Hot answers tagged

41

In Devorah and Barak's song (upon defeating Sisra), part of the song went as follows (Shoftim 5:23): 'Curse you Meroz,' said the messenger of the Lord, 'curse you bitterly (you) inhabitants thereof,' because they came not to the aid of the Lord, to the aid of the Lord against the mighty. The Talmud (Mo'ed Kattan 16A - English on page 59 here) brings ...


24

To answer your question clearly, Although the Pentateuch does not seem to make any mention of extraterrestrial life, some places in Nevi'im and Ketuvim may be understood to be making reference to Extraterrestrial life. One instance is in Shoftim 5:23, 'Curse ye Meroz', said the angel of the LORD, 'Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they ...


12

In the Guide of the Perplexed, Chapter XIV, the Rambam comments on "behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" (Job xxii. 12) that is to say, learn from the height of the heavens how far we are from comprehending God, for there is an enormous distance between ourselves and these corporeal objects, and the latter are greatly distinguished ...


10

Rambam repudiates astrology, writing that only fools believe in astrology (Hil. Akum 11:16): וּדְבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ כֻּלָּן דִּבְרֵי שֶׁקֶר וְכָזָב הֵן וְהֵם שֶׁהִטְעוּ בָּהֶן עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים הַקַּדְמוֹנִים לְגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּנְהֲגוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין רָאוּי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֵם חֲכָמִים מְחֻכָּמִים לְהִמָּשֵׁךְ בַּהֲבָלִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא ...


8

Similar to several answers above: there was a Jewish biologist who consulted for NASA when they were concerned about viruses being brought back by astronauts and the like. He said he spoke with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneurson, the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe, about extraterrestrial life. The Rebbe said that sentient beings would be theologically problematic, but ...


8

Although rabbinic literature has yet to discuss death on Mars, the issue of being wholly buried underground, and the various complications to that happening (e.g., state requirements for burial in a coffin, a corpse under water, a buried corpse with limbs above ground, etc.), have been discussed. My theoretical answer depends on the work of the Rambam, the ...


8

It says in Sanhedrin 59b כי הא דרבי שמעון בן חלפתא הוה קאזיל באורחא, פגעו בו הנך אריותא דהוו קא נהמי לאפיה, אמר: (תהלים ק"ד) הכפירים שאגים לטרף. נחיתו ליה תרתי אטמתא, חדא אכלוה וחדא שבקוה. איתיה ואתא לבי מדרשא, בעי עלה: דבר טמא הוא זה או דבר טהור? - אמרו ליה: אין דבר טמא יורד מן השמים. בעי מיניה רבי זירא מרבי אבהו: ירדה לו דמות חמור מהו? - אמר ליה יארוד ...


6

From http://www.dinonline.org/2011/05/25/burial-at-sea/ A number of sources indicate that burial in the sea is not considered burial. See Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer (Chap. 39) concerning the Egyptians in the sea, and Yerushalmi (Shabbos 19b) concerning drowning. The idea of burial is that the person is interned on land, where the dead will someday be ...


5

Traditionally no, however a alien inclined reading of the Bible, could lead one to believe that the "Nephilim" (נְפִילִים) and "Anakim" (ענקים) might be aliens, or other races of humans. They are treated as goyim and not animals. However, the alien life forms so far discovered by science all fall under the halachic category of 'non-existent' since they can ...


5

The grandeur of creation increases the importance of keeping Torah - it is the point of a much greater world. It also gives us a better understanding of the greatness of Hashem. The entirety of creation is nothing compared to Hashem. So the greater the world, the more we realize how much greater Hashem is, that all of it is as nothing compared to Him.


5

Again. If living someplace where there is no concept of sunrise/sunset at all, the opinions are: Follow your hometown Follow the last normal place you'd been (in this case, Florida) Follow Jerusalem Follow an artificial 6AM-6PM clock, using whatever timezone you have.


5

The Mishnah (Uktzin 3:12 - the concluding mishnah of Shas) states that "in the future Hashem will cause each tzaddik to inherit 310 worlds." These are understood to be spiritual realms (R. Shmuel of Lubavitch, Maamar Shabchi Yerushalayim 5627); but since the physical is an outgrowth of the spiritual, it may well be that there is actual physical "real estate" ...


4

You might first ask, Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked, whether the mitzvahs are required at all in space. After all, the Torah says that you should do the commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth" (Deut. 12:1), maybe we aren't obligated to perform the commandments in space or on the moon. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, in an interview published in ...


