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8h
comment When the Torah states that the Israelites “saw no form” when they were at Sinai, is this referring to G-d being perceived as formless?
I enjoyed the linguistic note.
8h
comment Why are we here if the chances are zero
@SAH is correct .... it's not really a random variable. We're here on earth doing the asking. The probability that you're alive given that you = a living person. For every person noting they're alive, there could be an untold number of observations by people who aren't.
1d
comment Mesilat Yesharim on Watchfulness
(Dr Morinis, cont.) That said, I suspect that in the mind of the Ramchal (if I can presume to speculate about such a thing from way down here), "the true good for man" could not be separated from mitzvot and hence the reward of a mitzvah (whatever that might be). Similarly, "true evil" and aveirot can't be separated. It's not a rephrase but two dimensions of the same phenomena, separated only by the perspective of the person contemplating, not in fact.
1d
comment Mesilat Yesharim on Watchfulness
Dr Alan Morinis (who teaches mussar globally, aside from his Amazon presence) emailed me in disagreement: I agree that it is not a rephrase. It can't be because what changes is not just phraseology but the substance in focus. (cont.)
2d
comment Mesilat Yesharim on Watchfulness
It's not a rephrase of #1? "[C]ontemplat[ing] what is the true good for man to choose and what is the true evil for him to flee from" requires knowing the magnitude of each side of the trade-off, no?
May
2
comment Do the Rishonim that hold G-d can have physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.) also hold he can incarnate?
RMT thus does not really say Hashem has a body as much as we cannot insist He doesn't since Tanakh uses anthropomorphic language.
May
2
comment Do the Rishonim that hold G-d can have physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.) also hold he can incarnate?
I do not think this is R' Moshe Taqu's position. Just writing in a comment, because it doesn't address the main question. R' Moshe Taqu, like the Rambam, assumes we cannot comprehend anything about G-d. The Rambam therefore concludes that all of Hashem's "Attributes" are really descriptions of what He Isn't. To the Rambam, this incomprehensibility centers around Divine Unity -- multiple attributes isn't Unity. To R Moshe Taqu incomprehensibility means it is presumptuous to even think we can define what He Isn't. Therefore we must accept the descriptions in Tanakh uncritically.
Apr
26
comment Where does the idea that 7 is the number of completeness come from?
@LCII: I would have answered similarly, but slightly differently. 7 is this world. But the 7th -- eg Shabbos -- is the holiness inherent in this world. 8 is striving beyond this world. As different aspect of holiness than the 7th, but not the only one.
Apr
26
comment Where does the idea that 7 is the number of completeness come from?
See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/69608/1570 (which mentions the Maharal @mevaqesh points you to)
Apr
21
comment Free choice versus the Will of G-d
@DoubleAA: The "most of us" earlier in the sentence. Most contemporary O Jews have a very un-nuanced (and sadly undereducated) view of Jewish Thought. That "most of us".
Apr
20
comment When do you eat the charoset?
@Ahron: Also, according to Rashi, the point of charoses is to take some of the sharpness out of the sap of the maror, for health reasons. Implying that while we do shake off charoses so as not to bury the taste of the maror, he expected you to actually have some left on the maror. I think this business of shaking it all off is a hypercorrection after a couple of generations ignored the SA's צריך לנער החרוסת מעליו altogether.
Apr
15
comment Significance of a Four Cornered Garment
@user6618 , there is indication from the custom to gather up the 4 tzitzis to hold them throughout Shema while saying in the prior berakhah the words, "and You will gather us up from the four corners of the earth".
Apr
13
comment When do you eat the charoset?
@Ahron, According to Rav Ovadia Yosef (Chazon Ovadia, page 97; Yalqut Yosef, Moadim pg 405), a small amount of charoses IS supposed to remain on the maror. The gemara (115b?) warns against losing the taste of the marror altogether; not having both tastes. So it would seem that both Ashkenazim (as per the Rama you quoted) and Sepharadim taste charoses at some point in the seder. See also the Kaf haChaim 475:32, who never has you shaking all the charoses off. Maybe something to be folded into your answer?
Apr
8
comment The number 7,what is the number seven?
@Eagel You are asking me to conjecture. The Maharal just associates it with the symbolism that would come naturally to humans living in 3D space. As for visible planets, likely yes. It's non-coincidental that there is a planet Shabtai (Saturn) which is not only associated with Shabbos in rabbinic culture, but also Saturn is to Saturday. But I have no idea what that connection might be. (Nor do esoterica interest me. One of the things that draws me to Mussar is the ability to follow it without ever appealing to nor rejecting Qabbalah or Jewish mysticism.)
Apr
8
comment The number 7,what is the number seven?
Shabbos is about finding the spiritual in the real world, the one we live in now. It's a time to contemplate how the soul did last week, and to be inspired to do even better the next one. Shabbos is not a day to do, it's a day to find meaning in what one does. As the good books says, "Six days you shall work and accomplish all your creative deeds, and on the seventh day you rest for Hashem your G-d..."
Apr
8
comment why do the festivals of sukkot and pesach last seven days
judaism.stackexchange.com/a/69608/1570
Apr
8
comment The number 7,what is the number seven?
See this, where I describe a symbology for 6, 7 (and the 7th), and 8 based on the Maharal and R' Hirsch judaism.stackexchange.com/a/69608/1570
Apr
8
comment The number 7,what is the number seven?
According to the Maharal, the 7th is the hidden middle, in contrast to the 6 sides. And as a hidden essence, it is the spiritual inherent in this world. In contrast to 8, which is reaching beyond this world.
Apr
6
comment What does the blue color mean in Judaism?
@NoachmiFrankfurt --His drawings, eg flagspot.net/images/i/il_herzl2.jpg and crwflags.com/fotw/images/i/il_herzl1.jpg , are non-descript. The design that ended up physically emerging and that Herzl stood in front of in Basel had Maginei David en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Zionist_Congress#/media/… . And blue stripes.
Apr
6
comment What does the blue color mean in Judaism?
@NoachmiFrankfurt: You're overstating things. Yes, Herzl wanted a pattern of 7 gold maginei david, to represent the 7 hour workday that his Socialist Utopia would have. (Which Tel Aviv incorporated into their flag.) However, that doesn't mean that when his proposal fell out of the running, Herzl went silent. According to Wolffsohn, when the time came to pick a backdrop for the 1st Zionist Congress, Herzl picked from among the proposals, and specifically because of Frankl's poem.