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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2
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3answers
248 views

Is it a sin to read a book arguing for the existence of G-d written by a Catholic? [closed]

So I bought this book written by a philosopher by the name of Edward Feser. His book is called "Five Proofs for the Existence of God". It can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Proofs-...
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1answer
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Learning Torah of Rav Soloveitchik

I heard that the Be'er Moshe (Debreciner Rav) wrote that one should not read the Torah of the Rav since it can bring one into the wrong haskafos. Does anyone know where this can be found in his ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Can eilu veilu apply to historical/factual reality or not?

This answer by @Alex says Rashi (כתובות נז. ד"ה הא) already notes that "eilu v'eilu" is only applicable in a machlokes in sevarah, where sometimes one sevarah can be correct while at other times ...
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Angels saying Shirah before Hashem - “daily” rituals?

Rashi on Gen 32.27 כי עלה השחר. וְצָרִיךְ אֲנִי לוֹמַר שִׁירָה בַּיּוֹם (חולין צ"א): כי עלה השחר FOR THE DAY BREAKETH, and I have to sing God’s praise at day (Chullin 91b; Genesis Rabbah 78:1)....
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1answer
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Forefathers and consumerism - why they had more that they can eat?

Yaakov said (Gen 33.11): ... כִּי־חַנַּנִי אֱלֹהִים וְכִי יֶשׁ־לִי־כֹל ...׃ ... for God has favored me and I have everything... Rashi: יש לי כל: כָּל סִפּוּקִי; וְעֵשָׂו דִּבֵּר בִּלְשׁוֹן ...
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2answers
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What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

In the eyes of halacha, who is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy, an idolator or an atheist? Whichever is worse, is that the case by both Jew and Non-Jew?
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2answers
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Empirical evidence of Sages' intellectual superiority

Throughout ages, our Sages engaged in Halachic, scientific and philosophical arguments between themselves and with other nations' philosophers. We hold that the truthfulness of Talmudic discussions ...
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1answer
86 views

Why should a hedonistic teenager care about Judaism? [duplicate]

I recently had a conversation with a self-centered hedonistic American teenager who was not interested in hearing proofs that the Torah is the word of God and said he could serve God any way he wanted....
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1answer
59 views

Source for Ralbag on G-d's knowledge

Does the Ralbag ever say that G-d does not know the future? I am aware that Ralbag writes that G-d only knows the generality of things but not the particular. Abraham ibn Ezra is of the same opinion. ...
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Sources that G-d miraculously and deceptively conceal His deeds

In the debate on veracity and historicity of the Biblical stories and claims many assert that after an event in discussion G-d miraculously wiped all evidence or replaced it to look natural. For ...
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113 views

Why Torah never mentions any type of conversion for our foremothers?

As we know, all our foremothers came from homes of [famous] idolaters - Betuel and Lavan (well, Sarah also). Once Avraham started the dynasty with Itzhak it seems reasonable that all newcomers will ...
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3answers
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Was any prophet given a practical advice on making the life better?

Prophecy is a special moment of G-d revealing His secrets to the masses. But as far as I know, those revelations were very one-sided - "do what I demand or I will make you suffer", with lots of small ...
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3answers
161 views

What is the reason the religious adherence is currently inversely proportional to the standard of living? [closed]

It is a well-established fact that the most religious modern societies are the poorest, having the least life expectancy, most infant mortality, hunger, wars, wild animals and everything that's on the ...
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4answers
2k views

How did Gdoley Israel react to the landing on the Moon?

IMHO, landing on the Moon did/could seriously undermine the bases of the Jewish religious view about the nature of the celestial bodies. How did Gdoley Israel react/deal with the landing on Moon (and ...
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2answers
119 views

What was G-d's problem with building the Babel Tower? [duplicate]

In the story of the Babel Tower (Gen 11) people are trying to build a tower to the skies. I assume they followed the assumption that the firmament is real (firm) and it divides between the Heavens and ...
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47 views

What's the purpose of the body in/after resurrection?

Following "what-is-the-purpose-of-tchiat-hametim", the Gemmorah says: העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ...
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1answer
125 views

What Rabbis originally supported and opposed Rambam's 13 principles and why?

