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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231 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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221 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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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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89 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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112 views

What do our sources say about the principle of plenitude?

In the book Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton discusses the principle of plenitude, where he claims that all possible viable life forms on a planet like earth appear to have been actualized (as a sort ...
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39 views

Is believing in G-d guided evolution a valid belief in Orthodox Judaism? [duplicate]

Like the title dictates. Does the theory of evolution hold legitamacy in light of Maaseh Bereishis? That being said, are there ramifications of having that understanding towards one's Avodas HaShem? ...
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47 views

Seeking uplifting vort for Thanksgiving day table

I am looking for suggestions for one or more short discussion topics or teachings for the Thanksgiving day table, with kids from 10 years of age and up. Topics alone are fine, but topics fleshed out ...
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38 views

What is the meaning of life according to Judaism? [duplicate]

I've heard different things, like improving your middot, etc. Is there an agreed upon meaning to life in Judaism?
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164 views

Difference between judgement and discernment in Torah thought

Pirkei Avos (2:5) tells us 'Don't judge your friend until you are in his situation'. I was wondering about the term 'judge' Merriam-Webster online defines:- 'judgement' as 'the process of forming ...
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55 views

Killing with hate?

At the end of parashat Emor it is written: וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיּוֹצִיאוּ אֶת-הַמְקַלֵּל אֶל-מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה, וַיִּרְגְּמוּ אֹתוֹ אָבֶן; וּבְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשׂוּ, ...
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How is it possible to have machlokot in very basic issues of the halacha [duplicate]

The orthodox world view assumes that the whole torah came from the mountain of sinai and is transferred from generation to generation. When there is a machloket this is because either: The ...
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Why do we believe that God is all powerful? [duplicate]

The only way we could know that God is all powerful is if we knew that He created the universe — then, logically, He would be all-powerful within it. (And, to the best of our knowledge, nothing exists ...
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80 views

Does the mitzvah of Tzedakah require poverty and inequality in society?

If we accept that giving to the poor and an emphasis on Tzedakah are Mitzvot that are repeatedly noted within Tanakh - for example some Midrashic commentary suggests that the sin of Sodom was actually ...
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122 views

What is the Jewish view of “work”?

What is the mainline Jewish view of "work"? (1) Work is an just an option for those who have enough money to live on. The Torah may say "Six days shall you labor and do all your work", but none of ...
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148 views

Explanation of Alter Rebbe's proof of G-d?

I heard recently from a Rabbi's speech (a.k.a., I don't know the actual source) that when the Alter Rebbe was in prison in Russia one of the Russians there asked him to prove the existence of G-d. So ...
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82 views

infallible reasoning for believing in a god that created and runs the world [duplicate]

In the Torah it is written that we should serve God, love him, have trust in him, believe that he runs the show and in return we are promised a share in the world to come - a world of eternal bliss. ...
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1answer
109 views

Not inquiring into heresy?

Is there some sort of injunction against inquiring into heresy? I am pretty sure there is an issur d'oraissa to inquire into Avodah Zarah? Thank you (By "inquire" I mean to investigate their beliefs ...
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114 views

Seeing signs from God

What is Judaism's view on signs from God? Let's say, for instance, that I am planning to take a bus somewhere, but the bus came a minute or two early and I missed it. Can one take that as being a sign ...
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307 views

How do those who adovcate chumrah understand this Gemorah (Gitin 55-56)

Because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, Jerusalem was destroyed. It happened this way: A certain man had a friend named Kamtza and an enemy called Bar Kamtza. He once made a party and said to his ...
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226 views

What are some of the more 'controversial' statements that are found in Moreh Nevuchim (Rambam)? [closed]

and is it clear that he wrote it. I'm simply curious.
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92 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 ...
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3answers
245 views

Is getting a blessing from a rabbi considered heresy?

