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16

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 ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

This is a fairly broad question, but basically it takes a good deal of scholarship. (And people who like to pick whatever snippets from Jewish sources that suits them, and post them online in all caps, aren't often so good at this.) We do not have the power to overturn rabbinic law that was codified into the Talmud, however we can clarify the nature of ...


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

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 ...


5

Within traditional Jewish sources, the overwhelmingly dominant opinion is that God has absolute knowledge of everything, including the future. As the Talmud (Avos 3:15, as understood by Maimonides) states, "הכל צפוי" - "All is foreseen." There are, of course, many questions and difficulties that can be raised on this topic, which is, admittedly, one that is ...


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

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 ...


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

"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


5

First of all, I think it's important to point out that, like all stereotypes, the proliferation of the stereotype is generally a result of bigotry and ignorance. One can just look at the overwhelming number of hospitals and community centers donated by Jews, disproportionate to other religions, as a proof that we aren't greedy. This is even with excluding ...


5

As far as I am aware, there is no Jewish rabbinical or Torah source that Jews are any ruder or greedier than any other nation. On the contrary, the Talmud states that kindness is a fundamental characteristic of the Jewish people: "The Jewish nation is distinguished by three characteristics: they are merciful, they are modest, and they perform acts of ...


5

Actually the answer to your question is "yes". The problem is that you are expressing the choice as an either or, while the Torah emphasizes the responsibility as well as the rights. As such, it does recognize private property - Don't Steal, Yovel, Business practices, partnerships in business, while at the same time it requires the non-materialistic view as ...


5

The Baal Shem Tov: When silent one is able to think (about higher worlds - Mizritcher Maggid), which creates wisdom. (Slightly simplified). The Mizritcher Maggid: When silent he receives from levels higher than him, but when being a giver [speaking] he cannot be a receiver.


5

Our Sages teach that "silence is a fence for wisdom" (Avos 3:13). Rabbeinu Yonah (ibid.) mentions two ways through which silence begets wisdom. Firstly, it trains a person to avoid interrupting his fellow or feeling like he has to speak up even if he does not know the answer to a question, and these qualities are conducive to wisdom. Secondly, as mentioned ...


5

The Vilna Gaon in Kol Eliyahu , I believe, asks a similar question. on the verse "beauty Is vain" he asks if beauty is worthless as Is implied by the verse why then does the Torah speak of Sarah's and Rachel's beauty in a positive tone? He explains that when outer physical beauty exists in a vacuum and is not consistent with the person's inner personality ...


5

There is discussion in Kabbalistic thought (as well as other sources) about the letter used to make a word feminine being a ה, that the ה is the feminine letter, and is also often related to birth - for example, Avraham and Sarah each had a ה added to their names at the time when they were given the promise that they would have a child. ה is also the letter ...


5

First of all, I've upvoted YEZ's answer, as the idea of relating ה to femininity is not related to the letter itself, but to its grammatical function. There are several other examples of cases which I believe answer your question, though besides for YEZ's example, I can only think of one right away: the Maharal (Netzach Yisrael ch. 13), in context of ...



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