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Questions tagged [hashkafah-philosophy]

Jewish philosophy as well as Jewish perspectives - i.e. not only formal philosophy. NOT for questions about Jewish practice unless there's a philosophical component.

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Is there anything wrong with not eating bread to avoid reciting Birkat Hamazon?

Is there anything wrong with not eating bread during the weekdays to avoid reciting Birkat Hamazon?
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1answer
32 views

Is the Tanya only for those that are a Benoni?

What about those that want to get from the level of Rasha to Beinoni, is there a book for that? It is called Sefer shel Beinini and the few things I've read in it seem to be instructions directed for ...
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58 views

Jews and Gentiles [duplicate]

For what purpose were the gentiles created by Hashem ?
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23 views

Is faith being built on 'mind, heart and actions'?

I've found this article online and part of it - from the words: "Philosophers of religion have observed that the word 'faith' covers a number of types or categories of religious existence..." till "...
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3answers
56 views

What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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22 views

Interpretations of (pseudo)hallucinations vis a vis the Talmud’s interpretations of dreams

The Talmud (last chapter of Berachot, 55a ff.) contains a long treatment interpreting various visions one may experience “בחלום” (in a dream). If when under the influence of a psychoactive drug an ...
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2answers
47 views

Definition of Avodah Zarah

Looking at different explanations regards Avodah Zarah, different/various forms of idolatry, I tried to sum things up, I tried to get to get a definition out of it based on their common denominator. ...
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30 views

Do you get punished if someone else got persecuted due to something you did that isn't an aveirah and you didn't own up responsibility? [closed]

A few years back in India, I destroyed about 25 idols kept in a public area over the course of a year. A Muslim who had a cigarette shop nearby got beaten up and and was forced to shut his shop ...
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1answer
82 views

What is the source for attempting to avoid daily challenges?

What is the source for the oft-repeated idea of trying to avoid daily challenges/nisyonos? As one example, in daily prayers, we say "...וְאַל תְּבִיאֵנוּ...וְלֹא לִידֵי נִסָּיוֹן" - "Do not bring us ...
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0answers
71 views

After thousands of years of rabbinical interpretations how do we know this version of Judaism is the right one?

It seems to me that so much of modern Judaism is the result of thousands of years of rabbinic interpretation. Some of these interpretations are small but some have had huge, far reaching consequences ...
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1answer
25 views

Can materialistic values be learned from the Book of Amos?

Someone once told me that being too materialistic isn't a good thing. One day when I was reading the Tanakh, I happened to read Amos Chapter 6 and as far as what I've interpreted from it, I think, ...
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54 views

Is the creation of Adam HaRishon as both male and female to be taken literally?

After seeing an amazing article from National Geographic about a recently observed bird (a cardinal) that naturally manifested as half male and half female (both external sexual characteristics and ...
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0answers
44 views

Does a Ben Noach, who keeps the seven mitzvot but has bad hashkafah, get punished by Hashem?

Does a Ben Noach, who keeps the seven mitzvot but has bad Hashkafah, get punished by Hashem? For example, if the B'nei Noach says things that are kefira for a Jew like saying that the Oral Torah is ...
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1answer
53 views

Do Hillel & R Akiva contradict Mamrim 3 & Y"D 158:2?

How do you reconcile Hillel (1) and Rabi Akiva (2) with the Mishnah Torah (3) and Shulchan Aruch (4)? "What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is ...
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1answer
50 views

Incorporeal Resurrection

I was under the impression that, in contrast to Maimonides' distinction between techiyath hameithim (resurrection of the dead) and olam haba (the world to come), those Medieval/Renaissance period ...
2
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3answers
138 views

Machloket about the goal of the creation

The book Mishnat Chasidim from Rabbi Emanuel Chy Ricchi, begins by a presentation of the project of creation. He gives two reasons, for Ish Yare (man who fears God): To make known His perfection, To ...
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3answers
174 views

Why does Hashem answer and not answer prayers?

