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Most secular Jews do not believe in a traditional interpretation of the afterlife. Judaism is a horizontal religion where we pray on the high holidays for forgiveness last year and for the coming year to be good. We have no spires reaching up. We live on through accomplishments to society and remembrance including naming our children after those who died. ...


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Yes, although the cause would probably be our own actions: Midrash from Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) Rabba: "When G-d created the first man he took him and showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him "See my works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are. And everything that I created, I created it for you. Be careful not to spoil or ...


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The problem of defining God is that a definition is a border that describes the object of being only from here and until there. Every definition is giving boundaries. When you "grasp" a concept, you surrounded it with boundaries and you know where it comes in, where it ends, what is before, and what is after. God is endless, and therefore indescribable. He ...


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God exists in a different way than we do. Imagine in your mind a blue elephant. Now lift that elephant in your mind. Is that considered an act of might? maybe to the elephant, but to you it is not. so too, every attribute we ascribe to God is relative to our plane of reality, not His. this elephant analogy is not so far off as the Tanya Shaar Yichud ...


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They are not so much something we know about G-d as behaviors we know G-d wants us to emulate. This is the thesis of Moreh Nevuchim 1:54. He then uses this to explain the 13 Attributes of Mercy that Hashem revealed to Moshe and concludes, "We have gone too far away from the subject of this chapter, but we have shown why it has been considered sufficient to ...


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This is, like ray's answer, just a proposal, but perhaps the reason that such animals exist isn't so that we can learn a moral lesson from them. I propose that they exist in order to maintain the delicate balance of life that allows us to survive. Without those animals, the world's ecosystems would look dramatically different and we would not be able to ...


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It is unquestionably cruel to destroy or relocate a nest containing eggs and/or fledglings. The problem is due to the fact that birds are relatively stupid. Whereas, if I moved your house a short distance from its current location, you would obviously look for it and quickly find it, birds don't work this way. If a mother bird is out looking for food, ...


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the shaar yichud ch.10 says it is impossible for us to grasp God as He is. so really He cannot be discussed in any kind of meaningful way. but we can know a bit about Him (for example that He possesses wisdom) by what He reveals to us on our level. Therefore, you should exert your mind until you know the Creator through the evidences of His works and ...


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Rambam famously adopts the approach of negative-theology (see Rabbi Meir Triebitz's lengthy article about it here). That is, Rambam opines that we cannot speak about God in terms of what he (it) is, but rather what he (it) is not. That is, we can speak of God not being corporeal, not being limited, etc. Also noteworthy, is the Gemara Megillah 18a אסור ...


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The Rambam seems to hold it's permitted to "give a definition of G-d": consider that he spends much of chapter 1 of Y'sode Hatora doing so.


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Making the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with isn't refering to how other score you. If you share knowledge and help people with it, it just shows the appreciation of the other and the value of the answers that been given. It is about the opposite, that someone would put on a crown (give himself a status/might) based on his or her knowledge of Torah to ...


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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 ...


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As mentioned in the comments, the term להבדיל probably comes from its usage in the הבדלה services: המבדיל...בין ישראל לעמים. As far as the suggested supremacist attitude, I don't think Judaism differs in this sense from any other religion; I'd argue that the belief of "we are distinguished from all others" is common to all religions.


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As has been discussed in the comments on the question, I think your understanding of the word "l'havdil" is not quite accurate. "L'havdil" really just means a distinction between things that are comparable in a particular sense, but not in a general sense (because one of the items of comparison is "holier" for some definition of that word). For example, I ...


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In short We are special, holy... (G-d choose us, loved us, wanted us, made us holy (with his commandments), and brought us closer for us to do his work, and called his great and holy name on us) Also one of the main commandments we have as Jews is to love each other this makes us focused on each other, and to speak differently about each other and our ...


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Note: I'm not Jewish, but I have studied the relevant subjects enough to be able to answer the question, at least to some extent. The explanation for these ugly accusations against Jews is not related to Jewish scripture. It is the result of a combination of factors, most of which are much more closely related to Christian scriptures and the political ...


