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29

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 ...


24

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 ...


9

This is called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. It happens when you notice something new or unique and then it seems like it keeps on coming up. It's just a psychological phenomenon and it's well known. What basically happens is that you notice something ordinary once, and after that happens you are kind of tuned in to see it happen other times when you ...


8

Wikipedia says: Cicero stated the twins objection (that with close birth times, personal outcomes can be very different), later developed by Saint Augustine. He argued that since the other planets are much more distant from the earth than the moon, they could have only very tiny influence compared to the moon's. He also argued that if astrology explains ...


8

Mishna Torah Hilchos Teshuva 3:2: ושקול זה אינו לפי מנין הזכיות והעונות אלא לפי גודלם. יש זכות שהיא כנגד כמה עונות שנאמר יען נמצא בו דבר טוב. ויש עון שהוא כנגד כמה זכיות שנאמר וחוטא אחד יאבד טובה הרבה. ואין שוקלין אלא בדעתו של אל דעות והוא היודע היאך עורכין הזכיות כנגד העונות .. and this weighting [of merits vs. sins] isn't according to their number ...


7

A proof that one should divorce is Ezra ch. 10 where he tries to encourage everybody to leave their non-Jewish wives, he does not tell them to stay together to avoid the mizbeach shedding tears. Furthermore he makes no distinction between any cases.


7

The Rambam referenced in the question actually deals with the many times in Tanach in which we ascribe emotions to Hashem. In chapter 55 in Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam discusses Hashem's "emotion" as a literary device used to convey meaning to us an audience. Emotions and moods are transient in nature, and are impossible for the unchanging perfection of ...


7

The Gmara in Yebamot (63a) says that an unmarried man is not a man:> א"ר אלעזר כל אדם שאין לו אשה אינו אדם שנאמר(בראשית ה, ב) זכר ונקבה בראם ויקרא את שמם אדם  And that a man without a woman is unhappy, unblessed and not good (Yebamut 62b): א"ר חנילאי כל אדם שאין לו אשה שרוי בלא שמחה בלא ברכה בלא טובה בלא שמחה דכתיב(דברים יד, כו) ושמחת אתה וביתך בלא ברכה ...


7

Am I the soul or the body? The answer is yes. The mashal is given of a blind man and a lame man in the king's orchard. The blind man put the lame man on his shoulders. The lame man steered the blind man to the fruit and they were able to collect a harvest. Emperor Antoninus asked Rabbi how there could be punishment in the life beyond, for, since ...


6

Judaism is emotional as well as intellectual. Even the highly rationalist Rambam wrote beautiful passages about we should love and yearn for God like one does regarding a desired romantic partner. Early mussar seforim, such as Chovos HaLevavos, are focused to a large extent on developing intense love for God. The Ramak's Tomer Devorah is full of references ...


6

The article was published by R. Salomon Alter Halpern in Hamoreh (according to here the Jewish Observer, may be the same thing) in 1970 and was called "Some Facts About Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary." I got a hold of the article from here. Here is a short summary: The article is not coming to proclaim the dictionary prohibited or forbidden, it is coming to ...


6

I think their main point is not that the theory in all its details is identical to the Jewish tradition. For thousands of years, conventional western wisdom was based on the Aristotelian assumption of kadmuth ha'olam - that the universe always was as it is. The modern discoveries of physics which talk about a finite point in time before which human ...


6

Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488 - 1575)states in Shulchan Aruch, (The Code of Jewish Law) that if a physician is able to heal a patient and refrains from doing so, this is considered murder. Yoreh Deah, 336:1 Rabbi Moshe Isserles (The Rema 1520 - 1572), writes on the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), that any act involving touching or moving a "gossess" (a term ...


6

In answer to your last question: Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on Bereishis parshas VaYera chapter 20 verse 7, poses a question, "How could Chazal have expected millions of people, 3 times a day, to all, in unison, to beseech haShem for 12 things (the middle section of the Amidah) all at once at the same time of day, 3 times a day!" He ...


6

There are some areas where drawing your own conclusions is harmless, and some where it can be a big problem. Drawing your own conclusions when it will impact halacha is extremely dangerous, because there is a very real negative consequence. R' Yaakov Weinberg said that a person can say whatever p'shat (plain meaning) that he wants to in a verse, as long as ...