Why does Hashem answer some prayers and not others? I understand that there might be varieties of how Hashem answers or doesn't answer prayers. I'm not asking for personal opinions, I want to learn ...
3
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2answers
384 views

What exactly is the Mussar movement and how does it differ from mainstream Judaism?

I've been hearing the term "Mussar Movement" being used a lot more often as of late and I even saw some advertisements for it on other Jewish forums. I'm speaking to a specific movement, not just the ...
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1answer
31 views

Would the Torah be the same if not for the primordial sin?

This question encompasses more information than my header had stated, but namely, I’m inquiring; How would the Torah have been given if the sin had not occurred? Would the Torah possess the same ...
3
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2answers
76 views

What does the Rambam mean by “velo yishtomem”?

The Rambam uses an unusual word in Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 5:11: ולא ישתומם, which is translated on Sefaria as "and does not act so ridiculously". I am not criticizing this translation, rather I am ...
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1answer
76 views

Insane People and Free Choice?

We know that Hashem gives everyone free choice. But when examining the traits of an insane person, it is clear that someone can be so mentally ill that it is impossible for them to control what they ...
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1answer
113 views

What is the relationship between Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Capital city of Mitzrayim?

It surely has not been lost on anyone that in this year, 5779 (2019), for this parsha, parshat Bo, the parsha which mentions the plague of 4 varieties of the single species of locusts which were ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Revenge and emulating G-d

G-d takes revenge [1] We are supposed to emulate G-d in our behavior and middos We are prohibited from taking revenge [2] Taken together, the above three statements are inconsistent. Which one of ...
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87 views

Views of Rabbi Mazuz

Israeli media outlets report that Rabbi Gershon Edelstien commented about various Torah pamphlets which circulate in Jewish communities, basically characterizing them as nonsense. Perhaps most notably,...
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2answers
175 views

how to get the Youth to come to shul

I had a long conversation someone in their early teens and we were discussing as to why children don’t want to come to Shul although there are youth services etc and we narrowed it down to one ...
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0answers
52 views

Regain a Connection to Hashem

At times, one’s connection to Hashem could fade. According to various sources, what is the fastest way one can regain a connection to Hashem?
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2answers
727 views

Are we born wicked/evil?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine (he's not Jewish). At one moment he showed me Tehillim 58:4, which states that the wicked are evil since birth: "זֹרוּ רְשָׁעִים מֵרָחֶם; ...
4
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1answer
85 views

Jewish wisdom on how to remain calm under stressful situations

What do the scriptures say on how to calm oneself down when one is faced with exiting his comfort zone? As long as I can remember, I've always became quite nervous with uncomfortable feelings ...
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1answer
205 views

Why does Rav Soloveichik feel lonely when he has G-d?

As I understand it, The Rav feels lonely, as a man of faith he feels definitionally lonely because he can't relate to people and people can't relate to him. Why doesn't he find solace with G-d though? ...
5
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0answers
67 views

Is there a connection between the two times 7 cows, ears and years that Yaakov worked for his wives?

Is there any connection or relationship between the seven fat & seven lean cows, the seven beautiful and seven parched ears of grain that Pharaoh dreamt and Yosef interpreted, and the seven years ...
2
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1answer
68 views

What does the Torah think of Pangea?

What does Torah literature say about Pangaea? Is it considered be legitimate? Are there sources which lean either way?
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3answers
148 views

Did any rabbis address the theological possibility/implications of nuclear extinction?

During the Cold War, plenty of people were aware (I think?) that detonating enough nuclear bombs could lead to human extinction. Did any rabbis address whether the belief that Moshiach will come mean ...
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1answer
113 views

“Impossible” to resist a sin

In Tzidkat Hatzaddik 43, we see: Sometimes a person is subjected to such a difficult test that it is impossible that he not sin. As our Sages said [in explaining the sin of the Golden Calf: “...
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1answer
112 views

Jewish thoughts on people who can not grow a beard (due to genetic reasons)

Howdy my dear brothers and sisters, I've recently read a passage in the Zohar which gave insight to certain characteristics of people with specific hairtypes (curly wavy and straight, 'glossy' or not ...
2
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1answer
59 views

What standard of living does Judaism endorse, if at all?

