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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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 ...
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Is there any halachik basis for using “the big two” (shabbat and kosher) as a criteria for frumkeit?

This obviously relates to me personally, but let me give a simpler example. Let's take Yid A and Yid B. A is kind and compassionate, grew up orthodox, drifted on to his own derech, now drives on ...
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157 views

Origin of אין משיבין על ההגדה

What is the original source for the phrase: "אין משיבין על ההגדה" (or: "אין משיבין באגדה", "אין משיבין על דברי אגדה" etc. - which I believe is generally used to mean that it is inappropriate to derive ...
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'Remarrying' Hashem After Divorce

Based on Hashem "divorcing" Klal Yisrael after we turned to avoda zarah recounted in Yirmiyahu (3:8) וָאֵ֗רֶא כִּ֤י עַל־כָּל־אֹדוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר נִֽאֲפָה֙ מְשֻׁבָ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל שִׁלַּחְתִּ֕יהָ ...
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1answer
147 views

What is the Halachic protocol for assessing an alleged Apikores?

Today, people cavalierly throw around accusations of Apikorsut to identify practically anyone who doesn't think the identical way as them. Throughout Jewish history, claims of Apikorsut have been ...
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1answer
30 views

Is there a known distinction in Torah which refers to saying a Bracha over an act vs saying a Bracha of the results of an act?

Philosophical question regarding the nature of Brachat in Judaism. The Torah is very clear that you shouldn't say Brachat in thanks for certain acts. The acts being those which fall outside of what ...
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220 views

What was the attitude of Chazal towards abstinence (asceticism, stoicism)?

Do Chazal have a positive or a negative attitude towards the person who abstains from worldly pleasures (pleasures that weren't prohibited by the Torah)?
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1answer
104 views

Whose life comes first? Apparently contradictory Rabbinical statements

There seem to be two contradictory statements of the Rabbis. One is: Sanhedrin 74a מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דההוא גברא סומק טפי who knows whether your blood is redder than his ...
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Yom Yerushalayim and the seven weeks of sefira

Commentators in many places have discussed the spiritual ascent that is associated with the seven weeks of sefira, from the time an offering of barley (representing animal feed) is brought, right ...
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129 views

What's the deal with moral relativism?

I have heard and read from kiruv books, outreach speakers, pamphlets etc. that Orthodox Judaism doesn't like "Moral Relativism" (the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect ...
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1answer
931 views

Is the study of biblical criticism considered heresy according to Jewish law? [duplicate]

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Teshuva 3:8) that one who says Torah is not from God, or even that one verse in the Torah, if Moses said it, he said on his own - is considered a heretic. Does this apply to ...
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368 views

What is the spiritual root of the the desire for “news” [closed]

There are many people that have desire (ta'ava) for news - whether it's world, local, tech, social (facebook, twitter), etc. I'm trying to understand where that comes from. Note: It's not ...
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Why does the good inclination come in 13 years late?

To paraphrase Avos D'Rebbi Nassan 16:2: The evil inclination grows when a person is born, while the good inclination enters at Bar/Bas Mitzvah. As a minor, if he desecrates Shabbos, his inclination ...
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1answer
42 views

Why does 14 connect positive and negative commandments?

Seeing that there are 248 mitzvos aseh positive and 365 mitzvos lo taaseh negative, I heard someone note both add together to give 14: 3-6-5:14 and 2-4-8: 14. Is there a connection between that number ...
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Do Jewish scholars and/or Rabbis consider myths to be a violation of the second commandment?

Scripture consistently instructs against idols. It is the second of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or ...
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218 views

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? [duplicate]

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? This is not about some temporary state of judgement like is referred to on Rosh HaShanah 17a by the expression לדורי דורות, but a permanent ...
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1answer
64 views

In Spirit or in letter of the law [closed]

Are Jews or Judaism progressive people / religion? Are the laws of the Torah eternal? If they are then ---- I would like to cite a few examples --- Observing Shabbath ---- It is written in Exodus ...
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125 views

When Jews started to believe in reincarnation? [duplicate]

I found that (at least some of) modern Judaism partisans believe in reincarnation. I want to know what is the first Judaism book explicitly and unambiguously showing belief in reincarnation and when ...
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What does it mean that God “remembers” something?

In verses such as Noach 8:1 ("And God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a spirit to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided"), ...
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1answer
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Why are there two worlds separate from one another

HaShem created an Olam HaZeh/Yemos HaMashiach/Le'asid Lavo world, and He also created an Olam Haba/Gan Eden world. Why is it necessary to have two worlds that do not interact with each other? What ...
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How to interpret ומשביע לכל חי רצון [duplicate]

The possuk said multiple times a day in ashrei (psalms 145:16) says פותח את ידיך ומשביע לכל חי רצון Every so often, I see people who are utterly destitute come and ask for money in local shuls. I ...
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136 views

What is 'Maaseh Satan'?

I have often been told that the approach of Satmar to the establishment of the state of Israel is that it is Maaseh Satan, some sort of act of the Satan to trick the entire Jewish nation into sinning. ...
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141 views

How come Bais Hillel is usually lenient and Bais Shammai usually stringent?

It seems like the Bais Hillel had a tendency to be lenient in Halachic matters vs the Bais Shammai, it was a sort of a presumption to them in which they were almost always successful to back up with ...
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3answers
167 views

Why does HaShem desire the tefillos of the righteous?

א"ר יצחק מפני מה היו אבותינו עקורים מפני שהקב"ה מתאוה לתפלתן של צדיקים Says R' Yitzchak: Why were our forefathers sterile? Because HaShem desires the prayers of the righteous. From Yevamos ...
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3answers
466 views

What is the point of davening, when Hashem will give us what is best for us?

