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17

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 ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


10

Absolutely not. The Jewish messiah is a flesh-and-blood man descended from King David.


10

This question really touches on what the purpose of the Tree of Knowledge was. Why would G-d not want them to eat from a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Isn't that the most important knowledge to have? In Moreh Nevuchim 1:1 Rambam develops an approach to understanding this (in which he alludes to your question). As I understand his answer, it is ...


10

R' Yaakov Weinberg, in an audio recording, addressed this issue (as an issue with the ani maamin, which R' Weinberg, like you, rejected), and he explained that the point of the Rambam is not to say that the specific texts which we have now are identical to the one transmitted to Moshe. Rather, the point of the Rambam is to say that Moshe was a faithful ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


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 ...


7

"Am Haaretz" just means "ignoramus" colloquially but the rest are defined by Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah Chapter 3. Rambam identifies four kinds of heretics (this is a subset of those who "have no share in the world to come"). Three kinds of kofer: One who denies the divine origin of any portion of the written Torah; one who denies the validity of the oral ...


7

In the beginning of the first chapter of Mesillas Yesharim (see also here), Ramchal writes ויתאמת אצל האדם מה חובתו בעולמו....שהאדם לא נברא אלא להתענג על השם ולהנות מזיו שכינתו A person should realize what his purpose is in this world....that a person was not created except to have joy from Hashem, and to benefit from his Shechinah (Divine ...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


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 ...


6

I've asked this question to several talmidei chachamim, and all of them have given me the same general response: the Rambam shouldn't be taken too literally, as after all, he certainly knew the passages in Chazal which you've quoted. What he means is that, for all intents and purposes, we have the same Torah. The very slight differences of a plene spelling ...


6

From Wikipedia, the 9 proscribed items are: Sermonizing in the venracular 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 ...


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

There are different types of Chumrot, as I see it. 1. Fence Sometimes we (personal or dictated by Chazal) need a fence to keep us away from the actual transgression. This way, if we stumble we hit the fence and don't fall into the pit of sin. This is the fence referred to - and recommended - in the first Mishna in Pirkei Avot. This is your typical Humra. ...


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

Excellent question! Of course Hashem is everywhere. In some times and places, we perceive His presence more strongly. In those instances, we say that the Shechinah is present. An analogy for this concept is radio waves. They're (pretty much) everywhere, but we can only "tune into" them when we have a receiver (i.e. a radio). Sorry - I don't remember the ...


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

I'm going to mostly ignore the examples you gave in your question, because I think they are a red herring. Just to address your examples quickly, none of what you described seems rational to me. What difference does eternal hell make if I don't believe in the existence of hell in the first place? My human experiences tell me that no matter how bad a ...


5

"The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, righteous and just is He. Is corruption His? No; His children's is the blemish" - Deuteronomy 32:4



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