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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.

10
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2answers
197 views

Who has the right to come up with chiddushei Torah?

I am not at all learned in Torah, and yet I occasionally come up with what I think is a chiddush of Torah. Of course, it frequently turns out that someone else has thought of my "chiddush" before me,...
3
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0answers
45 views

What’s the reason behind having to use specifically animal skin for klaf?

What’s the reasoning behind the need to use animals per se as opposed to any other paperlike material for klaf (to write on)? Is there significance in the need to take the life of an animal for the ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Overwhelming individualism in Jewish Halachah

(Please follow the idea before finding counterarguments). The dawn of Judaism - Abraham, Itzhok, Yaakov, the Tribes - most fateful decisions were made almost exclusively on personal basis, without ...
2
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3answers
136 views

How should I understand Rabbeinu Bachya on Numbers 25:13?

ויכפר על בני ישראל, “he obtained atonement for the Children of Israel.” This verse teaches that he who spills the blood of the wicked is considered as if he had offered a sacrifice. The idea is ...
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2answers
185 views

Social Action/Responsibility in Judaism towards gentiles

Non-orthodox organisations place immense significance on social responsibility calling it "Tikkun Olam". Orthodoxy less so... Are there any relevant rabbinic teachings on the topic of social action (...
0
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1answer
77 views

Understanding G-d's unity [duplicate]

I recently learned according to the Torah ("Shema Isroel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is one"), that G-D is one and single. Please help me understand this unity.
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0answers
65 views

passive bal tashchis

is passive bal tashchis wrong? i see jews eat things (sometimes even to the detriment of their health, (because of the amount or quality) so that they will not go to waste is this a Jewish thing to ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

What is the reason that the world will end after 6/7 thousand years?

Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin [97a]: “Rav Kattina said: 'The world will exist for 6000 years and one (thousand) of destruction' What is the hashkafic reason to only have a finite world? Wouldn't an ...
2
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0answers
93 views

Purpose of non-Jews

I was having a conversation with a friend about the purpose of life. I remember learning somewhere that the purpose of non-Jews is to build up the physical world, while the purpose of Jews is to ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Why has God made so many poor people on earth?

What's the point of most people being born poor? Just think about the African countries for example. How would Judaism address why more people are born poor than rich?
3
votes
1answer
85 views

women (wife) have a bigger influence regarding shalom bais

the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe writes ועלי' להשתדל לסבב סיבובים שיהי' שלום בית, אשר הוא דבר המסור ע"פ תורה לאשה יותר מלאיש that according to Torah making peace in the house is more on the wife ...
2
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3answers
149 views

An apparent contradiction in Ralbag's philosophical methodology

This discussion about Ralbag reminded me of an apparent contradiction in Ralbag's Torah/Philosophy methodology. At the end of his introduction to Wars of the Lord ('מלחמות ה) he writes: The reader ...
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2answers
103 views

If God is infinitely good, why did He create finite people to bestow good to?

Assuming God is absolutely good to the furthest extreme possible and there are no other worlds out there like ours (with torah observant creatures), if so, why did He create finite number of worlds to ...
3
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0answers
38 views

Is the Sefer Hachinuch actually about reasons for mitzvos?

(Inspired by the answers given by @רבות מחשבות and @mevaqesh to this question.) When people speak about reasons for mitzvos they generally mean something along the lines of "God commanded us to do ...
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2answers
64 views

Resource on reasons/intention for mitzvot

I would like to know if there is a resource, preferably a book, that gives the reason/intention of specific mitzvot. My question stems from a shiur i heard from rabbi akiva tatz. Where he said ...
4
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2answers
184 views

How does Judaism relate to miracle claims by other religions?

Other religions claim that (their) God or other individuals have performed miracles either on behalf of a person(s) or entire nations. Growing up I was taught that the Jewish people are God's special,...
6
votes
2answers
229 views

Rambam's View on Attaining Olam Haba with One Mitzvah

The last Mishnah in Maseches Makkos states that God wanted to benefit Israel so He gave them many mitzvos. ר' חנניה בן עקשיה אומר רצה הקב"ה לזכות את ישראל לפיכך הרבה להן תורה ומצות שנ' ה' חפץ ...
3
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1answer
177 views

Is it correct to trust one's intuition?

