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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144 views

Epicurus in Rishonim's writings

I saw a couple of essays yesterday arguing that some teachings in Avot may have been directed specifically against the Greek philosopher Epicurus* and his teachings. I was wondering whether any of the ...
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Source for difference between free will and freedom of choice

Based on a question over on Philosophy.SE: The Wikipedia article on "secondary causation" notes the following without footnote: According to the Jewish Torah which brought down the ...
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109 views

What seforim or books were written on the Torah approach to modern-day philosophy such as humanism or classical liberalism?

Although I have seen paragraphs here and there in various books explaining the torah hashkafa on specific values (i.e. Rav Kook, Rav Illowy, Lord Sacks on slavery), I have yet to seen a book that ...
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Anthropology, Structuralism, Halacha

Halacha is a typological ideal which we desire to manifest in our actual behavior. Inasmuch as life itself has a structure, halacha is contoured exactly to life in its entirety and beyond. Halachic ...
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Why Haredi and Modern Orthodox priority is different on Venishmartem during COVID-19? [closed]

During COVID-19 pandemic, the Haredi poskim (for example Rav Dovid Feinstein) allowed minyanim to gather as soon as permitted by authorities. However, Modern Orthodox poskim (for example Rav Hershel ...
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Destined how many shidduch proposals?

Rabbi Dr. Wikler (p. 142) quotes a story of a Chassidic Rebbe looking for a shidduch for his daughter who would pay shadchanim for proposing a potential match even though the Rebbe declined the offer. ...
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Being Afraid Brings Fears

A few Rabbonim mentioned in shiurim on TorahAnytime the concept that being constantly afraid of something tragic happening to oneself can bring about its fulfillment. Where do we find such a concept ...
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Fulfilling Someone Else's Mission

Rav Ari Bensoussan quotes the Alter of Navardok who says that when someone doesn't utilize their talents to accomplish a particular mission Hashem designed for them, then anyone can take the ...
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Is it compatible with the Torah to believe that HaShem is not omnipotent in an absolute sense? [duplicate]

I am an Italian Noahide. HaShem is also defined in the Torah as "Elohim" who in this case expresses, as Ramban teaches, the concept of "Master of all the forces" and "the Power over all the powers". ...
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Warning people/getting people to do teshuva [closed]

Based on Ezekiel 3:18-19: בְּאָמְרִ֤י לָֽרָשָׁע֙ מ֣וֹת תָּמ֔וּת וְלֹ֣א הִזְהַרְתּ֗וֹ וְלֹ֥א דִבַּ֛רְתָּ לְהַזְהִ֥יר רָשָׁ֛ע מִדַּרְכּ֥וֹ הָֽרְשָׁעָ֖ה לְחַיֹּת֑וֹ ה֤וּא רָשָׁע֙ בַּֽעֲוֺנ֣וֹ יָמ֔וּת ...
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Definition of Right and Wrong?

Halakhah prescribes different standards of conduct for Jews and Gentiles. As far as I am aware, it is not incumbent upon a Noachide Gentile to pursue conversion. Thus I can only conclude that one ...
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Why does Yitzchak's name mean to laugh if he represents gevurah?

Why does Yitzchak's name mean to laugh if he represents gevurah? Gevurah is something that is restrained and hold back. And laughter is something which breaks out of the chains and feels more free.
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Does Pirkei Avot establish we can find morality separately from the law? [duplicate]

One of the more notable things about Pirkei Avot is that it's empty of Halacha for the most part. It establishes a series of ethical ideals and opinions written by our sages but these ethics and ...
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How did King David think he could thwart God's plan?

The Talmud (Shabbat 30a) relates the following interesting tale about King David's death: And as to what Solomon said, 'for a living dog is better than a dead lion', — that is as Rab Judah said in ...
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Help me find a quote from Rav Hirsch

I have heard famously in the name of Rav Hirsch that he wanted to close all the synagogues in Germany for a 100 years so that people would value prayers and Judaism properly. On headlines (time 11:50)...
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Is it permitted to pray for the death of an evil king or other evil national leader?

This is a subset of the question of "is it permissible to pray for anyone's death?" and "is it permissible to pray for an evil-doer's death?" and goes to the question of whether one may pray for the ...
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245 views

Does God owe us anything?

This is a question I've been wondering about for a few years. I've not been having an easy time in life, and that's why I have started asking this question. I'm sort of waiting for a "salvation", but ...
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Emunah and failures?

Rav Arush in the Garden of Emunah apparently has a concept that failures are from Hashem see here : Before making a mistake, a person has apparent free choice not to make a mistake. But, after the ...
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94 views

How do references to eternity in Torah square with the finite life of the sun?

How is one to read אות היא לעולם, נר תמיד and שומר ישראל לעד knowing that the sun will not endure? Torah is written in human language. Is "for ever" confined to human measures, and in fact then, ...
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Why are there such few observant Jews? [closed]

There are only around 20 million Jews out of a population of 7.6 billion. Of those 20 million maybe 10% (2 million) are Torah observant. According to the Torah one of the purposes of the Jewish People ...
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53 views

Hashem's Ontology and the Sefirot

My question is, Hashem ontologically speaking, His Being, is a singular, yichud in all respects. So does this conception stop at Ein Sof, or even before Ein Sof? And once the ohr proceeds forth from ...
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10 types of angels

In Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah 2:7 Rambam says: שִׁנּוּי שְׁמוֹת הַמַּלְאָכִים עַל שֵׁם מַעֲלָתָם הוּא. וּלְפִיכָךְ נִקְרָאִים חַיּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהֵם לְמַעְלָה מִן הַכּל וְאוֹפַנִּים וְאֶרְאֶלִּים ...
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What is the proof that Judaism is true? [duplicate]

People are for some reason skeptical that Moshe wrote the Torah as word of G-d, that Tanach is divinely inspired, etc. What is the proof that we have to affirm these points of our faith?
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Is Judaism Fascism?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fascism is a regime that exalts nation above the individual. Many associate Nazism, for example, with fascism. And yet, considering the morning ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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121 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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412 views

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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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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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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59 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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115 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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113 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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