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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Torah source for different views on Torah

I was wondering what are some Torah sources for (ironically) having different hashkafas (outlooks) of the torah itself and what HaShem wants from us. (Of course within the realm of Orthodox Judaism ...
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Is the life a high-end video game? [closed]

Is the life a high-end video game? I wonder if are we a G-d's entertainment game. Like Age of empires or similar.
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Ship of Theseus in Halacha

How would Halacha deal with the Ship of Theseus thought experiment? For example, if one made a neder (vow) not to have any hana'ah (benefit) from a certain ship and over time every single piece of ...
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100 views

Does all or nothing apply to a minyan?

Is it better to daven with 5 people instead of 2, even though you won't have a minyan anyways?
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Looking for sources that explain why monotheism is true (as opposed to paganism) and how to attain that knowledge

Shalom. I am looking for sources (a list if possible) that explain why monotheism, as opposed to paganism, is true. I would also like to know how to attain that knowledge. I am aware that Chovos ...
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Is there a Braita like Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair but for intellectual virtue?

The braita of Rabbi Pinchas Ben yair in Masechet Avodah Zara 20b enumerates the levels of moral virtues. As quoted below, there is a structured progression to get to the next virtue. מכאן א"ר ...
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Rambam's position regarding the unification of souls in the afterlife (Guide to the Perplexed-First Part Chapter 74 seventh argument)

In his Guide to the Perplexed-First Part Chapter 74 seventh argument, Rambam says: You must bear in mind that those abstract beings which are neither bodies nor forces dwelling in bodies, and which in ...
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Annus al pi haDibbur

In the Haggadah, we read that Ya'akov Avinu descended to Mitzrayim 'compelled by Divine decree.' Most understand this to mean that Ya'akov understood that his reunion with Yosef would begin the ...
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Must Noachides accept the story of Noach?

I know of a certain person who attempted an Orthodox conversion some time ago, but had to stop in the middle for various reasons, including, but not limited to, opposing hashkafic views. This person ...
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1answer
85 views

Do the Jews believe in the divine decree? [duplicate]

Many religions such as Islam, sikhism, etc... believe in the divine decree i.e. everything we: do, say, think, feel and everything that happens around us like the weather, earth quakes, etc... is ...
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3answers
182 views

Holy Artificial intelligence?

If Ai became a reality and self-aware, able-bodied robots akin to humans were commonplace, would it be pious to convert the AI's to Judaism? Essentially, if a non-human wants to become Jewish, can we ...
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28 views

Relevance of the cosmos [duplicate]

I'll have to look up the source, but I've heard R' Nasan Maimon quote a story of the Baal Shem Tov following a leaf blowing down the road and describing to one of his chassidim what the precise ...
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53 views

Judging Others Favorable or Otherwise

In Pirkei Avos we are told not to judge another unless we are standing his place. Is this a command never to judge another negatively no matter his actions? or is there a qualification that it only ...
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Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz source of quote

Woe to a man who is unaware of his faults, he is not attentive to what needs repair. But double woe to he who is unaware of his virtues, he is unskilled in the tools of the trade!” Where is this ...
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Jewish theodicy on natural evil [duplicate]

Serious question. I understand the free will explanation for why God allows people to do evil things. But why does God allow what is classically called "natural evil"? For example, why does ...
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Relationship between Amalek and Gog/Magog?

Both are mentioned as adversaries of the Jewish people, and are mentioned in various sources, but always separately. Amalek is first mentioned in Shemot Ch 17 and several times in Neviim, while Gog ...
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Why are the big heroes of the Tanach not perfect?

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple. Cain killed Abel. Abraham and Sarah abandoned Ismael and Hagar. Jacob was Blessed in a cruel move by Rivkah. Joseph was arrogant and his brothers left him almost ...
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1answer
54 views

Where is the term “Jewish philosophy” first attested? [closed]

Jewish philosophy has become such a commonplace term that a great many versions of Wikipedia include entries on this subject. Where is the term Jewish philosophy first attested? Surely this term ...
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Are the laws exclusive to the land of Israel, also relevant in terms of what they teach us everywhere?

There are many laws enumerated in the written and oral Torah. One of their categorizations is those which are obligatory inside the land of Israel and those which are obligatory both in the land of ...
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2answers
168 views

Does God love every Jew unconditionally?

If a Jew spent his entire life doing terrible sins, would God still love him? For example, does God love Jesus or Jews who have caused similarly terrible damage? Please provide sources.
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Are there any writings which speak to the spiritual aspects of different materials (Metals/Wood/etc.)?

I found an article on Chabad which got into some spiritual ideas around metals. It specifically touches on Gold, Silver, and Copper and relates each to various concepts of holiness and spiritual ...
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4answers
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Tikkun for Timtum HaLev

Is there teshuva/tikkun for timtum halev (specifically for forbidden foods)? Please cite sources.
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Where do we find that the Torah is compared to a sea (yam)?

Just need this for something I’m writing.
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1answer
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How has our attitude changed toward the relationship of morality to Torah observance? [closed]

I have often noticed, in my interactions with other Orthodox Jews, that they seem to feel that the correct resolution of every moral question is to ask a prominent rabbi. For example, when I point out ...
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Have any Rabbis discussed hating Hashem as being part of a deeper level of a relationship with him?

There's a belief that the people you love the most are the ones who can make you hurt the most. Friends & family have a closeness to us which can hurt us in a deeply personal way. The anger and ...
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41 views

Do shedim receive schar?

Given that shedim can either do good or bad and are intelligent, speaking creations in this world, can they be punished and rewarded? Do they have mitzvos? Will they exist in olam haba?
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How is it we often see people who are on a mission to do a mitzvah get harmed?