In this related question, it is discussed why we daven in the first place. The question still remains: I could very well ask for what I want, even if it's detrimental to me. For that matter, I could ...
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2answers
58 views

Difference between השקפה and מחשבה

What is the difference between study of מחשבה and השקפה? They both seem to mean perspective on the world...
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1answer
139 views

What exactly is the judgement of Rosh Hashanah?

In the Rosh Hashanah Musaf, it is implied that all human beings and countries are judged on this day whether they will have peace or war, life or death, and in the Unesaneh Tokef prayer, this is ...
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What is the reason we say שפך חמתך, pour out your wrath?

In the Passover Hagadah after Birchat Hamazon and before completing Hallel we say the following: שְׁפֹךְ חֲמָתְךָ אֶל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדָעוּךָ וְעַל-מַמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ לֹא קָרָאוּ....
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172 views

Can Morality Exist Without Divine Basis?

A common theistic claim is that atheism has no basis for morality, and that a basic morality must be determined by God for it to exist. There are instances in secular fields such as Biological ...
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1answer
125 views

A good maggid shiur who goes through an entire sefer of hashkafa

I have gone through the Mesilas Yesharim superficially once, I am now learning Likutei Amarim (Tanya) and The Kuzari. I have listened to shiurim on Chovos Halevavos, and Alei Shur. I have dipped my ...
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What does it mean to be a chosen nation?

Regarding "choice" "bechira" when there is a choice of a superior option versus a less superior option this is not as much of a choice between two similar options. That being the case being chosen ...
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Health blessing

where does it say in Gemara (I remember it was in the gemara) that the main blessing we get from HaShem is health, because w/o it we can't enjoy the other blessings?
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Morality before Sinai

If Torah is the source of morality, defining what is right and wrong, then Pre-Matan Torah, pre-Sinai, what form of moral objectivity existed?
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406 views

Sending letters to the deceased

Some Chassidim have the custom to leave letters at the graves of deceased Rebbes. Is it mutar to send a letter to any deceased Rebbe (specifically the Lubavitcher Rebbe), or is this similar to Avodah ...
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306 views

Does Judaism kill the infidels?

I apologize in advance if this comes across as provocative. That is not at all my intention; I ask simply to learn. "Kill the infidels" is a phrase often used to describe Islam's stance on ...
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Is it greater to refrain from doing an aveirah than to perform a mitzvah?

Given the opportunity to do a mitzvah or to refrain from doing an aveirah - which would place you in a better situation on the scale of heaven with regards to a person's level of righteousness?
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3answers
459 views

What is the Luz Bone?

What is the Luz bone? What is the source of this concept? I saw it referred to in the Mishneh Berurah - 300:2 Wikipedia quotes from Medrash Rabah 28:3. I know the basic description given. If it ...
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1answer
216 views

What was HaRaMBa“M's position on ”yissurim shel ahavah"?

In the Talmud Bavli (Berakhot 5A-B), HaZa"L discuss yissurim shel ahavah (i.e. afflictions of love). In his translation of R' Bahya's "Hovot HaLevavot" (introduction to Sha`ar HaBitahon), R' Yoseph ...
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6k views

Does Judaism consider women inferior?

According to Orthodox Judaism, women may not be rabbis, be counted as part of a minyan, leyn from the Torah, or study the Talmud. It even says that to teach a woman Torah is to teach her obscenity!(...
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A name adding to our development into who we are/become?

In Bereshit 2:19 Adam gets the honorable task to name the animals. The Midrash Genesis/Bereshit Raba 17:4 tells us that the first man, Adam, looked into the essence and nature of every creature and ...
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87 views

no shiva after finding out after sheloshim?

I interpret the shiva as also being a time for the mourner to psychologically process the loss of the deceased. If a mourner only learns about the deceased's passing more than 30 days after the death,...
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77 views

The Great War in Contemporary Acharonic Thought

I've recently acquired a book (rather a large pamphlet) about the Great War (1914-18) entitled "The War and the Bible" by HG. Enelow (then head of the Reform Temple Emanu-el in NYC). However, this ...
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1answer
105 views

Is Moshiach going to be a person or an era?

Does Judiasm require one to believe that there will be an actual person who will be the Messiah or is belief in a Messianic period (brought about by God) enough for one to believe in?
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247 views

Judaism and Natural Law

According to Wikipedia, "Natural law (Latin: ius naturale, lex naturalis) is a philosophy that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature and can be understood universally through human ...
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80 views

God is just, but is this world just in itself or when combined with the world to come?

To expand, God is just and thus everything that happens is just. But does justice fully manifest itself in this world or a combination of this world and the world to come? For example if a 3 month ...
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97 views

Mah hu af atah parameters

The Gemara (Shabbos 133b) brings down the mitzvah of emulating Hashem (derived from Shemos 15:2). Just as He is merciful, so should you be, for instance (mah hu rachum af atah rachum). Sotah 14a ...
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122 views

Why did Hashem create only one planet (Earth) in the whole entire universe that can support intelligent life

Is there any rabbinic literature explaining why Hashem created only one planet (Earth) in the whole entire universe that can support intelligent life?
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204 views

Responsa concerning attending University or College

Are there any responsa from 20th/21st century Rabbis which discuss attending University or College? If so, which? I've heard there is a R' Elchonon on this topic speaking about whether one is allowed ...
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88 views

In Judaism is there an idea that women are more grounded

Does Judaism see Jewish woman as more down to earth, regarding money (their support) more in a more physical way then men (the supporters), clearing about their support more then religious questions? ...
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2answers
358 views

Vilna Gaon's Criticism of the Rambam

As mentioned in this answer, the Vilna Gaon once criticised the Rambam for having been led astray by his own philosophy. I have seen this statement referenced also in this article on Seforim Blog and ...