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12

Tosefos addresses a similar line of thought in Bava Kamma 85a: שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל דה"א ה"מ מכה בידי אדם אבל חולי הבא בידי שמים כשמרפא נראה כסותר גזירת המלך קמ"ל דשרי (Rough translation) - One may have thought that there is no right to seek healing from a sickness that comes from Heaven, as it seems like ...


9

I think that the question presupposes that the coming of Moshiach is a reward for our work during the era of exile, and in that case that's a fair point, since we're supposed to do mitzvos "not in order to receive reward" (Avos 1:3). However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l cites in this connection a statement by R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya, ch. 37) that ...


9

The posuk in Nechemiah 9:33 says the same thing: וְאַתָּה צַדִּיק עַל כָּל-הַבָּא עָלֵינוּ: כִּי-אֱמֶת עָשִׂיתָ וַאֲנַחְנוּ הִרְשָׁעְנוּ.‏ "You are just in all that has come upon us; for You have dealt truly and we have done wickedly." Also Pharaoh proclaimed in Shemos 9:27: ה' הַצַּדִּיק וַאֲנִי וְעַמִּי הָרְשָׁעִים.‏ "The Lord is the ...


9

The fact that conversion exists as part of halachah means that it is within the framework of options that G-d is giving you. If you felt that really you were supposed to be a woman, then the correct response is to say "If G-d had wanted me to be a woman he would have made me one," because sex change operations etc. are not halachik options. We can't know ...


7

I think the main fundamental drive is not about getting a reward. It is about building a relationship with the Creator of the World. The reason for doing the mitzvos is that they are an expression of His Will, and we love Him very much, like one loves his father, and obey his will not because of the reward but because we want to do something nice for Him. ...


7

There are a number of kabbalistic writings that help prepare someone for marital relations, all presupposing and evoking the holiness of the act. The source closest to a kind of pre-relation blessing that I'm aware of, as well as the most exhaustive, is from the work of the Ben Ish Hai (R. Yosef Haim, Iraqi Hakham, 1832-1909). There are various prayers of ...


6

How to explain to an atheist? Don't look to Johnny: Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School. 'Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt . When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people ...


6

This is a fairly broad question, but basically it takes a good deal of scholarship. (And people who like to pick whatever snippets from Jewish sources that suits them, and post them online in all caps, aren't often so good at this.) We do not have the power to overturn rabbinic law that was codified into the Talmud, however we can clarify the nature of ...


6

I believe the earliest source is Pirkei Derabbi Eliezer Chapter 16. החתן דומה למלך מה המלך הכל מקלסין אותו שבעת ימי המשתה כך חתן הכל מקלסין אותו שבעת ימי המשתה מה המלך לובש בגדי כבוד כך החתן לובש בגדי כבוד מה המלך שמחה ומשתה לפניו כל הימים כך החתן שמחה ומשתה לפניו כל שבעת ימים מה המלך אינו יוצא לשוק לבדו כך החתן אינו יוצא לשוק לבדו מה המלך פניו מאירות ...


5

Please learn chapters 4 and 23 of Likutei Amarim Tanya for deeper understanding. However on the simple level it means that they are connected very strongly with each other -through a Jew learning Torah and doing Mitzvos (which are the Rotzon/will of Hashem Yisborach, which is how Torah is very connected to Him) the Jew becomes connected to Hashem. When a ...


5

Rambam writes (Hil. Yesodei ha-Torah 2:10): He is the Knower, He is the Subject of Knowledge, and He is the Knowledge itself." All is one. Now, you could ask the same question on him: since G-d is one, then how can we describe Him by these different terms? Indeed, for this reason Maharal (Gevuros Hashem, 2nd introduction) says that we can't even speak ...


5

From zaq's answer to a related question: In the Moreh Nevuchim [(Part 1 ch.53)], Rambam explains how God's attributes should be understood without compromising God's unchangingness. He compares God's mood to a fire. If you put ice in a fire, it melts, then evaporates. If you put clay in a fire, it hardens. If you put wood in a fire it burns... The ...


5

I think the premise of this question is mistaken, for a few reasons: If the question is why the Shulchan Aruch itself does not codify a list of beliefs, the answer is that the Shulchan Aruch is not comprehensive (it does not have many important areas of bein adam le-chavero either, e.g., lashon hara. This doesn't mean that they aren't obligatory.) If the ...


5

I've heard the previous UK Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, quote another scholar as saying: "Greek literature is televion; Bible is radio." Generally the Torah has much more emphasis on what's said/heard than what's seen. We have virtually no description of what any Biblical character looked like, unless it occasionally serves to drive the plot ("Joseph was very ...


