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18

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 ...


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 ...


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

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


12

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.


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

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

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

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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...



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