4

the underlying assumption here is that we need to "help" God to safeguard His torah in case the world gets destroyed or whatever reason. This runs contrary to lots of Jewish hashkafa, such as that God is in control of the world, etc., and the world is headed for redemption, resurrection, etc. Based on that, I think it's a big waste of a kosher sefer torah ...


4

The Sefer Hikrim brings his rebbe which held that there are no aliens. However the Sefer Hikrim himself argues and holds that there are aliens. He brings a proof from the possuk in Shoftim which says "oro mroz", which the gamera in Moed Katan (Rashi brings this) says roz is a star, and the passuk concludes "arur yoshveha" cursed are its inhabitants, clearly ...


3

In the linked article, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan sources and discusses opinions on both sides of the argument, bringing various proofs and questions. Chasdai Crescas says aliens can exist, Yosef Albo said there cannot be any other beings with free will, apparently the only objection with believing in aliens centers around this issue of free will. Rabbi Kaplan also ...


3

Based on this article: I would say that people in the ISS would keep Shabbat based on the location of the place they will be landing when they come back, or based on the location of the earth crew that is working with them. This is how the people aboard the ISS mantain their daily lives, and it would be peculiar to do it another way.


3

The Sheva Mitzvot of Bnei Noach are for the decendants of Noach, so unless the aliens were first offspring of Noach and then moved to another planet, then no, aliens would not need to keep Sheva Mitzvot. If they are in a similar image to Noach, it might be a good idea to teach them the Sheva Mitzvot though :-P


3

As discussed in another question, whatever extraterrestrial life exists does not have free will, and would therefore not be capable of accepting the moral responsibility of conversion.


2

I believe that there is not. Common practice in the Temple era (and earlier) was to place bodies in caves and let the bodies decompose down to the bones, which were then collected and placed in the family tomb. No actual burial was done. However, I have not learned the relevant halakhot, so I'm not sure if what was done in that era is still halakhically ...


2

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah 179 siff 1 says we may not ask astrologers or use lotteries (to figure out the future). The Ramma quoting the Beis Yosef explains the reason is the Torah says תמים תהיה עם ה׳ אלהיך. In the next siff, the Ramma informs us from tshuvos Rashba (hamiyuchos liRamban) that if someone is somehow aware that a certain act is ...


2

Rashi on the Gemara that says אין מזל לישראל (Shabbos 156a), says: אין מזל לישראל - דעל ידי תפלה וזכות משתנה מזלו לטוב There is a modern Jewish hashkafa that the Zodiac can have an effect on our lives, but we have the ability to "get out of it". אין מזל לישראל means that Jews can be beyond their mazal, and are not bound to it.


2

R' Menachem Kasher, in האדם על הירח, proposes that ומלאו את הארץ וכבשוה, "fill the land and conquer it," may be an inference to prohibit space travel. He also points to the danger involved.


2

Even according to those that allow it, (assuming there are those who prohibit space travel,) the halachos of zmanei tefilah, shabbos and all zman related halachos get very complicated. So I assume also they would strongly discourage space travel, whereas flying on a plane doesn't nearly have the same issues (usually at most one or two tefilos). For the same ...


2

Rav Menashe Klien was asked if one can say kiddush levana on the moon if they are physically on the moon. He answers in his Mishne Halachos 6:259 that there is no difference standing on the moon or earth with regards to saying kiddush levanah. He then writes that going to the moon altogether should be prohibited for two reasons 1) the travel to the moon is ...


1

In regards to time bound mitzvos in general Rabbi Menahem Kasher ruled that “The situation on the moon [or Mars] is equivalent to the north and south poles; therefore posit a 24-hour day, with alternating periods of 12 hours day and 12 hours night regardless of the presence or absence of light from the sun”. quoted here. The same would presumably be true ...


1

I'm not aware of any references in the Chumash itself, but the only two passages in the entire Tana'kh that may be relevant to your question, to my knowledge, are (JPS): Yeshayahu 40:22 "It is He that sitteth above the circle of the earth." (Rashi links this verse to 44:13, which speaks of a carpenter using a "compass") Iyov 26:7 "He stretcheth out the ...


1

Astrology is listed as part of prohibition #335 in the list of mitzvot here: Not to practice onein (observing times or seasons as favorable or unfavorable, using astrology) (Lev. 19:26) (CCN166). However, some sources including the Ein Yaakov disagree that astrology falls under the prohibition of me'onein; see here.


1

This is not primarily a question of Jewish belief or practice. It is essentially a scientific question. And, because halakha expects man to be in touch with reality, I believe that a Jew may not believe in astrology. We have known for several centuries that the stars and planets have no influence over human affairs. Pre-modern halakhic sources on this ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible