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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108 views

The fall of Yehudah the Maccabee

Yehudah the Maccabee died in the Battle of Elasa, a mere four years after the victory at Beit Tzur and the subsequent purification and rededication of the Temple. Are there any rabbinic sources that ...
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104 views

Opinions of Contemporary Gedolim Re: Me'or Einayim (De Rossi)

Rabbi Azariah De Rossi wrote a very controversial sefer called Meor Einayim. While earlier authorities did oppose it (see above link), are there any recent American rabbanim who have offered opinions ...
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105 views

How could Leah daven to change her fetus's gender?

The gemara brachos 60a asks how could Leah daven for her fetus to change genders if the mishna calls that a wasted tefilla. The gemara gives 2 answers.The first is, acts of miracles are different. I ...
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53 views

Is cutting corners in the Temple allowed?

Last week I went on an archeology studies field trip from my university. We toured parts of the City of David and around and under the Kotel. It turns out that the bottom-most blocks that form the ...
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275 views

Does the Torah have a gender?

Within the talmud, is the Torah as an entity referred to with with a particular gender and if so are there exceptions?
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59 views

Did Rambam ever refer to the 13 Principles in his other works?

Rambam lists the 13 Principles as the beliefs which measure one's merits for the world to come, and he writes it as an elaboration of the Mishnaic statement: "All of the Jewish people, have a ...
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1answer
80 views

What is the source of the teaching that Hashem, unlike humanity, perceives time continuously?

I recall once reading a passage that discussed divine perception of reality. The idea was something like this: Humans blink their eyes, and so do not see everything that happens in time. Hashem, ...
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135 views

Could Moses Have Failed?

Was having a conversation with another user in which I made the argument that Moses didn't fully believe he was talking to God because he doubts he can fulfill this mission from God even with God's ...
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139 views

What were the gedolim's reactions when the Alter of Kelm implemented general subjects in his Yeshivah?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv Broida, aka the Alter of Kelm, around the year 1865, opened a Yeshivah with a focus on Mussar. In addition to Mussar, he " ...also introduced general subjects such as ...
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139 views

Was there an opposition to Arizal?

There was a big conflict about the Hashkafa of Rambam. But it seems that there was nothing to contradict the Arizal, as if everybody agreed with the fact that he learned with Elyahu, and so him being ...
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95 views

Are the rights which provide basis for assertiveness in line with Jewish philosophy?

A common feature of assertiveness training involves one internalizing an assertiveness "bill of rights". Below is a an example of a popular list of such rights from Manuel J. Smith: I: You ...
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391 views

Is interfaith dialogue with Karaites permitted?

R' Joseph Soloveitchik famously objects to interfaith dialogue. @mbloch provides a thorough examination of the halachic issues surrounding interfaith dialogue. My question is, while this obviously ...
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What is the occupation of the soul, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the months prior to birth?

After reading an interesting scientific article concerning how mammals apparently dream prior to birth, it reminded me of Rabbi Simlai in Niddah 30b discussing how each Jewish soul learns the entire ...
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121 views

Rabbinical reaction to Milgram's experiments

Were/are there rabbis that wrote or spoke about Milgram's experiments, presenting a Torah view on the matter (the question of whether the Nazis were unique or the theory that anyone could potentially ...
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94 views

Why this common greeting: Tzom kal?

Tzom kal (easy fast) is a common greeting before the 9th of Av, but why? It runs counter to the adage, "No pain, no gain". The no pain adage seems similar to L'fum tzaara agra – according ...
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287 views

Do scholars detect in the Jewish prophets any Platonic language or views?

And conversely, do scholars see any evidence that Plato was familiar with the Torah and incorporated any of it in his philosophy?
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Instances of Shevua Shechal Bo

Does the concept "Shevua Shechal Bo" come up within the context of halacha or hashkafa in any area other than the the week leading up to Tisha B'Av? It just seems like a unique measure for a ...
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142 views

Biblical attribution of intelligence and feelings to the human heart

Traditionally, the human heart was considered the residence of the animated soul and numerous Biblical passages refer to that ancient belief: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your ...
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421 views

Is there a mitzvah to do chesed for a non-Jew?

If I give a non Jew a ride, is that considered a chesed? I’m sure it’s considered a kiddush hashem but is there a mitzvah of chesed? Should one go out of his way to find these mitzvos of chesed, like ...
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341 views

Animal Sentience in Judaism

Leaving aside related concepts that might stem from this conversation such as veganism or animal rights...The more I read Tanakh the more it seems to me that the Torah and Tanakh as a whole view ...
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52 views

If you do the right thing

I have heard a lot of people say, if you do the right thing you will never lose out even in this world. Is there a source for this?
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1answer
62 views

Only one Rebbi for hashkafa

I was told there is a gemara which stresses the importance of having only one Rebbi for hashkafa as multiple teachers in this area would only result in confusion. Anyone know where this gemara is? ...
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60 views

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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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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107 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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186 views

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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50 views

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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68 views

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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70 views

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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154 views

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
95 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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189 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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30 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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54 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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69 views

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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54 views

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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173 views

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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275 views

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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55 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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66 views

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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181 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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99 views

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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242 views

Tikkun for Timtum HaLev

Is there teshuva/tikkun for timtum halev (specifically for forbidden foods)? Please cite sources.
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101 views

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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103 views

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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43 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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