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said: This is one of the reasons for the recent stress on the Mishnah's statement, "Make for yourself a Rav." Since the Rav is neutral and uninvolved, he will certainly be able to give sound advice. Even with this advice, however, a person might complain that he's unsure whether or not he chose a proper Rav. Here again, the ...


5

A Midrashic Reading: Abraham lived in a culture that accepted the concept of a god as a given, just not the concept of one god. It was within that framework, (where the concept of deities was undisputed), that he logically presented monotheism. This is his argument, seen in Gen Rabah 38:13: נסביה ומסריה לנמרוד א"ל נסגוד לנורא א"ל אברהם ונסגוד למיא ...


5

This Chabad website says something which I think is generally accepted by all: How does one know one’s own specific purpose? The answer is that everything happens by Divine Providence and if a person is presented with a certain opportunity, this is certainly sent from Above and should be treated as if it is the purpose of one’s soul’s descent. ...


5

If you read the second verse again you will see that it is saying the opposite of your understanding that you write in your question. It says that you should answer a fool (in matters of Torah), lest he be wise in his own eyes - if you do not answer him he will think that his opinion is wise. But in mundane matters we don't care what he thinks and feels, and ...


5

Converts are a way that Gd rewards us for doing His Will. He selects a righteous individual from the nations and attaches them to Israel, like a King who rewards his well-behaved son by planting a beautiful plant in his garden, (Yerush. Berahot 2:8). We'd be sorely lacking without these beautiful plants: Odabia, was an Edomite convert, praised even more ...


4

The Tif'eres Yisrael (commentary on this mishna) says Hilel's maxim is directed at a community leader, and offers a few explanations for it: One should follow the practices of the community. One should act in the best interest of the community, and take their advice, about how to have Torah classes, prayer sessions, or the like. One should feel the pain of ...


4

Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman H''yd addressed this question Kovetz Maamarim V'Igros - medor davar ldor "Large numbers of organizations have sprouted amongst the Jewish people of all forms. All of them worry and are concerned on finding solutions as to how to improve our situation. But what is coming out of all these solutions and strategies that came to ...


4

It is possible for a Reform Jew to break Shabbos. From the perspective of traditional Judaism, it doesn't matter whether they believe in the laws. If they don't follow them, they are transgressing. From a Reform perspective, your description of Reform Judaism is inaccurate. The fact that hilchot Shabbos exist is indisputable. They're written in the Torah, ...


4

Definitely it is real. See Masheches Shabbas 156: go through the whole gemara there, starting with where it says "Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi". It indicates that the day and time of someone's birth can affect him, though that there is a dispute as to whether Israel is affected by it.


4

Within traditional Jewish sources, the overwhelmingly dominant opinion is that God has absolute knowledge of everything, including the future. As the Talmud (Avos 3:15, as understood by Maimonides) states, "הכל צפוי" - "All is foreseen." There are, of course, many questions and difficulties that can be raised on this topic, which is, admittedly, one that is ...


4

This idea that "everyone always has a spiritual level, and that any seeming challenge not at that level is not considered a challenge for him — it is either something he will certainly do right or something he will certainly do wrong, even if merely out of habit — so he gets no reward or punishment for it" is probably being quoted out of Michtav me'Eliyahu ...


4

This is a great question. With all due respect to the previous valuable answers, I once came across another great answer to this question (I believe from Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz). Torah is the blueprint of the world. Before something is built, a blueprint is designed to record every detail of the future edifice, and then the blueprint is used to direct its ...


4

This answer is taken mostly from this shiur by R. Ezra Bick from VBM I just want to point out that this Midrash is not saying what Mideval logicians used to argue about Gd's existence. While the argument here is similar to the watchmaker argument it is also very different. But first, we need to quote the entire Midrash, not just a small part of it: ...


4

Is one allowed to study other religions? Mishne Tora, Avoda Zara 2:2 says the study of books on how to worship idols, written by their worshipers, is forbidden. Beyond that I don't know. If not, how is one supposed to know that Judaism is correct? The premise here seems to be that one cannot know Judaism is correct except by eliminating other ...


4

To solar cycle represents continuity and consistency. The lunar cycle represents rise and fall, והחיות רצוא ושוב. The two cycles don't inherently mesh, and it takes the actions of people (as represented by Beis Din which sets the leap year) to combine the two. See here for a similar expression of this idea. In terms of lessons in Avodas Hashem, there are ...


4

Off the top of my head: You will feel like your life has a purpose. You'll have a meaningful life as opposed to a "well, I happen to be here, may as well enjoy it life." You don't have to feel like a victim of circumstance. Hashem controls everything in the world, and everything that happens to you. The world is not a big scary chaotic place that could eat ...



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