Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

13

In general, don't try to obtain your knowledge of Judaism from episodes of Arthur or from fiction stories. People make things up in the interest of the story. There are much better, and more accurate, sources for learning about Judaism. Yes, in general, it is considered not a good thing for a Jewish person to practice another religion. But in terms of the ...


12

Yes. Belief in God is axiomatic to Judaism. Jewish prayer features, at least twice a day, every day, the Shema, a compact assertion of this belief from Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Jews traditionally teach this prayer to our children almost starting at birth. I strongly suspect that almost any Jew with any ...


7

There is only one God. God has no body and thus no gender. We attribute various roles and qualities to God; some of which, if applied to a human being, we would normally associate with a human male, and others with a human female. Thus when Biblical Hebrew has to choose a gender (every word in Hebrew is gendered, there's no gender-neutral option!) to ...


7

The Siach Yitzchok, found in the Siddur Ishei Yisroel of the Gra"h, explains the phrase in the third blessing of Shemoneh Esrei אתה קדוש ושמך קדוש - You are sanctified and Your name is sanctified - that You refers to Hashem's essence, and Your name refers to His actions which are linked to His name. Baruch Hu would mean blessing Hashem "Himself" whereas ...


6

It is forbidden. I have included relevant snippets, but it's best if you read the whole thing. Rambam Avodah Kochavim Chapter 2 Halacha 3 The worship of false gods is not the only subject to which we are forbidden to pay attention; rather, we are warned not to consider any thought which will cause us to uproot one of the fundamentals of the Torah. We ...


6

Rashi to Vayikra 16:8 says Azazel is not a person: Azazel: This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” meaning a cut-off land [i.e., a sheer drop]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67b]


6

Here is a way to read this Rashi other that advancing corporealism: Usually, when we see Yad, it means to signify strength. So one might understand that Hashem will apply his strength against the Egyptians. However, Rashi here is saying that there is a metaphor here, of someone striking another. And that is an actual hand performing an act of hitting. To ...


6

See Rashi there, which renders it as Onkelos does: "They sacrificed to demons, which have no power." The name for god there has to do with power/rulership. On the essential question of their existence, see here. Theologically, demons are no more problematic than angels or Satan the Adversary vis-a-vis monotheism. And someone worshiping them is no different ...


5

From zaq's answer to a related question: In the Moreh Nevuchim [(Part 1 ch.53)], Rambam explains how God's attributes should be understood without compromising God's unchangingness. He compares God's mood to a fire. If you put ice in a fire, it melts, then evaporates. If you put clay in a fire, it hardens. If you put wood in a fire it burns... The ...


5

From the standpoint of Jewish tradition, which accepts that the Pentateuch was transmitted to Moses in its entirety around 3,300 years ago, it is clear that the Jewish religion was always monotheistic rather than monolatristic. See Deuteronomy (4:35): Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the LORD, He is God; there is none else beside ...


5

Rambam writes (Hil. Yesodei ha-Torah 2:10): He is the Knower, He is the Subject of Knowledge, and He is the Knowledge itself." All is one. Now, you could ask the same question on him: since G-d is one, then how can we describe Him by these different terms? Indeed, for this reason Maharal (Gevuros Hashem, 2nd introduction) says that we can't even speak ...


5

Please learn chapters 4 and 23 of Likutei Amarim Tanya for deeper understanding. However on the simple level it means that they are connected very strongly with each other -through a Jew learning Torah and doing Mitzvos (which are the Rotzon/will of Hashem Yisborach, which is how Torah is very connected to Him) the Jew becomes connected to Hashem. When a ...


5

the central prayer in the Jewish prayer order is the Amidah and yes it is addressing God. see more about it here. The God being addressed is the one spoken about in the torah, as the amidah starts "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob".


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 ...


4

The Rambam considered such an idea a violation of the Unity of God (Perush haMishnah, Introduction to Perek Chelek): Principle III. This is to accept that this Oneness that we have mentioned above (Principle II) is not a body and has no strength in the body, and has no shape or image or relationship to a body or parts thereof... And if He were to ...


4

A thought: The verse says (Eichah 3:23) חדשים לבקרים רבה אמונתך which is understood to mean that Hashem renews creation each morning, along the lines of מחדש בטובו בכל יום תמיד. The Zohar teaches that הסתכל באורייתא וברא עלמא - Hashem looked into the Torah and created the world. Therefore, in order to "recreate anew" each morning, Hashem again looks ...


4

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 ...


4

1) Re: "The LORD didn't say that he is God of all." Jeremiah 32:27 'Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh' Nehemiah 9:6 'Thou art the LORD, even Thou alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas and all that is in them, and Thou preservest them all; and the host of ...


4

According to Judaism God is indisputably one, not several beings in one (nor a member of a pantheon of gods). So what does the use of first-person plural mean? The predominant explanation is that God is addressing other (non-godly) beings, though some say God is speaking with himself (like one does when considering both sides of a dilemma). In B'reishit ...


4

This answer is taken mostly from this shiur by R. Ezra Bick from VBM I just want to point out that this Midrash is not saying what Mideval logicians used to argue about Gd's existence. While the argument here is similar to the watchmaker argument it is also very different. But first, we need to quote the entire Midrash, not just a small part of it: ...


4

I'm not sure what to make of "spiritually dangerous." Jews are prohibited from practicing Christianity, and it's considered a very severe sin. The point is that God made a law and therefore I'm obligated to keep it. Not that I get to be selfish about avoiding activities that are "spiritually dangerous." Thousands of years ago, in rare occasions, the death ...


4

שם - a name refers to reputation, or how something is known. טוב שם משמן טוב (Koheles 7:1) means a good reputation is better than oil. One who is מוציא שם רע - וְשָׂם לָהּ עֲלִילֹת דְּבָרִים, וְהוֹצִא עָלֶיהָ שֵׁם רָע (Devarim 22:14) - has created a bad reputation. The idea of a name is that which you use for others to relate to you - one does not ...


4

You have rightly pointed out that in Hebrew, the word אלוהים also means judges, and can also have other meanings as well. But your argument against saying that Hashem is the only Elohim is purely semantic. English also has words with multiple meanings, and we have no difficulty determining the intended meaning from context. That is how we know, for example, ...


3

Its strongly implied in Yehoshuah, in his final speech to the people (ch. 24): 'וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל-כָּל-הָעָם, כֹּה-אָמַר יְ'ה'וָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם, תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר; וַיַּעַבְדוּ, אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים. וָאֶקַּח אֶת-אֲבִיכֶם אֶת-אַבְרָהָם, מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר, וָאוֹלֵךְ ...


3

First, some background information: In both the Torah She-Bi-Kethav and the Torah She-B`Al Peh, there is a concept of the Creator setting an example of proper ethical and moral conduct for mankind in general and for the Jewish Nation in particular. This concept of the imitation of God was developed further through the midrashic fervor of the Tanna'im and ...


3

Tana Devai Eliyahu Raba 13 says that Hashem questions us when we arrive at the next world and says "Why did you not learn from your father in heaven who sits on his Kisai Hakovod and learns a third of the day"?


3

The gemara in Yevamos 49b asks a similar contradiction between that verse and the description of Yeshayahu (6:1) in which he states that he saw Hashem. The gemara says that this is no contradiction because Moshe had a clear lens through which he saw Hashem whereas Yeshayahu's was unclear. This is understood to mean that since Moshe's perception was so clear ...


3

I think the best way to understand the statement of the Rivash is to understand the disagreement that Mikubalim have with the Rambam's statement of הוא היודע הוא הידוע והוא הדיעה עצמה, (He is the knower, he is the known and He is the knowledge itself) where they qualify its applicability. This is explained somewhat at length in Mitvas Hemanas HaElokus in ...


3

Here's a brief definition from Moshe Chaim Luzzatto's (early 18th century) Way Of God: "God’s existence is absolutely simple, without combinations or additions of any kind. All perfections are found in Him in a perfectly simple manner. However, God does not entail separate domains — even though in truth there exist in God qualities which, within ...


3

Richard Steiner (quoted by Natan Slifkin) cites Rashi in Shemot 14:31: את היד הגדלה: את הגבורה הגדולה שעשתה ידו של הקב"ה. והרבה לשונות נופלין על לשון יד, וכולן לשון יד ממש הן, והמפרש יתקן הלשון אחר ענין הדבור The great hand--the great mighty deed which God's hand has performed. Many meanings fit the word יד, but they are all the same as the ...



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