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R. Hirschensohn rejects the notion that this word (l'havdil) should be used to distinguish Jews from non-Jews. See his commentary to Horayot (Jerusalem, 1926), part 3, p.6a: וזה אין לנו לומר כי הלא אב אחד לכלנו א-ל אחד בראנו R. Hirschensohn says that it is wrong to say הגוי להבדיל since it is precisely the Jews whom God chose to separate as his special ...


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First of all, it cannot be emphasized enough that Judaism does not, and certainly since the days of the Sanhedrin, has not had, an official spokesman. Accordingly, it is essentially impossible to answer what Judaism thinks about this; only what individual Jewish scholars, basing themselves off, among other things, Jewish teachings, have held. That said, ...


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The reason is because only the most important documents were transcribed through history. Many works might have been lost and only those which people bothered copying survived. Some of those are philosophical, most of the early Jewish contributions to philosophy came from Qaraite Jews. Rabbabinic thought placed more emphasis on legislating the tradions of ...


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You could as easily ask why the torah has mitzvot that can be observed only in Israel, when God knew that we would be in exile for thousands of years. But for God to not give us mitzvot specific to Israel, or the Temple, would "normalize" galut and the absence of the Temple. It shouldn't feel normal and routine that we are not in Israel, and it shouldn't ...


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Traditionally the answer to this question is ein adam choteh ela im kein nichnas bo ruach shtus, a person does not sin unless a spirit of insanity has entered him. So the question is, he should always be patur? And the answer is he is chayav for letting the ruach shtus enter him and the consequences thereof. But if the person is deranged this logic is ...


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If I understand correctly, your argument goes something like this: A.) The Halacha is to always wait (>=5) + 7. B.) Doing so on a natural routine can be inconvenient, e.g. for vacations. C.) People use the pill to deal with it. D.) Using the pill this way is: 1. A cancer risk. 2. Unnatural and therefore against God's will. 3. Emotionally messy. ...


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I understand the question to be (1) why the Rishonim were so interested in studying philosophy and (2) why don't we do the same today. The reason for (1) is because there is much wisdom in Greek Philosophy. The Rishonim such as the Rambam were not so interested in Greek philosophy but rather in sifting the truth from the falsehood in it. The benefit in ...


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According to the Hattam Soffer (Responsa vol II YD 356) it is not, to use the OP's words "part of Judaism’s foundations", but rather, is "one of its consequences": אך א"א לי בשום אופן להאמין שיהי' גאולתינו א' מעיקרי הדת ושאם יפול היסוד תפול החומה חלילה ושנאמר אלו הי' ח"ו חטאנו גורמים שיגרש אותנו גירוש עולם וכדס"ל לר"ע בעשרת השבטים שהם נדחים לעולם המפני ...


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This question asks about shifting attitudes over many centuries, and is somewhat open ended, so I will begin with general historical overview: The vast majority of philosophy and non-Talmudic study was by the Geonim and their intellectual successors, North African and Southern Spanish rishonim (such as Rabbenu Chanael b. Chushiel of Tunisia, and Rambam of ...


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we recognize that certain nations have negative predispositions. for example the talmud says arabs tend towards sexual immorality more than any other nation (Kidushin 49b). It is no coincidence that their view of "paradise" is 72 virgins. yet, every person regardless of race can achieve the greatest heights of righteousness if he chooses as Midrash Tana D'...


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The Rambam in Hilchos Avodas Kochavim (פרק ב׳- הלכות א,ג) says: ספרים רבים חברו עובדי כוכבים בעבודתה היאך עיקר עבודתה ומה מעשיה ומשפטיה. צונו הקב''ה שלא לקרות באותן הספרים כלל ולא נהרהר בה ולא בדבר מדבריה. ואפילו להסתכל בדמות הצורה אסור שנאמר אל תפנו אל האלילים. ובענין הזה נאמר {ופן תדרוש לאלהיהם לאמר איכה יעבדו} שלא תשאל על דרך עבודתה היאך היא ...


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There is no issue with doing a mitzvah with the hope that the mitzvah will give you some benefit or be a merit for some other supplication. On the contrary it is seen as a righteous deed. This idea is found in the Gemara Pesachim (8a) regarding one who gives charity in order for one's child to be healed from sickness and other requests: האומר סלע זו ...


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Not sure who says this but in respect to Yitzchak's blessing Yaakov and Yaakov's blessing Ephraim and Menashe, they say that Yitzchak's goats and the placing of Yaakov's hands on his grandchildren's heads were done to create some form of connection between the one giving the brachah and the one receiving it. Perhaps you could say the same thing here; Hashem ...


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Rashi, Deuteronomy 4:23: ואתחנן. אין חנון בכל מקום אלא לשון מתנת חנם, אע"פ שיש להם לצדיקים לתלות במעשיהם הטובים, אין מבקשים מאת המקום אלא מתנת חנם Even though righteous people can ask for favors based on their good deeds, they ask only for free gifts. In addition, in Brachot 32b, Rabbi Chiya bar Aba says in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that whoever ...


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It is not accurately at the center of the question but see Pri Haarets Parashat Reeh See in Wikitext I think that he touch that one may make a mitsva in way to get some wished issue. I will to past the text in Hebrew with a large paraphrase in English, and at end write a summary of the parts of the question which are answered an what the answer is: I will ...


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According to the Mesilas Yesharim (beginning of ch. 24), there are 2 major divisions of yir'ah, of which one is subdivided. 1- Yir’as ha’onesh: fear of punishment. This is the lowest of the three. However, since even fear of punishment is a motivator, even yir’as ha’onesh is viewed positively. R’ Shlomo Wolbe zt”l writes that today, we’ve lost that ...


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Yir'at Shamayim is fear from the "not true", which is not physically perceptible and without consequences (at least if nobody from our physical word can). Only "Who is in heaven" sees. A man which makes something because it is true has Yir'at Shamayim. An example: At the second world war, there was some people, not Jews who saved Jewish people, against ...


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the Rambam writes in sefer hamitzvot: The 4th mitzvah is that we are commanded to establish in our minds fear and dread of G‑d (exalted be He); that we not be calm and nonchalant, but be constantly concerned of imminent punishment. The biblical source of this is, "You shall fear G‑d your Lord." (Devarim 6:13) Hence one who does not care to ...



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