2

R' Yaakov Weinberg explained that the lesson of Chanuka was that of survival in exile. The lesson of Chanuka was that in the darkness we can create our own light.


2

Kaf Hachaim Orach Chaim 38:9 says that Michal bas Shaul had a male Neshama.


1

I don't believe so. I'm aware of those who view change as something suspect; and who are afraid of opening a can of worms of applying modern science to rules of thumb that had worked otherwise. (For instance, the Talmud seems to say that certain kinds of fish are kosher because their parasitic worms do X, and now the scientists are saying that parasitic ...


1

The prohibition to add or subtract to the Bible was concerning the laws as commanded by God, not concerning the amount of books we concider holy, as per Seffer Hachinuch #454 and #455 quoting Yad HaChazaka chapter two of Mamrim. There was always an allowance for prophets to enforce those laws, as seen for instance in Deuteronomy 18:15 God will set up for you ...


1

Your question is not 100% clear. Nowhere is Moses referred to as the son of Gcd. Moses was a regular human being and his genealogy is clearly recorded (Exodus 6:20 for example). Your single reference is in the pre-flood area - about 2,000 years before Moses was born. In Judaism that verse is translated as "the children of the judges", as Elohim refers to ...


1

I don't think that would qualify as the testing of Hashem which is being prohibited by that verse. The Ramban there writes (with my rough translation): פירוש כאשר נסיתם במסה שלא תאמר אם יש ה' בקרבנו לעשות לנו נסים או שנצליח בהיותנו עובדים לפניו ונשבע לחם ונהיה טובים נשמור תורתו Meaning, like they tested Hashem in Massa, that one shouldn't say "if ...


1

Kabbalistic literature in general, and chassidism in particular, contains teachings about tzaddikim that may be somewhat innovative from the perspective of traditional Judaism. However, the importance of the greatest rabbis of each generation is clear in Tanakh and Talmud, and there are some ancient sources supporting the exalted position of the tzaddik in ...


1

The way in which the Creator runs the world is termed in classical Jewish sources as hashgahah (השגחה) which means "supervision." The concept of "supervision" is subdivided into the categories of hashgahah p'rattith (השגחה פרטית), "direct (or, specific) supervision," and hashgahah k'lalith (השגחה כללית), "indirect (or, general) supervision." The former being ...



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