Please provide some Torah-based perspectives on the topic of how appropriate and/or advisable it is for a regular Jew in this day and age to listen to his instincts, e.g. about practical matters ...
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2answers
91 views

Is Hashem polite? [closed]

This question might be a bit weird, but here's what inspired it. In an internet forum I frequent, someone posted a wall of text (that is, a long post without any line breaks or paragraphs). I pointed ...
5
votes
1answer
545 views

Are professor Daniel Boyarin's writings about the messiah supported in traditional Jewish sources?

I bought and read the Italian edition of the book “The Jewish Gospels.The story of the Jewish Christ”, written by Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic culture at the University of Berkeley. I was ...
3
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2answers
100 views

Who compared “the ox that gores the cow” to “I am Hashem Your G-d”?

I once read a machshava--possibly from chasidus--to the effect that: "'The ox that gores the cow' is as much charged with G-dliness as 'I am H' your G-d.'" I was quite moved by this. What is its ...
6
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2answers
125 views

Why does the Torah mention the lineage of Yishma'el and Esav?

The first Rash"i in the Torah cites Rav Yitzchak's question as to why the Torah didn't begin with the first mitzvah, because it's assumed that the purpose of the Torah is as a mitzvah guide and not a ...
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0answers
44 views

Whose side Rachel and Leah were on?

According to Ariz"l and his followers, the sequence of Yaacov's marriages (Rachel first and then Leah) was of a great importance, dealing with the Seider of the Geulah, Moshiachs etc. Lavan planned to ...
1
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1answer
144 views

Is AGI possible according to Judaism?

Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic right now, and AGI "General Intelligence" has always just been a couple of decades away. So I've been wondering: We believe that a human differs from an animal ...
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1answer
101 views

Why did not our forefathers consult Hashem in conflict situations?

I found it a bit strange, the fact that although our forefathers - Abraham, Itzhok, Yaacov, and down to Moyshe Rabeynu were all prophets, as Hashem explicitly spoke to them, they did not consult, or ...
1
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3answers
398 views

Can one reach the point where he can no longer do teshuvah?

If someone caused pain to multiple people or caused irreversible damage, can he possibly be in a situation where he can no longer do teshuvah? If so, what does hashem want from him at this juncture?
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1answer
144 views

Rogaine or hair loss medications

Are there any Halachik or Hashkafic issues with using rogaine or some other hair loss prevention medicine?
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1answer
66 views

Vegetarianism versus Bal Tashchis?

According to those that hold vegetarianism is the higher & more exalted path (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rav Kook, The Nazir of Yerushalayim, Rav Shlomo Goren) what should be done if a piece of ...
2
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0answers
120 views

What status (if any) does a person suffering from depression have?

If someone is suffering from severe clinical & chronic depression & Is suffering so severely that he no longer has any capacity to experiences joy, how can he be expected to perform even ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Is one who maintains an agnostic belief called a min (heretic) [duplicate]

Agnosticism, based on various definitions that I have seen, is defined as one who is beliefs that G-d or supernatural powers cannot be proved or disproved. Other definitions I have seen explain it ...
12
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2answers
579 views

Deviations of Ralbag from normative Jewish theology

In an article about the Rashba's views on science, Rabbi Dr. David Horwitz throws in the following sentence (p. 53): No less than a radical thinker than R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag), who had no ...
2
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2answers
229 views

Yesh Me'Ayin - A transformation from a state of ‘nothing’ to ‘something’

Recently I came across this teaching from Chassidic or Kabalistic works which apparently has something to do with our 'task' in this world: Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks; Translated from the ...
3
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3answers
154 views

Jewish equivalent of Occam's razor

Is the principle of Occam's razor (that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected) discussed or used in any Jewish sources (ideally chazal or rishonim)? Is it ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Virtual Avodah Zara [duplicate]