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It was taught in Beraisa: Rav Yehudah is saying: Anyone who translates verse literally is a liar. והתניא ר' יהודה אומר המתרגם פסוק כצורתו הרי זה בדאי קידושין מט. בסוף העמוד http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=20&daf=49&format=pdf


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I am a Rabbi I speculate that the cycal is not set anymore maybe becouse of feminism, since the woman stopped staying at home, or at the shtetal (some woman still have a set one) so through Menstrual synchrony (by meeting a lot of different woman that have different cycles daily) the set cycle got ruined see first comment above of @user6591


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I believe the fusing of two pieces of wood into 1 in Yechezqel (haftarah for Vayigash) occurs in Galus Bavel (the Babylonian Exile). But then, the 10 plagues and the crossing of the Red See also occurred in Exile. Yonah's experience with the fish and his overnight growing plant were outside Israel, but not during a time of exile. Megillah 14a discusses ...


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Example of a miracle during the exile Boba metiya 59b On that day R. Eliezer brought forward every imaginable argument,3  but they did not accept them. Said he to them: 'If thehalachah agrees with me, let this carob-tree prove it!' Thereupon the carob-tree was torn a hundred cubits out of its place — others affirm, four hundred cubits. 'No proof can be ...


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Why do some Jews prefer to live among Christians as opposed to Muslims? This question is difficult to answer. The most likely explanation is that modern Muslim nations are often very hostile towards Jews, whereas most modern majority Christian nations are largely friendly towards Jews. It is also important to note that most majority Christian countries ...


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To quote the opening words of Rav Shimon Shkop's introduction to Shaarei Yosher: "יתברך הבורא ויתעלה היוצר שבראנו בצלמו ובדמות תבניתו, וחיי עולם נטע בתוכנו, שיהיה אדיר חפצנו, להיטיב עם זולתנו, ליחיד ולרבים בהוה ובעתיד בדמות הבורא כביכול, שכל מה שברא ויצר היה רצונו יתברך רק להיטיב עם הנבראים, כן רצונו ית׳ שנהלך בדרכיו כאמור “והלכת בדרכיו”, היינו שנהיה אנחנו ...


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Someone asked this to Rav Meir Mazuz Shlita here: אשתי מורה ועושה תואר שני בתנ"ך במכללה דתית [מהזרם הציוני דתי]. במהלך אחד הקורסים, נתבקשו ע"י מרצה אחד, לקרוא מאמר של שפינוזה. וכן דברו שם על בקורת המקרא. כששאלה אשתי את המרצה [חובש הכיפה] שידוע שהרבנים אוסרים לשמוע דברים מסוג זה, אמר: איפה הרב עובדיה [שליט"א] פוסק שאסור? האם אפשר לקבל מקורות לאיסור? [גם ...


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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 ...


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Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan wrote a piece called "Behold the man: The real Jesus" found on page 37 of this pdf: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/the_real_messiah.pdf&ved=0CBwQFjAAahUKEwjlnv2m_p_HAhUEGz4KHV-WCdA&usg=AFQjCNES1jJc_ogRECuMZ0R85M8ZKr3B7A&sig2=oTjNB_o19HledMZOeFweXQ He ...


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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, ...


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A clarification of my post before. A number of Rishonim (Ramban, Yad Rama and more) understand Olam HaBa existence to be a perfect physical and spiritual existence in this world (after Techiyat HaMeitim), not a purely spiritual one as the Rambam explains it. As such, when the Torah in Parshat Bechukotai says that the reward for the Jewish people keeping ...


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Well, according to many Rishonim (e.g. Ramban, Yad Rama) and Acharonim (Ramchal), Olam HaBa is not Olam HaNeshamot, but rather is the world after Techiyat HaMeitim, when the physical and spiritual worlds will coincide harmoniously with each other, to become a new Gan Eden. Thus, it would appear that the reward for keeping the Torah in Parashat Bechukotai can ...


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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 ...



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