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12

See also this letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe on this subject, in which he states: It is my firm belief that the sun revolves around the earth, as I have also declared publicly on various occasions and in discussion with professors specializing in this field of science. He also explains why he believed this way based on the Theory of Relativity.


7

As the Rambam codifies in Hilchos Avoda Zara 3:5, only four activities are "objectively" idolatry when done in honor of something other than G-d, and forbidden to do to any idol. 1) Prostration, 2) Animal Sacrifice, 3) Incense burning, 4) Libations. Outside of those four things, it is only idolatry if done as part of the normal service of the idol. So an ...


6

I doubt you'll find a positive statement -- "we think it came from X" -- because, like any other work of fiction, it doesn't really concern us. As hinted at in the question, Jews do not consider Muhammad to be a prophet. This is for at least two reasons: The age of prophecy had ended by then. When we next see prophecy we'll be in the time of the ...


5

The Talmud asks a very similar question, on Sanhedrin 71a: אלא לא היה ולא עתיד להיות ולמה נכתב דרוש וקבל שכר [...] תניא, עיר הנדחת לא היתה ולא עתידה להיות ולמה נכתבה דרוש וקבל שכר [...]תניא בית המנוגע לא היה ולא עתיד להיות ולמה נכתב דרוש וקבל שכר However, this [the Ben Sorrer Umoreh, the rebellious son of Deut. 21:18] never happened, and never ...


5

In some Yeshivos, they deliberately choose Masechtas that are the least practical, as they understand this to be the best manifestation of Torah Lishma - learning Torah just for the sake of learning Torah, and not for any other purpose. I believe this is one of the reasons that Brisker Yeshivos learn Kodshim.


5

In every tractate, there are parts that are "practical" either directly or indirectly. I'll explain by examples: The first two tractate I learned was Bava Metzi'ah . It talks about two people holding a tallit and arguing about who gets what. OK, How often do 2 people argue about who gets a tallit, unless it's in shul (and then, the SHUL owns the tallit - ...


5

I'm going to assume that this 'inability to believe in God' comes from a conviction that God doesn't exist. The question is, should a person be faulted for disbelieving, if he thinks that believing in God is philosophically unjustified? First off, I should mention the Rashash to Shabbos 31a, who writes that a person is only considered a heretic after fully ...


5

Shekinah is the Divine Presence - meaning how God reveals himself in this world, whileas Ruach HaKodesh is divine state of a PERSON who can reach higher spirituality than general public. Don't be confused and DO NOT translate Ruach HaKodesh as Holy Spirit to get something like 1/3 of the Trinity in Christianity.


4

In Tanya Chapter 5, this question is discussed. There it's explained that Torah is Chochmas Hashem - Hashem's Wisdom, and therefor learning any Torah is an intense union/connection with Hashem. Understanding His Wisdom is valuable in its own right, regardless of whether it's relevant or not. (See the quote below for more elaboration). דרך משל: כשאדם מבין ...


2

The Rambam, and even the Kuzari, say that it is not forbidden to re-intepret the six days. And if you consider the fact that the Moreh Nevuchim and the Kuzari are opposites on many other issues, and that they are two of the greatest works of Jewish thought, then it follows that one can understand the six days as non-literal without feeling like one is ...


2

Try different avenues. Torah study about an ox goring a cow is not going to answer your question of faith. There's even a famous disagreement between the Rambam and the Ramban whether belief in Gd precludes the commandments of the torah altogether. Another avenue well worth pursuing is to study the divine wisdom exhibited in nature (as brought in the chovos ...


2

This question is the subject of a teshuva of Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yabia Omer 1:41-42, and he returns to this subject in many later teshuvos as well. He writes regarding this question that דבר זה הוא מקצוע גדול בתורה (so imagine this question upvoted by R. Ovadia Yosef). First of all, it isn't so clear that we actually do 'pasken' like the Shut min ...


2

Without looking at any commentaries on this passage, I'll just write my own interpretation, based only on text itself (and possibly accidentally integrating a number of lectures I've heard on it in the past). Let's break down the Gemara, bit by bit, and see if any of your questions remain: אמר להם הקב"ה במאי עסקתם God said to them (the gentiles), ...


1

Pas Lechem commentary on shaar yichud ch.6 "Perhaps they (the gentile philosophers) found them from an early book of one of our sages, and stole and denied and put it in their bags as they did for other wisdoms they ruled over and called it on their names, as written in the Kuzari book (maamar sheni ot 1)" - perhaps we can say the same for some of the ...


1

in principle yes, as the verse you quoted says. But God has foresight and knows how to plan things so that it never happens. It's kind of like playing chess with a chess grandmaster. Although, you have free will, he can nevertheless force you into any situation he wants. How much more so for God who knows ahead of time what you will think and do, that He ...


1

Rabbi Akiva Tatz has a speech about this in which he explains the concept in depth. His speech can be found at http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/the974generations-of-souls/


1

I'm not sure where i heard this, but part of it is in expectation and hope of when it will once again be relevant to us, bimheira b'yameinu. Also, the Gemara deals with much more than the specific topic it's about, including tangential laws, sayings, stories (agadah), etc.


1

There is a difference between respect and worship. Respect means that you are honoring something because it is important to you, and worship is when you perform a service to something that has power so that you will receive something in return.


1

There are several Rishonim (collected in Encycolpedia Talmudis, but for example see the Raavid's comment on the Rambam Shofar Lulav V'Sukka 8:5 where he explicitly argues for his position because of Ruach HaKodesh - although he justifies it intellectually - see at the link the argument if the Raavid means it literally) that hold that the final Halacha is not ...



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