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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

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 ...


7

UPDATE The question was edited to add the reference to the fact that when the Yetzer Hara was totaly eliminated, chickens stopped laying eggs. This means that the general concept of "lust" means that there is a desire to actually do or accomplish. This means that without the drive that we have, people cannot accomplish anything in this world. If we never ...


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

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 ...


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

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

I asked R' Tzvi Berkowitz this question. He said that when one sleeps, 4 parts of the soul leave, while the lowest part of the soul remains with the body. The "me" in this prayer is that lowest level of soul, but not the body. I once heard R' Avrohom Schorr speak, and he quoted a Zohar which I did not manage to find afterwards, which said על בשר אדם - מלמד ...


5

One very notable work of rationalist Jewish philosophy is (Hanivchar) B'emunot V'deot by Rav Saadya Gaon. Written in Arabic in the 10th century, it is the first systematic presentation and philosophic foundation of the dogmas of Judaism. The full text of a 20th century Hebrew translation can be found here. Another very notable rationalist work is the ...


5

It is fairly widespread, but not normative in the sense that is an objective teaching of Judaism that is incumbent on all faithful to believe. There's also some evidence that one should not believe it. What is meant by 'but at the end it shall speak and not lie?' — R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blasted be the bones of those who ...


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

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

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

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

Tehillim 94:1 refers to Hashem as being "vengeful" (twice in one verse!): קל נְקָמוֹת ה' קל נְקָמוֹת הוֹפִיַע A word about our descriptions of Hashem - when we attribute descriptions to Hashem, we are not describing His essence, or His nature. We are describing the way in which he interacts with the world. When a person is "loyal," that means that ...


4

According to Rabbi Shurkin in his Meged Givas Olam, some great rabbis he studied under were against the idea that one can only live to one hundred and twenty years. He cited an incident where Reb Moshe Feinstein wouldn't fill out a certain life insurance policy when he realized it would only cover him till one hundred and twenty years. Also, if I may add, ...


4

As many others have mentioned before, when creating laws, you HAVE to make certain distinctions. One of the biggest blindspots i've noticed with Christians trying to understand Judaism, is that they view everything from a theological perspective, and forget one very important point. Modern Christians are used to living in a society where the government is ...


4

This is documented in Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer around Siman 80 - including סימן פ - מעשה ידיה שהיא חיבת לבעלה, ודיני מיניקה ושאינה רוצה לעשות מלאכה Some of her duties include: א מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ לְבַעֲלָהּ What she earns belongs to her husband. What she finds, also - that's in another Siman. ד וְכֵן כָּל אִשָּׁה רוֹחֶצֶת לְבַעֲלָהּ פָּנָיו ...


4

Scripture, meaning Tanakh, is only Cliff Notes (or Spark Notes, if you prefer) to a larger body of knowledge. The "Oral Torah". Yes, one plane of understanding it is the simple meaning, and anyone can get what they want out of it. But the more one is informed, the more likely that answer will be consistent with the Oral Torah. For example, our sages in the ...


4

The Gemara in Taanit 3b says, אמר רבא מעלי תלגא לטורי כחמשה מטרי לארעא שנאמר (איוב לז, ו) כי לשלג יאמר הוא ארץ וגשם מטר וגשם מטרות עוזו Snow is beneficial to the mountains as fivefold rain to the earth, as it is said, For he saith to the snow, ‘Fall thou on the earth’; likewise to the shower of rain and to the showers of His mighty rain. See ...


4

They knew it wasn't God from the start: וַיַּרְא הָעָם, כִּי-בֹשֵׁשׁ מֹשֶׁה לָרֶדֶת מִן-הָהָר; וַיִּקָּהֵל הָעָם עַל-אַהֲרֹן, וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו קוּם עֲשֵׂה-לָנוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר יֵלְכוּ לְפָנֵינוּ--כִּי-זֶה מֹשֶׁה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לֹא יָדַעְנוּ מֶה-הָיָה לוֹ. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from ...


4

In the Path of the Just ch.1 Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato says: Behold, our sages, of blessed memory, have taught us that man was created solely to rejoice in G-d and to delight in the splendor of the Shechina (divine presence). For this is true joy, and the greatest possible pleasure that can possibly exist. The place of this joy is, in truth, in ...



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