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Jan
25
comment Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?
That is, the definition of heresy would be to deny the divinity of the text. But to suggest post-Mosaic authorship, such as suggesting authorship by later prophets, would not be heresy... Just to note: Rabbi Sassoon was talking about isolated sections here or there, and presumably just sections where it's not clear from the text itself that it was a divine message conveyed to Moshe, or otherwise some statement made by Moshe. I think it's apparent from the Hebrew excerpt you cite that he would consider someone a heretic if they said the Torah in general was written by some other prophet.
Jan
25
comment Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?
@AL To clarify my previous comment: "V'eileh" can be used to start a new section without overtly implying a particular connection to material previously discussed (but see B'reishis Rabba 30:3 that suggests that "v'eileh" serves to add on to the previous narrative in some way, as opposed to "eileh"). However, it seems to indicate a shift from a previous topic (due to the vav), and it seems to imply that there was a previously discussed topic to shift from. If there was no previous material, I'd expect "eileh" to be used to start a book (as opposed to "v'eileh").
Jan
25
comment Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?
@AL 3. It is normal to begin a section with "v'haya" or "vai'hee" without implying prior context ("vai'hee" is essentially the literary equivalent to, "Once upon a time"). I'm not sure this is true of "v'eileh," especially since "eileh" is a perfectly useful alternative if you don't want to imply continuation; the vav hachibur in "v'eileh" may carry more of its usual significance.
Jan
25
comment Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?
@AL 1. As Exodus gets underway, I don't think there's really a good place that would make for a logical starting point without seeming abrupt and missing prior context. 2. There's no problem writing a "sequel" (i.e., Joshua) and having the plot and style flow neatly from a previous book (i.e. the Chumash). What would be odd is giving a Torah that is conspicuously missing a beginning or conclusion and looks as if it was ripped out of some larger book. (Granted, there are isolated sections within the Torah that may have the appearance of fragments, but that's not nearly as jarring).
Jan
25
answered Does one need to tovel enamelware?
Jan
24
comment Jewish considerations regarding moving to Mars
@SAH It's a link to the title page of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher's book "האדם על הירח" (The Man on the Moon). From Wikipedia: "Ha'odom Al Hayarei'ach (Jerusalem 1970) — a discussion of the theological and legal issues involved when the moon was explored."
Jan
24
comment Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?
@DoubleAA Yes, and he presents the musical reason for the kaf d'gusha. He then seems to say that the same reason should also apply to the first instance of "מי כמכה" (i.e. both instances should theoretically be exceptions), but it is left as rafa anyway for the reason stated in my above comment.
Jan
24
comment Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?
In his first reason, I think R' Landau was trying to say that the chaf rafa helps to group "מי כמכה" slightly more tightly together and thereby isolate "כמכה" a little from "באלם" to further emphasize that the verse is not likening HaShem to other gods.
Jan
24
comment Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?
Regarding Sefer B'reishis, there are various reasons to think it is part of what the Torah refers to as "this Torah." For one, Sefer Sh'mos begins with a vav hachibur ("And these are the names of the children of Israel..."), suggesting that Sh'mos is a continuation. Also, verses in Sh'mos first mention some ideas in a manner that seems to imply that they were already introduced earlier in that text - which they in fact were in Sefer B'reishis (e.g. Yosef's position of importance in Egypt and Hashem's oath to the forefathers).
Jan
24
comment Why do Jews believe the entire Torah, as opposed to parts or most, was given by God to Moses?
The Torah refers to itself repeatedly as the book that was given to Moshe and the Jewish people by HaShem (e.g. Sh'mos 24:12, B'midbar 31:21, D'varim 1:5, 4:8, 4:44, 17:19, 27:3, 27:8, 27:26, 28:58, 28:61, 29:20, 29:28, 30:10, 31:9, 31:11-12, 31:24, 31:26, 32:46, 33:4). Is this what you mean: How do we know that what we call the Torah corresponds precisely to what those verses mean by "this entire sefer Torah", i.e., how to we know that doesn't simply mean (for example) Sh'mos through much of D'varim, and that the remainder was an addendum not originally meant as part of "the Torah"?
Jan
24
comment Should we replace fear of G-d with love of G-d?
Additionally, while a person should ideally be motivated by both love and reverence at the same time, there are sources that treat אהבה as a superior motivation to יראה.
Jan
24
comment Should we replace fear of G-d with love of G-d?
Many sources discuss this, e.g.: Deut. 10:12, Avos 1:3, Shabbos 88b, Yoma 86a-b, Y'vamos 48b (& Tosafos, s.v. שאין), N'darim 62a, Sota 22b,27b, 31a, Rambam (Hil. T'shuva 10:1), M'silas Y'sharim ch. 24. A quick comment: "Yir'a" can mean either fear or reverence. One should both love and revere HaShem. Additionally, a person should deeply appreciate the profound reward for serving HaShem and the profound punishment for transgressing His will. However, the ideal motivation that a person is required to strive for is love and reverence of HaShem rather than concerns about personal recompense.
Jan
24
comment Should I answer the kaddish if I'm still at the amidah?
@msh210 judaism.stackexchange.com/a/54061
Jan
24
comment Can bad prophecies be erased?
See the comments on this question, and this answer.
Jan
24
comment Should I answer the kaddish if I'm still at the amidah?
judaism.stackexchange.com/a/54061
Jan
22
comment Do angels speak to the Jewish people today?
within the mind of the person experiencing the events... as a prophetic vision or dream sent by HaShem (Moreh N'vuchim 2:36,45). Your phrasing is ambiguous and could wrongly be interpreted as saying that the Rambam holds these visions were hallucinations or mere figments of the person's imagination.
Jan
22
comment If a food product has a heretical/idol worship image on it, and a hechsher as well, may one partake of it?
@jj2 Interesting. I suggest you edit this clarification into your post. To clarify further: Does the label imply that the product is for people who believe in religion X? Does the label not imply this, but still praise religion X? Or worse, is there reason to suspect the product is meant for 'avoda zara (e.g. communion wafers)? You may want to include an example for additional clarity.
Jan
21
comment Neder not specified
Also please specify what you mean by "kind of potatoes." What kind of potatoes did you mean to include in, or exclude from, the vow?
Jan
21
comment Neder not specified
This case is not necessarily so cut and dried (see comments on the answer below). Please CYLOR for a practical halachic ruling.
Jan
21
comment What is the source of the words of the Hebrew folksong “Hevenu Shalom Aleichem”?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/2405 (consider cross-posting this answer there, too). By the way, "we smoke" in German is "wir rauchen," which matches the number of syllables in "heiveinu."