I heard the when Rambam presented his 13 principles the opinions divided pretty sharply between the Sefardic Rabbis that openly supported it and the Ashkenazi (Rabaney Tzarfat) that opposed it for ...
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Why doesn't Dor Hamabul deserve the World to Come?

The Mishna (Sanhedrin 10) states that Dor Hamabul do not have a part in the world to come: דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל אֵין לָהֶם חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין בַּדִּין The generation of the flood ...
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What made G-d change His opinion about Humans and how is it possible?

וַיָּ֣רַח ה' אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ה' אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב הָאָדָ֛ם רַ֖ע מִנְּעֻרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־אֹסִ֥ף ע֛וֹד ...
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How did Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel arrive at the conclusion that it would have been preferable had man not been created?

תנו רבנן: שתי שנים ומחצה נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל, הללו אומרים: נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא, והללו אומרים: נוח לו לאדם שנברא יותר משלא נברא. נמנו וגמרו: נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא, עכשיו ...
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50 views

What was G-d's plan in having 20 generations before Abraham appears?

I'm trying to understand G-d's plan for creating wicked and sinful humans, waiting for 1600 years/10 generations for them to sin, wiping them out completely, then waiting for another 400 years for the ...
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What does “the tree of life” mean when G-d decides on life solely?

My question is maybe an elaboration on this question "How does the tree of life work?: The Gemmorah says that G-d decides exclusively on a person’s lifespan. But the Torah says that G-d Himself is ...
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1answer
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Were G-d's expectations for Dor Hamabul realistic?

Undoubtfully the all-loving G-d was a bit harsh on punishing the whole generation of Noah (probably millions?) by drowning them (and all the animals - what did they do?) in boiling water (He could ...
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54 views

Reverse Pascal's wager in the plain Torah

I'm trying to understand the simple "game theory" of the plain text of the Tora. I don't deal with the idea of afterlife/World to Come as it does not appear in the scriptures (maybe remotely hinted). ...
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1answer
97 views

Why does נהמא דכיסופא make sense at all between lovers? [duplicate]

This preliminary question asks about what N"D is. The נהמא דכיסופא is a possible explanation for why should we suffer in this world to receive the reward in the afterworld. I tried to verify that: ...
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3answers
106 views

Why Adam wasn’t explicitly commanded to pass his knowledge on to others?

I'm still trying to grasp the way of transmission of the Torah knowledge from day 1. This question can equally deal with two phenomena: the commandment of eating the forbidden fruit or the commandment ...
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1answer
99 views

Agnostic and practicing halacha

If someone is very unsure about Torah, enough to be agnostic, yet accepts the possibility that Torah may be true and chooses to follow Orthodox halacha... then what would you say are some major ...
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0answers
22 views

Why should G-d look at the parts of His creation?

THis part of the story of the Creation seriously puzzles me: G-d looking at His creation and checking/judging/evaluating it. Examples: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים ...
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1answer
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Why are we afraid of death and don't rush to the World to Come?

I agree the question seems stupid, but hear out my logic: We all are promised to get a share in the world to come (WTC), and acc. to Rabbinical interpretation, even Kareth can't take that away. In ...
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1answer
93 views

Why no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
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1answer
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Why was the purpose of the creation of Man was so dull?

On the 6th day of the Creation, G-d consults angels (see my other question) and presents them with what looks like His vision of Man's goal on Earth: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ ...
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1answer
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Why was G-d's only direct interaction with the Jewish nation be limited to two commandments?

Following "what-went-wrong-at-matan-torah: We claim that Matan Torah was/is the ultimate proof of the veracity of the Torah, because unlike what we observe in other religions, where G-d never makes ...
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1answer
100 views

Did Rambam explain why and how he got so influenced by Aristotle?

It is widely known that Rambam was greatly influenced by Aristotle, and his Guide and Hilchot Yesodey Hatorah practically repeat Aristotle's view and adopt them into Judaism (see also WIKI): Moses ...
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What went wrong at Matan Torah - adjusting G-d's presentation to the Jewish people?

וְכָל־הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִם וְאֵת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וְאֶת־הָהָר עָשֵׁן וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּה עִמָּנוּ וְנִשְׁמָעָה ...
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1answer
89 views

What defines a human in Judaism?

