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Mar
11
comment Mordechai - Religious Leader or Political figure?
@AviD I'm not saying it's a bad question - it's an interesting one. I'm just saying it's hard to answer a question that assumes something to be false which our tradition has generally considered to be true. I would like to understand better what it is about the pshat that indicates Mordechai to be irreligious. Taking into account the historical and cultural context is was what I had in mind when I referred to a source in academia. Seeing specifics in Melachim Bet, Divrei Hayamim, and other Nevi'im would also help me to understand your question in the context of the Jewish tradition.
Mar
9
comment Mordechai - Religious Leader or Political figure?
@jake I hear you. What I'm saying is that I'm not seeing a pshat that matches the question, so what's the basis for rejecting Chazal? I'm also saying that we are not rishonim, but I realize that that point is of varying degrees of relevance to individuals.
Mar
9
comment Mordechai - Religious Leader or Political figure?
@jake I thought there used to be something about "traditional perspective" in there, but I can't find it now. If you want to say that we can reject a Gemara that appears to contradict one's understanding of a poshet reading on Tanach, okay, I guess, if one wants to suggest that one understands the pshat better than Chazal, but I don't see that here. What's the indication in the source that the Gemara is wrong? The question seems to be based on secular academia.
Mar
9
comment How to make amends for my previous mistakes?
A Jew who abandoned Judaism completely once came to the Vilna Gaon and was about to take a bite of the food he was offered, and the Vilna Gaon said "don't forget to make a blessing first". The Jew said "I would have thought that having totally abandoned Judaism and having transgressed very seriously, a blessing on food is like nothing!" "No," said the Gaon. "Just because one has sinned does not mean one is exempt from even the smallest precept."
Mar
9
comment How to make amends for my previous mistakes?
@Sam I'm sure there are sources dealing with the correct approach when one really cannot get in contact with a person they have wronged, but if nothing else one can at least make sure to act correctly in the future.
Mar
9
comment How to make amends for my previous mistakes?
@Sam speech is in fact a very serious thing for Jews and non-Jews alike. I would recommend you study the Chofetz Chaim (which is available in English) to learn the rules of proper speech. Often, engrossing ourselves in the laws surrounding areas in which we have struggled in the past can be an excellent path to repentance. Note that the Chofetz Chaim does in fact state that certain kinds of speech are "equivalent to murder", whatever that means, but we cannot change the past. We can only repair the damage, and I can assure you there is no damage that cannot be repaired.
Mar
9
comment How do you know what is God's will in a particular situation?
Reb Noson of Breslev zy'a cites the holy Baal Shem Tov that we should know that literally everything that happens to us in our life happens exactly as G-d intends it to, and for the sole reason of bringing us closer to Him. All we have to do is do our best to do what is right according to the Torah, and strive every day for a closer relationship with our Creator.
Mar
9
comment Mordechai - Religious Leader or Political figure?
I downvoted because the question seems to me to be predicated on an explicit rejection of the Gemara, which would run contrary to the context of this site. In rejecting the Gemara from the start, you are also not asking a question to get an answer, but rather asking to get the answer you want.
Mar
9
comment Wearing hats and Jackets
@DoubleAA arguable! Look at last week's parsha. A turban and robe look suspiciously like a hat and jacket to me...
Mar
9
comment Wearing hats and Jackets
Why would this be a chidush? We've been wearing hats and jackets for centuries.
Mar
6
comment Beef from cows?
@mochinrechavim interesting, thanks
Mar
6
comment Beef from cows?
I wonder if the same holds true for Cholov Yisroel or if we can expect that those animals are treated in accordance with tzaar baalei chaim.
Mar
4
comment What is a good place to buy kabbalah seforim online?
Since Sefer Hagilgulim is on hebrewbooks.org, you could always order a print copy.
Mar
4
comment Humming during shmoneh esre
Since one stops for kedusha anyway, why not?
Mar
2
comment Zimun and Bentsching (Bircat Hamazon / Grace After Meals) with Jews who ate non-kosher food
@Will it is very common, in the states at least, for bread products to have dairy ingredients or at least to be manufactured on dairy equipment.
Mar
2
comment Why was the “Ark of the Covenant” lost?
You are asking several questions, some of which are only tangentially related to one another (if at all). Consider splitting it up in to different questions to get better answers.
Mar
1
comment Is Mossad Assasination allowed in Torah?
@JimThio not from a Jewish perspective, no.
Mar
1
comment Is Mossad Assasination allowed in Torah?
@Sandman4 I guess it's a matter of hashkafa... Rebbe Nachman zy'a says that we should especially when it's harder to do so. I see the merit in not giving anything to the haters, but there's the possibility that through the example of Hillel we can be mekarev them.
Mar
1
comment What is a good place to buy kabbalah seforim online?
seforimbzul.com is a great and inexpensive resource for all kinds of seforim - unfortunately, the more popular items are often sold out, but they are restocked regularly.
Mar
1
comment Why is the Lubavitch custom to have short Peoth?
@HodofHod nevermind not trusting - it's halacha (Avodah Zarah 27a, Yoreh De’ah 156:1)