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15

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 ...


14

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 ...


11

Two explicit verses come to mind: לא איש אל ויכזב -- "God is not a man that he would lie" Numbers 23:19 כי לא אדם הוא להנחם -- "For he is not a man that he would change is mind" 1 Samuel 15:29 (My somewhat loose translations)


8

Bilam juxtaposes God and man in Num 23:19: לֹא אִישׁ אֵל וִיכַזֵּב, וּבֶן-אָדָם וְיִתְנֶחָם; הַהוּא אָמַר וְלֹא יַעֲשֶׂה, וְדִבֶּר וְלֹא יְקִימֶנָּה. God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: when He hath said, will He not do it? or when He hath spoken, will He not make it good? Moses says in Deut 4:12 ...


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 ...


7

No, you are not supposed to ignore most non-religious Jews. Rambam Hilchos Mamrim 3:3: אבל בני אותן הטועים ובני בניהם, שהדיחו אותם אבותם ונולדו במינות, וגידלו אותן עליו--הרי הן כתינוק שנשבה לבין הגויים וגידלוהו הגויים על דתם, שהוא אנוס; ואף על פי ששמע אחר כך שהיה יהודי, וראה היהודיים ודתם--הרי הוא כאנוס, שהרי גידלוהו על טעותם. כך אלו האוחזים בדרכי ...


7

A friend of mine asked R' Tzvi Berkowitz this question. The response was that Hashem can see through your clothes also. The point is to be tzanua from the perspective of Man, in which being covered does make a difference. It is true that you aren't hiding from Hashem. But you are acting tzanua in human terms. Being in the dark or no one being in the ...


6

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".


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 ...


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

The question is dealt with here A brief summary of the article: Why is it difficult to “tear” the Red Sea ? A medrash says that Moshe who saw all the plagues of Egypt, asked Hashem, You have set a border to the sea and You have sworn never to tear it up” The Maharal explains tearing the Red Sea breaks all the rules of natural ...


6

All that God does is for the Good (Berachos 60b) Brachos are dependent on what has occurred to the one making the bracha now (Berachos 60a השתא מיהא טובה הוא and לדידיה). They are personal and timely expressions to God. Thus, for bad events we should also be thanking God, but since brachos look at what just happened we instead make the bracha "dayan ...


6

Derech Hashem of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzato is comprehensive, systematic, concise and suitable for all levels.


6

You are using the term "satan" as if it is a being with independent thoughts, desires, and will. This is a mistake. It is actually "the accuser" or the "yeitzer harah". Thus, it can be considered that a person is confronted by all the various situations and problems in the world is confronted by the "Satan". It is the commonly accepted view that "satan" is ...


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

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 ...


5

There is a small group of people who believe that the Lubvatcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l is in fact God. For example, the front page of the website for a synagogue(?) in Mikwaukee reads, in part, "Yechi Elokeinu Moreinu V'Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Va'ed!" You can read about this group of elokists on Wikipedia here. Or in this question. ...


4

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 ...


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

Rabbi Hirsch says a "proof is in the pudding" type of argument, namely if you keep the mitzvos it will become clear to you through your experiences that you are involved in something higher. It need not be explained - you will feel it, if you are keeping the mitzvos properly. This experience is an experience of G-dliness, and is the best "proof" of His ...


4

The Ramchal in Da'as Tevunos in the section בריאת הרע וגדריו, starting with siman 96 and particularly in siman 114 and 118, explains how demons came into existence. 114: כשאנו אומרים שהקב"ה ברא העולם הזה, ודאי נבין בתחילה בריאת הכלל, ואחר כך הפרטים, פירוש, בתחילה הטבע עצמו, ואחר כך אישיו. והנה כשרצה האדון ב"ה לחדש הטבע בטוב ורע, הנה ודאי הוא שבאה השפעה ...


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

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, ...


4

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan "Handbook of Jewish Thought" is organized, linear and comprehensive. I recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0940118491


4

The logic would appear to be that "wisdom" as something that exists within the universe and is knowable by human beings has to be a creation of Hashem. Since Hashem is outside the universe and basically not understandable and knowable by human beings, then "wisdom" as something within the universe has to be created just as the sun, the moon, the stars and ...


4

part of the divine plan is that God wants man to have free will, so it is not contrary to God's will that man has the free will to choose evil. As to the question of how can everything be good if man can choose to do evil. the Chovos Halevavos shaar bitachon Gate 4 explains that only the ability to choose and resolve to do evil is in man's hands but the ...


4

In terms of praying to get out of a certain situation, the Nefesh Hachaim addresses this question in Sha'ar Bet, Perek Yud Aleph (Translation from The Soul of Life) For in truth, we would wonder how it could be appropriate to plead in any way from Him (blessed be His name) to relieve him of his suffering and torments. As with the healing of the body, if ...



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