I've always wondered if there was a minimum standard of living mandated by the Torah. If there is, what is it? And if not, how does the Torah relate to this matter? Is it according to the individual's ...
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1answer
77 views

They could change nature and predict nature, but could not explain it

In contrast to the secularist position that the physical world is ours by right, whereas the spiritual world is hidden/inaccessible, the Jewish and generally religious position seems to be that Gd ...
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3answers
243 views

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

I am bothered by an incident in the Torah that seems morally unacceptable. After the incident with Pinchas, the Torah records that Klal Yisroel were commanded to attack Midian to avenge their attempt ...
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2answers
57 views

Who is closer, parents to children, or grandparents to grandchildren?

According to Judaism, what relationship is closer: parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren? What is greater: the love to children or the love to grandchildren? (Someone asked me and I ...
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1answer
62 views

What is “Beyt Shamai/Beyt Hilel” for citing Mishnayot?

This question is intended to clarify D.S'.question - how-can-bet-shamai-argue-on-shamai: What exactly is called "Beyt Shammay/Hillel"? We don't find this term with other great Rabbis, such as R' ...
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1answer
185 views

What is the source for Rambam's thirteen principles?

What is the Rambam source for the thirteen principles, brought in his interpretation of the Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1? By that I mean what is his source that without these principles one does not go to ...
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28 views

Importance of the Prophecy and Moses' Prophecy in the 13 Principles

Rambam's 13 Principles (as a part of his Interpretation of the 10th Chapter of the Mishnah in Sanhedrin) brings #6 - Existence of the Prophecy (see the link for the English translation): היסוד הששי:...
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1answer
113 views

Are Jews allowed to pray on their knees?

If someone finds it a good way to have a concentration in pray while on his knees, can it be done? (Not talking about Amida/Sidur prayers, but talking with the creator.)
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2answers
108 views

Should people be encouraged to yield to the evil inclination?

Chazal say very clearly that the evil inclination is the foundation of great and good achievements: -Abaye said: The greater the man, the greater his evil inclination. [Sukkah 52a] -Nachman said, in ...
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1answer
53 views

What is the source for this idea about the deeper meaning of bowing/prostrating one's self?

I seem to remember hearing an idea that the significance of bowing/prostrating oneself is that a human being differs from all other elements of creation in that a human being stands erect and walks on ...
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0answers
52 views

What books discuss general rules of Tanach? [closed]

In particular, I am looking for books that deal with philosophical and linguistic questions on Tanach, such as: If there is seemingly no reason to place one passuk before another, is it reasonable/...
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3answers
94 views

Greeting other people (Jews and Non-Jews alike)

At work, some amount of interaction is inevitable. There are some people that I just don't feel like greeting. What is the Jewish view on this issue? What does the Halachah say about 'greeting one ...
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5answers
118 views

If we can't understand G-d at all, why do our sources try?

I have for a long time been been confused and dismayed that, although our sources -- including kabbalistic ones -- acknowledge frequently, emphatically, and without limitation that לית מחשבה תפיסא בך ...
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1answer
92 views

Hizzuk Emunah in Hebrew online

Hizzuk Emunah ("Faith Strengthened") is a Jewish response to Christian missionaries, composed by Lithuanian Karaite scholar, Isaac ben Abraham of Troki. I managed to find an English version of this ...
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2answers
98 views

How does one know his balance between Hishtadlus and Bitachon?

In every major decision there seems to be a constant struggle between Hishtadlus, doing what is in one’s own power, and Bitachon, leaving it up to Hashem. For example: does one go chase after ...
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0answers
61 views

Judaism's view of pagans/polytheists [duplicate]

How does Judaism view pagans or polytheists? Will they be burnt in hell for eternity like what Christianity and Islam say?