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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97 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?
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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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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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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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125 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? ...
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104 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?
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76 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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59 views

Jews and Gentiles [duplicate]

For what purpose were the gentiles created by Hashem ?
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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
72 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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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. ...
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1answer
91 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
44 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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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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71 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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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 ...
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156 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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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 ...
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2answers
461 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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34 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 ...
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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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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
121 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 ...
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1answer
80 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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102 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,...
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199 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 ...
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55 views

Regain a Connection to Hashem

At times, one’s connection to Hashem could fade. According to various sources, what is the fastest way one can regain a connection to Hashem?
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730 views

Are we born wicked/evil?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine (he's not Jewish). At one moment he showed me Tehillim 58:4, which states that the wicked are evil since birth: "זֹרוּ רְשָׁעִים מֵרָחֶם; ...
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1answer
94 views

Jewish wisdom on how to remain calm under stressful situations

What do the scriptures say on how to calm oneself down when one is faced with exiting his comfort zone? As long as I can remember, I've always became quite nervous with uncomfortable feelings ...
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215 views

Why does Rav Soloveichik feel lonely when he has G-d?

As I understand it, The Rav feels lonely, as a man of faith he feels definitionally lonely because he can't relate to people and people can't relate to him. Why doesn't he find solace with G-d though? ...
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Is there a connection between the two times 7 cows, ears and years that Yaakov worked for his wives?

Is there any connection or relationship between the seven fat & seven lean cows, the seven beautiful and seven parched ears of grain that Pharaoh dreamt and Yosef interpreted, and the seven years ...
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95 views

What does the Torah think of Pangea?

What does Torah literature say about Pangaea? Is it considered be legitimate? Are there sources which lean either way?
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160 views

Did any rabbis address the theological possibility/implications of nuclear extinction?

During the Cold War, plenty of people were aware (I think?) that detonating enough nuclear bombs could lead to human extinction. Did any rabbis address whether the belief that Moshiach will come mean ...
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1answer
123 views

“Impossible” to resist a sin

In Tzidkat Hatzaddik 43, we see: Sometimes a person is subjected to such a difficult test that it is impossible that he not sin. As our Sages said [in explaining the sin of the Golden Calf: “...
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133 views

Jewish thoughts on people who can not grow a beard (due to genetic reasons)

Howdy my dear brothers and sisters, I've recently read a passage in the Zohar which gave insight to certain characteristics of people with specific hairtypes (curly wavy and straight, 'glossy' or not ...
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96 views

What standard of living does Judaism endorse, if at all?

I've always wondered if there was a minimum standard of living mandated by the Torah. If there is, what is it? And if not, how does the Torah relate to this matter? Is it according to the individual's ...
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91 views

Why does there have to be a written Torah?

I’d like to ask the opposite of this question. There, the OP asked why we have a distinct Torah SheBa’al Peh; wouldn’t it help to disseminate the Torah better if everything were written? Answers ...
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82 views

They could change nature and predict nature, but could not explain it

In contrast to the secularist position that the physical world is ours by right, whereas the spiritual world is hidden/inaccessible, the Jewish and generally religious position seems to be that Gd ...
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255 views

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

I am bothered by an incident in the Torah that seems morally unacceptable. After the incident with Pinchas, the Torah records that Klal Yisroel were commanded to attack Midian to avenge their attempt ...
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Who is closer, parents to children, or grandparents to grandchildren?

According to Judaism, what relationship is closer: parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren? What is greater: the love to children or the love to grandchildren? (Someone asked me and I ...
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What is “Beyt Shamai/Beyt Hilel” for citing Mishnayot?

This question is intended to clarify D.S'.question - how-can-bet-shamai-argue-on-shamai: What exactly is called "Beyt Shammay/Hillel"? We don't find this term with other great Rabbis, such as R' ...
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210 views

What is the source for Rambam's thirteen principles?

What is the Rambam source for the thirteen principles, brought in his interpretation of the Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1? By that I mean what is his source that without these principles one does not go to ...
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Importance of the Prophecy and Moses' Prophecy in the 13 Principles

Rambam's 13 Principles (as a part of his Interpretation of the 10th Chapter of the Mishnah in Sanhedrin) brings #6 - Existence of the Prophecy (see the link for the English translation): היסוד הששי:...
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121 views

Are Jews allowed to pray on their knees?

If someone finds it a good way to have a concentration in pray while on his knees, can it be done? (Not talking about Amida/Sidur prayers, but talking with the creator.)
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Should people be encouraged to yield to the evil inclination?

Chazal say very clearly that the evil inclination is the foundation of great and good achievements: -Abaye said: The greater the man, the greater his evil inclination. [Sukkah 52a] -Nachman said, in ...
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What is the source for this idea about the deeper meaning of bowing/prostrating one's self?

I seem to remember hearing an idea that the significance of bowing/prostrating oneself is that a human being differs from all other elements of creation in that a human being stands erect and walks on ...
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What books discuss general rules of Tanach? [closed]

In particular, I am looking for books that deal with philosophical and linguistic questions on Tanach, such as: If there is seemingly no reason to place one passuk before another, is it reasonable/...
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Greeting other people (Jews and Non-Jews alike)

At work, some amount of interaction is inevitable. There are some people that I just don't feel like greeting. What is the Jewish view on this issue? What does the Halachah say about 'greeting one ...
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If we can't understand G-d at all, why do our sources try?

I have for a long time been been confused and dismayed that, although our sources -- including kabbalistic ones -- acknowledge frequently, emphatically, and without limitation that לית מחשבה תפיסא בך ...