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13

God created within all animals an urge to procreate. Without it, we would just end. (Sanhedrin 64a)


8

In an apparently-open letter dated October 3, 1984, R' Moshe Feinstein urged Jews in the United States to vote as a means of expressing hakaras hatov (appreciation) for the democratic system in the United States, which allows for a safe haven in which Jews can live and practice Judaism. The letter did not say anything about influencing government policy.


5

David Rosen of Emory University School of Law writes as follows on page 44. Regarding destruction of homes of living terrorists these actions seem easy to justify under Jewish Law. Ezra 10:8 mentions confiscation of property as a criminal sanction when one disobeys lawful orders. The court, under the biblical commandment, may expropriate property in order ...


5

As quoted here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the theological significance of tongs is that they are preparatory - they exist for the purpose of making something else - and the idea of G-d creating them is that even things which are preparatory to something holy and significant can itself be worthwhile and significant. As for the second question, creation of ...


5

The Sanhedrin tried undoing it (Yoma 69b). It didn't work: אמרו הואיל ועת רצון הוא נבעי רחמי איצרא דעבירה בעו רחמי ואמסר בידייהו אמר להו חזו דאי קטליתו ליה לההוא כליא עלמא חבשוהו תלתא יומי ובעו ביעתא בת יומא בכל ארץ ישראל ולא אשתכח אמרי היכי נעביד נקטליה כליא עלמא ניבעי רחמי אפלגא פלגא ברקיעא לא יהבי כחלינהו לעיניה ושבקוהו ואהני דלא מיגרי ביה ...


3

Shalom’s answer is pretty clear, but in case anyone needs more evidence, here are two unambiguous passages from common parts of the liturgy that make clear that Hashem is not corporeal and has no body, and that all descriptions of Hashem in those terms are allegorical. From Yigdal, sung at the beginnings and ends of many services (ArtScroll translation): ...


3

The Rambam changes his language in two places where he discusses our awareness of G-d's existence. In the introduction to the 10th chapter of Sanhedrin, where the Rambam lays out his 13 Principles, the Rambam discusses "belief" in Hashem's existence. (Depending which translation you look at, the term "belief" is in the text of the Principle itself, but in ...


3

main thing is to accept the mesora of our elders as explained in the intro to chovos halevavos, but if you want to delve in chakira and have proper guidance and are motivated to strengthen your faith then: First thing that should be clear is that G-d exists. This can be demonstrated either through logical inquiry or more safely through studying the divine ...


2

Orthodox Judaism believes in Heaven (Gan Eden or Olam HaBa) and Purgatory (Gehenna or Gehinom). Hell isn't the right word, because Gehenna (Purgatory) isn't permanent. Kaddish is only said for less than a year for the dead because we presume they won't be gehenna that long. However, according to some views there are a few extremely evil individuals whose ...


2

See this translation of a talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe about the difference between Emunah and Bitachon: An excerpt from there about Bitachon: Trust, by contrast, implies not only that a person believes that his sustenance comes from G‑d, but also that we rely on Him, with absolute certainty, to provide it. An excerpt about Emunah (footnote 12): ...


2

Putting some things together: According to the Nefesh HaChaim (1:6) and the Rambam (Moreh Nevochim 1:11), the result of the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was some level of the internalization and assimilation of the drive for evil. R' Hirsch (Horeb ch. 68) explains in his discussion of the meaning of the laws of Kashrus that the ...


2

As a J.SE user with a rep of over 70k, I can hereby say that I find the minhag annoying on occasion. Rav Yaakov Emden went further than "I find it annoying." He bitterly complained about it, noting that because people can't eat rice and corn, instead they'll have to eat more matza, and it's likely that the demand for high volumes of cheap matza will cause ...


1

Good question. R' Chanina says Yesh Mazal Liyisrael and R' Yochanan says Ein Mazal Liyisrael. (Shabbos 156a) Rashi (on the topic) points out that both R' Chanina and R' Yochanan agree that the celestial bodies influence events in this world. However, R' Chanina views their influence as inescapable whereas R' Yochanan maintains that prayer or good deeds can ...


1

It appears that Judaism does accept such a logical construct in halacha. Heter iska is an example of such a construct. If I am a chicken then this money I pay you is profit and not interest This is a true statement in the empty sense and is accepted as valid by Jewish law. Why such a statement is acceptable is the subject of a separate question.


1

I don't know. But here's an argument possibly supporting allowing making such statements: The Torah discusses the case of a ben sorer umore (a rebellious son). The Talmud (Sanhedrin 71 amud 1] cites an opinion that such a case has never happened and never will. Nonetheless, the Torah discusses what to do if it does happen. That is, the Torah itself is ...


1

The Baal Shem Tov wrote that while a Tzaddik should say "I'd love to eat pig, but what can I do if Hashem prohibited it to me", a Baal Teshuva has to be disgusted by it. That's why we say "sins become like merits", that he has no more desires for that sin. I guess the same would apply to "the sin of eating kitniyos"


1

the first two gates of chovos halevavos have the theme of emuna. the third has the theme of the duty of serving God the fourth deals with bitachon, trusting in God like a slave trusts in his master for providing his needs. so it seems they are separate themes, but not completely. it is a kind of build up. you cannot have trust without faith, and ...


1

Belief can come from a personal revelation. A good friend of mine was planning to commit suicide on our way home from school in 10th grade. He asked of God that a particular song on play next on the radio if God cared and did not want him to kill himself, and that song came on. Belief can come from instinctive conviction and commitment. This past year a ...


1

Shaarei Kedusha Part 4 Gate 3 And all the time that the soul of man clings to him, may He be blessed in this way, no bad thing will happen to him, and he will not ever come to error in any matter of his matters, whether in intellectual or emotional, and he will not fall in the hand of chance (the natural order) because as he's clinging with G-d, ...


1

The Mishnah in Avot Chapter 1 Mishna 12 says: "Hillel said: Be of the students of Aharon, love peace (shalom), pursue peace, love people, and bring them close to Torah. Masechet Avot is the repository of Torah ethics as passed on from Hashem to Moshe to the Jewish people, as explained by the commentators on the first Mishnah of Avot.



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