As a follow up to "creation-of-super-humans", The Gene-modification technologies promise interesting developments in human evolution/changes, both physical and intellectual. On the physical side - ...
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1answer
87 views

How does creation of a new species of super humans align with Judaism?

One of the most promising scientific fields of the nearest future is bio-technologies especially genetic modifications, starting with gene-therapy, genetic enhancements, and, as the process is ...
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1answer
55 views

Frequency of Heavenly judgment

@Maurice has asked a series of interesting questions on how our reward and punishment system works. We generally hold that Yom Kippur is the time of the final verdict for a year, but I'd like to know ...
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1answer
81 views

Why did some prominent prophets initially refuse to comply with G-d's commands? [duplicate]

Rambam in Yesodey Hatorah 7 writes that Prophets are very special people that prepare themselves thoroughly to detach themselves from this physical world and serve Hashem. However, we can clearly see ...
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2answers
122 views

Judging whether a rabbi resembles an angel

THe previous question "How should a rabbi resemble an angel" asked for the qualities a Rabbi should possess in order to be worthy of learning Torah from him. The Gemmarah prescribes that a rabbi must ...
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4answers
161 views

How should a Rabbi resemble an angel?

The Gemmorah in Moed Katan 17 says: א"ר יוחנן... אם דומה הרב למלאך ה' יבקשו תורה מפיו ואם לאו אל יבקשו תורה מפיו Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: ... If the teacher is similar to an angel [...
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79 views

The Battle of Gog and Magog

Very little is known about The Battle of Gog and Magog, it is shroud in mystery and countless debates. The prophet Ezekiel (chapters 38-39) describes the battle and the prophet Zachariya (chapter 14) ...
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2answers
110 views

Can Etrog and Lulav be too cheap?

In the last years, in Israel, on Erev Chag Succot, about 4 hours before the Chag begins, we witness an interesting phenomenon - incredible price drop for the 4 Minim, especially the expensive Etrog ...
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1answer
147 views

Did the Sadducees get anything right?

The Sadducee-Pharisee split probably began around 150 B.C.E and disappeared after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. As a result, the Karaites (9th-century) adopted many Sadducee-ideas ...
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27 views

Considerations for impeachment of the Nassi of Sanhedrin

While cynically coincidental, my business is exclusively with the Sugya of the [temporary] impeachment of Rabban Gamliel in his Maariv Chova argument with R' Yahoshua (Brochos 27b). אמרי עד כמה ...
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Considerations for electing the Nassi - theoretical vs practical?

In theory Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin 1.3 teaches us: הַגָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן מוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ רֹאשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן וְהוּא רֹאשׁ הַיְשִׁיבָה וְהוּא שֶׁקּוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ הַחֲכָמִים נָשִׂיא בְּכָל ...
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30 views

Is there an approach that cuts the Teffilot on Rosh Hashanah in favor of Torah study?

It is clear from the Sugiyot Gemmorah (Brochos and Shabbos 10, here) that the lengthening the Teffilah at the expense of Torah learning was perceived negatively through many generations till late ...
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19 views

Why does G-d carry out all the curses by Himself?

In Parashat Ki Tavo (28:15-on) Moses threatens the Nation with very descriptive curses. It starts from a distance: 'וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ׃ אָרוּר אַתָּה וכו One ...
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25 views

Can external criteria be considered when setting the Halacha?

וכי מאחר שאלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים מפני מה זכו בית הלל לקבוע הלכה כמותן? מפני שנוחין ועלובין היו ושונין דבריהן ודברי בית שמאי ולא עוד אלא שמקדימין דברי בית שמאי לדבריהן The Gemara asks: Since ...
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1answer
33 views

What does it mean “נצחוני בני” after “לא בשמים היא” and “אחרי רבים להטות”?

There's something seemingly erratic in Heaven's behavior as reflected in the Gemmorah. If "לא בשמים היא" and "אחרי רבים להטות" were established Heavenly Halachot why would G-d smile and state "My ...
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1answer
50 views

If “not in Heaven” how could Nac"h be the source of Halacha?

As the Gemmorah states (Temura 16a), the idea of "Not in Heaven" traces back to Moses' death and Yehoshua was the first asked to use it and he refused, referring to that verse. Nevertheless, from ...