The situation a person is in, is the best situation God wants you to be in. By going to a rabbi to get a blessing to change your situation, you might be neglecting this fact. With that being the ...
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3answers
548 views

Does Judaism have a double standard? [closed]

I have asked two questions on Mi Yodeya regarding discrepancies between claims found in Torah and what we think we know about the world. One is a small one: Rivers in Genesis And one is a huge one: ...
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1answer
75 views

Moshiach or gan eden [duplicate]

What is the purpose of everything, our Torah and mitzvos. Is it to go to gan Eden in olam haba or is it to bring moshiach? Whenever I ask people usually I get either answer. Can someone clarify like ...
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1answer
191 views

why was technology withheld for so long from man

Why did God withhold the discovery of modern technology from man until recently? what is the reason for this and why does this reason not apply in our era? (according to the shaar bitachon ch.3 God ...
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1answer
109 views

Commandments on emotions [duplicate]

I can understand if the Torah commands one to wear tefilin or put on a mezuza. But to command a person not to hate anyone, not to covet anything of anyone, not to bear a grudge, love your fellow as ...
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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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2answers
108 views

Hashem testing a person

The Chofetz Chaim al Torah says, Chazal teach in bereishis rabbah, "Hashem does not elevate a person to greatness until He first tests him." Where in bereishis rabbah do chazal say this?
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58 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. ...
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1answer
66 views

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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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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153 views

What is the meaning of “ we are the children of God ”? [closed]

Shalom , What is the meaning when the jew say that and according to this can we say that Moses is the son of God as he is the biggest teacher " while not meaning what the Christians said " ? I hope I ...
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2answers
82 views

How are there arguments over how God works?

How can there be arguments over basic, major points in Jewish machshavah? How do we not all agree (and by "all", I mean all major primary sources) over how God works? How did this not come through in ...
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1answer
93 views

Why is laughter unique to humans?

Read in a book by Rabbi Moshe Shapiro zt'l (Shiurei Rabeinu sec.Purim) that only two truly laugh, human beings and G-d (Tehilim 2:4). If this is true, why is laughter unique to human beings of all ...
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1answer
72 views

Does the Torah want you to be social?

In Pirkei Avot 1:15 it says: And receive every man with a pleasant countenance. What exactly is meant by this advice and how far does it extend? Should you be going out of your way to socialize? ...
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1answer
94 views

Jewish Souls and Gentile Souls [duplicate]

Were Adam and Eve and Noah Jewish? Are we to consider them Gentiles? If they are Gentiles, are we to consider their souls different from Jewish souls?
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190 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 (...
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2answers
114 views

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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55 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 ...
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1answer
65 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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2answers
94 views

What is free will and do we have it?

I guess to do evil and good there must be somekinda free will.If someone kills another without understanding it,one can´t say He /She did no evil,but you can say they are without fault. So I would ...
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42 views

How the crown of a good name (כתר שם טוב) was Halachicly left out?

רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, שְׁלשָׁה כְתָרִים הֵם, כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה וְכֶתֶר כְּהֻנָּה וְכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת, :וְכֶתֶר שֵׁם טוֹב עוֹלֶה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן Rabbi Shimon said: There are three crowns: the ...
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2answers
145 views

Views on 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 homogeneous shattered into pieces so different in sizes - from photons to ...
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1answer
131 views

Limits of Free Thinking [closed]

Is one allowed to trust his own views regarding reality if they conflict with the view of chazal? Where does one draw the line on this? I am not asking on things which are 100% proven such as that ...
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1answer
185 views

Belittling of the Holocaust? [closed]

Hitler killed six million Jews. Rabbi Meir Kahane, HaShem Yikom Damo, famously said NEVER AGAIN. What is the Torah attitude towards espouse misguided viewpoints such as the one recently portrayed by ...
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1answer
82 views

Children saying Divrei torah at the Pesach seider [duplicate]

Are there any Gedolim who oppose the concept of children saying Divrei torah to their parents at the Pesach Seider?
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2answers
91 views

Testing Hashem (for Monetary Gain)

If I remember right, The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler describes how a son tests his father's ability to sense if a glass has been toveled in a mikveh. The father passed the test consistently. ...
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44 views

Why Moses didn't send spies to the wilderness as preparation for Exodus?

This might seem a silly question, but at second sight, why not? Following the necessity of preparing the way, researching the resources, finding a better way, learning the enemies, drawing maps, etc. ...
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1answer
119 views

Why human procreation is not voluntary?

Physiologically, the process of procreation is all "out of our control", whether on the side of men or women. For example, women don't have a choice of deciding whether to get pregnant or not (think ...
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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 ...