The gemara quotes Rabbi Elazar no less than six(6) times saying, "שְׁלוּחֵי מִצְוָה אֵינָן נִיזּוֹקִין -- those on a mission to do a mitzvah are not harmed." (Pesachim 8a, 8b (twice), ...
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The Gemara teaches the concept that שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רע. I have a question on that concept

If a person who is observing a mitzvah will not be harmed, how is it possible that Hevel was murdered as a result of the Korban he offered?
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Is there a source that the tip of bread causes one to forget ones learning? [duplicate]

I heard some rabbis say there's no source that the tip of bread causes forgetfulness. But I've seen brought that the Stiepler wouldn't eat the tip. Also there are such rumors. I want to know if ...
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161 views

What Biblical couple is the standard for happy and healthy marital relationships?

On Shabbos, we bless our kids with Brochos to grow like our forefathers/mothers. When my kid announced that he's getting married I exclaimed "may God put your marriage like..." and got stuck ...
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Why would God need to introduce Himself when revealing to forefathers?

וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה' בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ ...׃ - That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. ...” Genesis.26.24 This is ...
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R' Yohanan's behavior to make women bear kids in his resemblance

To support my previous question ("biblical-genetics-understanding-childs-resemblance-to-his-parents" here's a Talmudic passage (Berakhot.20a): רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן הֲוָה רְגִיל דַּהֲוָה קָא ...
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2answers
157 views

What is the Teshuvah for a gentile marrying a Jew

Firstly, is it a sin for a gentile to marry a Jew? Second, if so, what Noahide law does it break? Lastly, what is the Teshuvah for that?
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1answer
94 views

May we always deceive deceivers?

The Tanach says [referring to God]: עִם־נָבָ֖ר תִּתָּבָ֑ר וְעִם־עִקֵּ֖שׁ תִּתַּפָּֽל׃ -- With the pure You act in purity, and with the perverse You are wily. [2 Samuel 22:27 and Ps. 18:27]” Does ...
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2answers
64 views

Looking for the source of an opinion on the definition of good

I heard somewhere that it was the Maharal or a similarly philosophical author who wrote that the definition of good is "something that serves its purpose." It has been escaping me for quite ...
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1answer
79 views

Usage of honorifics for non-Orthodox authorities

When speaking or when referring to a non-Orthodox Jewish authority, for example, a Reform rabbi (whether male or female), should one use their title of "rabbi" - maybe for דרכי שלום or ...
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3answers
109 views

Why can't you give a bracha to yourself?

I didn't find anywhere people giving brachas to oneself. We find in Tanach people giving brachas to others. It seems one can't give a bracha to oneself. Why not?
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280 views

Did Rambam reflect on non-Jewish sources that shaped his views?

Many commentators and researchers point to the great influence that the Greek, Christian, and Islamic thinkers had on Rambam's theological, philosophical and scientific views, for example, in Hilchos ...
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1answer
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How does Judaism solve the Euthyphro dilemma?

In short: Socrates asks whether God loves the pious because it is the pious, or whether the pious is pious only because it is loved by God. How does Judaism solve this dilemma?
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Rambam's 9th principle - “the Torah will not change/be changed”, sources and interpretations

Did Rambam himself elaborate on: His sources for this principle? Did he derive it from somewhere or it was his own thought? The principle itself, what it covers, what kind of changes he's talking ...
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1answer
119 views

Does a soul develop over a lifetime?

@AvrohomYitzchok asked me this question to support the assertions for another question: "Why don't newborns speak? Why do we need to learn a language?" In my understanding, in Judaism, a ...
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1answer
61 views

What are the sources that the soul possesses the knowledge of a language?

@AvrohomYitzchok asked me this question to support the assertions for another question: "why-dont-newborns-speak-outright. What are the sources that the knowledge of a language is a quality of ...
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175 views

Why don't newborns speak? Why do we need to learn a language?

In our dualistic approach, the soul is one that possesses the knowledge of a/the language (not clear to me if all souls speak Hebrew or just 70, like the angels or just any language) AFAIC, the soul ...
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Is “Understanding God half-way” a true understanding?

If I try to summarize answers to various theological questions, it goes like this: we understand that God is/acts/feels/desires X (good, just, etc) in the literal sense, or in this world, e.g. caring,...
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71 views

What keeps the immaterial soul inside the physical body?

By what methods the immaterial soul is contained within the material body during our lifetime?
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1answer
128 views

How can there be hidur by mitzvos dirabanan?

We find the concept of hidur by rabbinic mitzvos. For example menorah. I saw some paper qoute the rema that one should get new aravos for the 7 days of sukkos because of hiddur. The 7 days are also ...
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2answers
281 views

Should I donate money to non-jewish organizations that I've benefited from, or is it better to give that money to Jewish institutions?

I was thinking that on the one hand there may be an ענין to give to a non-Jewish organization that you've benefitted from (e.g. Wikipedia) as a way to train yourself in the middah of הכרת הטוב (...
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1answer
75 views

Eruvin 51a: Using Deception to Assert an Opinion?

The Gemara in Eruvin 51a relates the following: (Source(s) from Sefaria) רַבָּה וְרַב יוֹסֵף הֲווֹ קָא אָזְלִי בְּאוֹרְחָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבָּה לְרַב יוֹסֵף: תְּהֵא שְׁבִיתָתֵנוּ תּוּתֵי דִּיקְלָא ...
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34 views

Psychedelic drugs [duplicate]

What does the Torah say about psychedelic drugs? It has been proven to treat PTSD and helped with treating addictions. Also, it can help spiritually because it has inspired many people to throw away ...
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3answers
151 views

Can God do bad?

Man has free will. He can choose to do good or bad. Does God have free will? Can God choose to do bad things? If we say that god does only good, isn't that putting a limitation on him?

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