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28

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 ...


15

You might just be asking the wrong Rabbis. However, to give you a sort-of answer to why this is the case regarding specific details of the religion (such as the food question, and similar questions), belief that the Torah in all its details as it's been passed down to us as the will of God is a rational belief. Therefore, even if certain aspects of it ...


13

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


13

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.


12

Rav Hirsch writes in his commentary to the Bible, on Gen. 4:4, the first time that animal sacrifice is mentioned: First, idolatry did not yet exist. It follows, then, that the offering are not a mere concession to polytheism. The offerings antedate polytheism. They are as old as mankind itself, and they are a natural expression of human thoughts ...


10

Yalkut Shimoni Shemos 168 does indeed record the story of Moshe being appointed the King of Kush (Kush = modern Ethiopia) and leading them in war, and that he married the Kushite princess. However, the Yalkut Shimoni says explicitly that Moshe did not cohabit with her because she was a descendant of Cham, and Moshe remembered the vow that Avraham had ...


10

Rambam repudiates astrology, writing that only fools believe in astrology (Hil. Akum 11:16): וּדְבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן דִּבְרֵי שֶׁקֶר וְכָזָב הֵן וְהֵם שֶׁהִטְעוּ בָּהֶן עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים הַקַּדְמוֹנִים לְגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּנְהֲגוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין רָאוּי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֵם חֲכָמִים מְחֻכָּמִים לְהִמָּשֵׁךְ בַּהֲבָלִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא ...


9

This is pretty explicit in Rambam Laws of Teshuva Ch. 3: ‏ [יד] כל אחד ואחד מארבעה ועשרים אנשים אלו שמנינו--אף על פי שהן ישראל, אין להן חלק לעולם הבא. ויש עבירות קלות מאלו, ואף על פי כן אמרו חכמים שהרגיל בהן אין לו חלק לעולם הבא, כדי להתרחק מהן ולהיזהר מהן.‏ כה ואלו הן: המכנה את חברו, והקורא לחברו בכינוי, והמלבין פני חברו ברבים, והמתכבד ...


9

This is adressed in the Tiferes Yisroel on Avos, ch. 4 mishna 3, oisios 20 & 21. The mishna says ואל תהי מפליג מכל דבר, don't be seperated from anything. The T.Y. explains this to mean not to question any of Hashems creations and to assume there is a good reason for them, even if we don't know the reason. He singles out the fly the gnat and snakes and ...


9

In Mishnah Makkot 1:10 there is a famous passage where, after discussing the laws of witnesses, the Rabbis debate how often the Sanhedrin should order the capital punishment. A Sanhedrin that would execute somebody once every seven years would be considered a violent Beit Din. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah says: "Once every 70 years." Rabbi Tarfon and ...


9

According to this article at Chabad.org, based on the teachings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a, each generation builds on the achievements of the previous generation. So that even though we may be on a lower spiritual level, we are still furthering the cause of creation and bringing it closer to its ultimate goal. I think that this is similar to the ...


8

I wanted to address the general question without getting into your specific examples of which beliefs require accepting irrationality. G-d is infinite and we are finite. The most basic thing that we can understand about G-d is that He is beyond our understanding. The Rambam writes in several places (Hilchos Teshuva, Moreh Nevochim part 3) that G-d's ...


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.


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 ...


7

This is a rather famous issue, so much so that Rabbeinu Bachya (1100's) already lists five answers to this question. Later, Abarbanel lists 7 (in his book Tzedek Olamim), and the Kli Yakar (to Vayikra 26:12) collects 9 answers. There are even more floating around Jewish literature (especially in kabbalah and chassidus), but I think that these will suffice ...


7

From Wikipedia, the 9 proscribed items are: Sermonizing in the vernacular or listening to a sermon in the vernacular Praying in a synagogue that doesn't have the platform for reading the Torah in the middle Making a synagogue in [the shape of] a tower1 Reserving a special uniform for the sh'li'ach tzibur or singing like other religions do Using a ...


7

I'd like to answer along two dimensions, one about capital punishment and one more broad. First, it is possible for the conditions to be met under which capital punishment can apply. Tractate Sanhedrin in the talmud discusses in great detail the relevant laws. We know that sentences of capital punishment were carried out in the past. They were rare, with ...


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 ...


7

From a skeptical standpoint it would probably be easiest to presume that the ancient Israelites merely adopted and or adapted the methods of worship common at the time their religion emerged but I see no reason that those of us that do not share such presuppositions would find such an assumption that compelling. Our tradition teaches that although animal ...


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 ...


6

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): ...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

Talmud / avoda zora 3A אין הקב"ה בא בטרוניא עם בריותיו the Holy One, blessed be He, does not deal imperiously(sovereignty, despotic rule.) with His creatures. midrash / shimois rabba 34 אין הקב"ה בא בטרחות עם בריותיו לא בא על האדם אלא לפי כחו "G-d does not make matters difficult for His creatures; He expects a person to perform according to his ...


6

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 - ...


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 ...


6

R Yaakov Weinberg explained that an eved, a servant, is someone who is nullified to someone or something else. When you serve Hashem, it should be as a servant, as someone who is doing the will of Hashem and not his own will. If you serve Hashem because you see how beneficial it is, then you are not really serving Hashem, you are actually serving yourself ...



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