6

How about "ben torah"? (See e.g. here, here, and here.) You could also try "baal middos".


5

Since Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, there has been little faith in any philosophical proof of theological and metaphysical claims. But then, despite the misnamed "Kuzari Principle", this is R' Yehudah haLevi's point in much of the first section of the Kuzari as well. The Kuzari opens with the king having a series of dreams in which an angel tells him, ...


5

here is a quote of the Manoach Halevavos commentary on the Shaar Yichud ch.5 That which a thing cannot make itself applies only to something created but that which is Kadmon (eternal, without beginning) and infinite, behold, in truth, it did not make itself. This is the reason why the question of "how did G-d make Himself?" is not relevant. i.e. ...


5

A contribution to an answer - This article on Reb Alter z”l has the following paragraph: Another of his original projects was the publication of a pamphlet which demonstrated some of the glaring mistakes in understanding gemoras made by Dr. Marcus Jastrow, author of the then widely used Talmudic dictionary. The booklet's entries were arranged in ...


5

Kohelet 12:13: סוֹף דָּבָר הַכֹּל נִשְׁמָע אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים יְרָא וְאֶת מִצְוֹתָיו שְׁמוֹר כִּי זֶה כָּל הָאָדָם The end of the matter, everything having been heard, fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the entire man. Rashi: and keep His commandments, for this is the entire man: Because, for this matter, the entire man was created.


5

First, some background information: The passuq in question is Bereshith 28:16 - "Wayyiqass Ya'aqov mishenatho wayomer akhen yesh HaShem ba-maqom ha-zeh wa-anokhi lo yadha`ti" Translation: "And Ya`aqov awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely HaShem is in this place and I did not know it." However, the Targum Onqelos renders the sense (cf. ...


5

God knows the future and therefore He cannot regret and "change His mind". He is not bound to time, all of the past and the future are before Him simultaneously as something in the present (as the Rambam wrote on the mishna in Rosh Hashana "all are examined in one sweeping look"). He also told us the covenant with the Jewish people is permanent through His ...


5

I had a similar problem; when I started taking Judaism seriously I tried to do everything. And I wasn't ready, so I stumbled through prayers I didn't comprehend, that took me forever because I was learning the language, and it was frustrating. My rabbi advised me to back off; doing less, but doing it consistently, was more important than doing everything, ...


5

Actually, the standard English translations of all of the books you mentioned were done from the Arabic, not from a Hebrew intermediary: Rosenblatt's Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Pines' Guide of the Perplexed, Mansoor's Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart.


4

As a student of early Christology, Patristic theology, biblical hermeneutics, textual criticism of the bible, and the history of the bible and the early church, I can answer this question the way I wish it had been explained to me. The Jewish messiah is expected to be and do many things, but Jesus simply doesn't fit the description, and he certainly ...


4

Related: For better understanding between Jews and Christians, some reading material I think there is an important distinction to be made between the Jesus(es) that Christians believe in and the real historical Jesus. The sources available to us are highly questionable in terms of veracity. The "gospels" were written by people who never met Jesus, and ...


4

This is also stated in the anonymous medieval work Pischei Shaarei Avodah (ch. 1) attributed by some to Rabbenu Yonah כי הא-ל ית' אינו מבקש מבני אדם כי אם לפי כחם "For the blessed God only makes requests from people according to their abilities."


4

Prelude: Ani Maamin is of unknown authorship, and occasionally deviates from the most accurate presentation of the Rambam's principles. In this particular example, Ani Maamin brings a verse that the Rambam himself did not bring as source-text for this principle (however, in the Rambam's discussion of this principle in Moreh Nevochim, 3:17, he does cite this ...


4

The Gemara in Yevamos (66a) says that we don't let a Kohen's illegal (Jewish) wife's (Melog) slaves eat Teruma, even though according to biblical law they should, since the Rabbis want her to get angry at her husband (I can't eat Teruma, my slaves can't eat Teruma, What am I, a Zona??!!) and get a divorce. The Gemara doesn't differentiate if there are ...



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