My nephew showed me a new video game of his, Zelda: Breadth of the Wild. It's a massive action adventure game. The relevance of this game to MY is as follows. Part of the game involves collecting ...
2
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2answers
142 views

Consistent philosophy in the Shulchan Aruch

If the Shulchan Aruch primarily rules based on a majority based on the Rif, Rambam and the Rosh, who each (I'm assuming) are usually philosophically internally consistent, then wouldn't the Shulchan ...
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0answers
27 views

Why does the letter Hei stands for Shechinah

Why is it the letter ה which represents or is connected with the Shechinah? What is the explanation behind this idea?
2
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1answer
133 views

Is perpetual virginity or remaining unmarried superior to marriage? [duplicate]

In Judaism, is perpetual virginity or remaining unmarried a higher state of life than marriage?
2
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2answers
113 views

What are some fundamental chasidic works of philosophy / theology?

Which books are fundamental in terms of presenting the philosophy / theology of mainstream chasidut? I know Chabad has Tanya, and Breslov has Likkutei Moharan. Which sefarim are philosophically ...
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0answers
30 views

Teshuvah: How to return or going back to one's true nature?

In the 5th bracha of the Amidah, we request from HaShem "our father" (אבינו), to return us (השיבנו) we mention three kinds of Teshuvah – 1. returning to HaShem, 2.returning to the Torah, and 3. ...
4
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3answers
183 views

Does G-d control all things all the time?

I want to share some thoughts: I believe HaShem can do whatever he wants to, and He can do it whenever He wants to. The entire existence is a creation of G-ds consciousness; everything that can be ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

Why does G-d reward reshaim in this world to punish them in the next, if He is good?

The question of "Why do some reshaim people live a good life, while some good people suffer" is often answered that G-d rewards the rasha in this world, in order to punish him in the world to come for ...
5
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1answer
137 views

According to the Tanya, is one never permitted to be sad at all?

In Iggeret Hakodesh chapter 11, the Baal Hatanya says : In truth, however, “No evil descends from above,” and everything is good, though it is not apprehended [as such] because of its immense and ...
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6answers
6k views

Why would a Jewish woman marry through a religious ceremony, knowing she risks becoming an agunah for life?

Why would a Jewish woman marry through a religious ceremony, knowing she risks becoming an agunah for life? Her husband can go insane and remain alive for life. He can run away, dump her, etc.., ...
5
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2answers
190 views

Why is the heart labeled the seat of emotion?

Throughout Tanach, the heart is used as the seat of emotion. For instance: The heart understands (Melachim Aleph 3:9) Thought comes from the heart (this seems to be the straightforward understanding ...
3
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0answers
55 views

Divine Providence for individuals and purpose of Creation

This question is about Jewish philosophers. I ask myself if there is not a logical link between two issues and it is, if authors address it Is there a link between the theory that the world was ...
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1answer
65 views

What does the Rambam say in regards to a sin having to happen?

I have seen it claimed that the Rambam in Shemona Perakim chapter 8 says that if the Torah specifies a punishment, someone must commit the sin, it is just unknown who exactly will earn the punishment (...
0
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1answer
160 views

Possibility of Positive Payoff to the Passed

Is it possible to perform a prayer or act such as a mitsvah which will lead to any effect, particularly a reward, to the deceased? Many popular practices, such as the recitation of kaddish (Rema YD ...
1
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1answer
119 views

Why can't I just do Judaism in my own way? [closed]

With society changing and its people changing with it, why is Judaism not adapting accordingly? Why can't I pick from the different Jewish cultures available which I connect? For example Persian, ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

The truth does not depend on popular opinion?

I have heard multiple Rabbis say, mostly in the name of HaRaMBa"M, that the truth is not dependent on the number of adherents to a particular opinion. I apologize for lack of accuracy. What is the ...
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0answers
70 views

What creates more dveikus, tefillah or learning?

I have heard that learning Torah is what makes a person "closer" to God, so to speak. I have also heard that Tefillah does this. I am using the word dveikus very loosely as I am sure there are very ...