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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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2answers
93 views

Meaning of “Not holding on that level of emuna/bitachon”

(Hi newbie here :) I hope I'm writing this post correctly.) What does it mean when people say "I'm not holding on that level of emuna/bitachon"? I've seen and heard countless times when people say ...
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1answer
35 views

If dew is automatic why do we have Tefillas Tal?

I heard in a dvar Torah that Tal, dew, is automatic (or much more so than rain). This is connected to the view that Pesach represents אתערותא דלעילא that is that HaShem helps us even though we are not ...
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3answers
88 views

When does hatred “make sense”?

The Talmud says that the Second Temple was destroyed because "senseless hatred" [sin'at chinam] prevailed. Yoma 9b אבל מקדש שני שהיו עוסקין בתורה ובמצות וגמילות חסדים מפני מה חרב מפני שהיתה בו שנאת ...
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0answers
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What does it mean - stop reading Torah 4 times a week (B"K 82a)?

Following my previous question, Alex has noted that the Prophets (Moses) explicitly commanded the Jewish nation to stop from reading the Torah on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (B"K 82a): ...
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2answers
51 views

If the Torah is compared to water how come we drown in water?

I admit I didn't expect it - a kid in our shul asked me that when I mentioned that the Torah is compared to water (B"K 82a): "דורשי רשומות אמרו: אין מים אלא תורה, שנאמר: הוֹי כָּל צָמֵא לְכוּ ...
2
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3answers
44 views

If there were people before/during Avraham's life that recognised Hashem, why was Avraham chosen specifically?

We know that Shem lived during the life of Avraham Avinu, described as Malki Tzedek. Why is Avraham considered the first to spread ethical monotheism (concluding in G-d choosing him) if it's known ...
2
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3answers
107 views

What happens the second you die?

What do our sources say about what happens the second you die. I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that one’s soul comes out of their body and they float around the room. Are there any fascinating ...
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0answers
51 views

Did Rabbis foresee the social and cultural changes in the Jewish World in the last 200 years?

Did any Rabbis in the last 200 years deal with long-term predictions regarding the social or cultural changes in the Jewish world - the society, the Torah and the Halachah? Did anyone predict /...
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2answers
126 views

Judaism's view on the vast economical inequity between people

While the lack of uniformity of the physical world remains a mystery of the Big Bang (how come that what once was unified and homogenous shattered into pieces so different in sizes - from photons to ...
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1answer
67 views

Gan Eden vs. Olam Haba

Please correct me if I'm wrong: The purpose of creation is to create a בית בתחתונים for G-d. The more mitzvos Jews engage in, the more they are guided by their soul's desire to give as opposed to ...
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66 views

Mechanisms of protecting Judaism from misuse

As we can see with Nazi Germany, democracy can be a dangerous thing. Many countries try to override democracy with a special status of the supreme court, able to invalidate the parliamentary laws (to ...
6
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1answer
93 views

How can the Sanhedrin ever err?

On the one hand we know that if a Sanhedrin issued an erroneous decision (which was acted upon) they must bring a sacrifice (Vayikra 4:13). On the other, we have the concept of "lo bashamayim hi" (...
2
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1answer
56 views

Should one refuse torah insights from heaven?

I have heard a story that the Vilna Gaon was offered torah insights by some sort of divine source, either an angel, a maggid or something else. The story goes that he refused those insights because ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Why is Hashem being separate from his creation a more acceptable belief than His creation being within Him?

I've read and been told that Hashem is separate from his creation because he is infinite and therefore he can't have the finite objects of the universe be a part of him. He must be uniform. I've ...
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3answers
124 views

What is the theological basis for changes in the practices of Judaism over the centuries?

There are many events or practices in the Old Testament which might seem brutal to a modern Western person; for example, I remember reading a passage about a man who was stoned to death for collecting ...
6
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3answers
532 views

What does the Rambam mean when he says that the planets have souls?

Rambam states in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 3, Section 9 that each of the planets have a soul, knowledge, and intellect. כל הכוכבים והגלגלים כולן בעלי נפש ודעה והשכל הם והם חיים ועומדים ...
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0answers
52 views

How does Rav Saadia Gaon account for the suffering of children?

I came across this excerpt from Rav Saadia Gaon on reincarnation (on mesora.org, where they cite it as Saadia Gaon: “The Book of Beliefs and Opinions” “Refutation of Reincarnation” Yale Judaica Series,...
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1answer
52 views

Does God care about things that don't affect the Jews?

There is a trope in Judaism that God smites even the greatest Empires when they oppress the Jews. Does God ever smite nations that are wicked to other non-Jews? We do have the example of Sodom, but ...
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2answers
54 views

What was God's original plan regarding Adam?

I would like to research the common ground for our understanding of G-d's original plan of the creation if Adam didn't sin. According to Sanhedrin 38, he was fully developed at noon, having 6 hours ...
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3answers
74 views

Purposes of Marriage in Judaism [duplicate]

Why do we get married according to Judaism? What is the point behind us working so hard to get married? Presumably it is not just to bear children! I have heard of a concept of two halves coming ...
5
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2answers
80 views

The mishnah of four things not to look at

There is a Mishnah in Hagigah 11b which says: כל המסתכל בארבעה דברים ראוי לו כאילו לא בא לעולם מה למעלה מה למטה מה לפנים ומה לאחור ...: Whoever looks at four matters, it would have been better ...
5
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0answers
79 views

A widow using her deceased husbands semen to conceive?

If a husband has some of his semen frozen/saved and then dies, what halachic and hashkafic issues have to be addressed when deciding if his widow is allowed to/can/should use that semen to become ...
5
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2answers
34 views

Why was it specifically Gavriel who is Hashem’s messenger to guide events?

Among all of the Malachim, Gavriel seems disproportionately involved in human events: He was responsible for saving Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah from the fiery furnace (Berachos 4b, Pesachim 118a-...
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2answers
85 views

Meaning of Zekher Livracha (ז"ל - Of blessed memory)

The literal translation of ז"ל is "of blessed memory" What does it mean to bless memory? How does it help the soul?
3
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2answers
91 views

Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
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1answer
56 views

Is everyone who dies in his 50s Chayav Kares?

I've come across a bunch of great Rabbanim: Poskim, Mekubalim and Tzadikim who passed away within their 50s. The Gemara in Moed Katan 28a says: אמר רבה: [מיתה] מחמשים ועד ששים שנה זו היא מיתת כרת....
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0answers
38 views

Source for R' Soloveitchik's teaching about why we don't stand for a baby in utero?

There's a famous teaching from Niddah 30b that a baby is taught the entire Torah in utero. Someone once referenced this gemara and asked The Rav, if that's the case why don't we stand for a pregnant ...
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2answers
118 views

Do you have to be a Chabadnick to follow the Shulchan Aruch Harav?

If I'm a bred and born ashkenazic male, who's been taught to follow the Mishna Brurahs Psakim all his life. Would it be significantly different to follow more or less by the Shulchan Aruch Harav? ...
6
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1answer
99 views

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?
2
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1answer
50 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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0answers
59 views

Jews and Gentiles [duplicate]

For what purpose were the gentiles created by Hashem ?
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0answers
25 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
68 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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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
53 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. ...
3
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1answer
86 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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1answer
39 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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0answers
57 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
60 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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2answers
73 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 ...
3
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3answers
151 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
176 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
409 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
33 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
81 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
79 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
117 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
76 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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95 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,...
5
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2answers
185 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 ...