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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Is showing excessive honor to Gedolim idolatry?

At what point is the kavod shown toward the Gedolim considered idolatry? Terms like 'Gadolatry' are sometimes used as if to indicate that too much respect is being shown for certain rabbis to the ...
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113 views

What class of entity are Wisdom and Death?

Most Jews and Christians will only recognize the angels as being the only other spirits made by G0d, but angels are not omnipresent nor omnipotent and it seems to me that the Spirit of Wisdom in ...
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From where/Why do you get more reward for doing a obligated mitzvah than a non obligated mitzvah?

Ive heard (not sure where)that you get more reward for doing a obligated mitzvah than a non obligated mitzvah. Where is this brought down, and whats the reason for this?
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Do imprecise prayers work?

For example, if I were to pray that the businessman in front of me win the lottery, but technically he's not a businessman, he's just a person wearing a suit. Would this prayer not work?
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Does G-d want intermarried couples to divorce?

Does G-d want intermarried couples to divorce? I don't want to provide too much explanation, but rather leave it open-ended. I will ask those who post answers to consider a broad range of cases, ...
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51 views

Why are we afraid of death and don't rush to the World to Come?

I agree the question seems stupid, but hear out my logic: We all are promised to get a share in the world to come (WTC), and acc. to Rabbinical interpretation, even Kareth can't take that away. In ...
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307 views

Is Science/Scientism a form of Idolatry?

In the scientific community (and much of the secular world) there are many who adopt an outlook whereby one need not believe anything which cannot be demonstrated using the scientific method. i.e. it ...
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732 views

Ruach haKodesh and Shekinah?

What is the difference between Ruach haKodesh and Shekinah? Is there a difference between the two concepts or are they exactly the same?
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Is treating others decently more important than keeping Shabbos?

Two questions: According to Jewish philosophy which is more important in Judaism, keeping Shabbos, or treating others decently? According to Jewish practical law, which is more important?
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106 views

How could the Jews have been sure the Golden Calf wasn't actually G-d?

This probably sounds like a ridiculous question, but in all seriousness, many Jews lost their lives in the aftermath of the worship of the Golden Calf (Shemos 32:27-28). While I understand only 40 ...
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201 views

Refuting claims that everything before Shmuel was made up? [duplicate]

There is a recent movement amongst Bible Scholars suggesting, almost as undeniable fact, that everything we have from Tanach pre-Shmuel times was made up, and not recorded as it was actually happening....
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106 views

many traditions are deep rooted, and thusly fought over (why?) …but don't we have bigger fish to fry? [closed]

why are so many of these traditions, if not really based in halacha, or real traditions (eg halacha/kabbalah) considered so important? like who really cares how we cut our fingernails and in what ...
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What was G-d's plan in having 20 generations before Abraham appears?

I'm trying to understand G-d's plan for creating wicked and sinful humans, waiting for 1600 years/10 generations for them to sin, wiping them out completely, then waiting for another 400 years for the ...
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77 views

How G-d can be cursing His sons (and spouse)?

To continue "what-is-the-meaning-of-curses, Traditionally we compare our relations with Hashem to three types/levels: servants, sons (אם כבנים ואם כעבדים), and spouse (שה"ש). While I can imagine ...
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106 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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91 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 ...
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224 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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130 views

Poems on Atticism by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal) [closed]

Can anyone find poems on Atticism for me by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal)?
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102 views

What does it mean Halachicly: “Hamechaber omitted those Halochos”?

There are numerous Halochos that appear in Rambam and even HaTur, and do apply nowadays, but HaMechaber omitted it completely from Shu"A, like Hilchot Teshuva, Hilchot שמירת הנפש, Hilchot Deot and ...
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112 views

Does the Neshama (soul) choose the body?

I think i might have read in various places i just can't find where that the neshama chooses the body based on the life missions that it needs to accomplish so it chooses the most suitable conditions ...
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77 views

Source for Teshuva, Repentance

Where is the source for God reaching under His throne to give us the wonderful gift of teshuva, repentance?
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3answers
166 views

Moral principles of a non-talmid chochom

Despite my widespread renown on Mi Yodeya, I am actually not a talmid chochom: I can only read Gemara in English. Sometimes a yeshiva person or even rabbi will hold a philosophy or action to be ...
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157 views

Reb Yoel's opinion on Torah of Baal Shem Tov

In the answer here, an opinion that 'the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov is forgotten' is attributed to Reb Yoel of Satmar. Is there an actual source for these words being said by him? Is there any ...
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134 views

Do animals have a connection with God?

According to Jewish sources, do animals have a connection with God? by connection I mean some kind of awareness of His existence or perhaps some sort of communion.
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Why should a hedonistic teenager care about Judaism? [duplicate]

I recently had a conversation with a self-centered hedonistic American teenager who was not interested in hearing proofs that the Torah is the word of God and said he could serve God any way he wanted....
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Tamim tihye and predicting the future

On the pasuk "Tamim tihye im Hashem Elokecha" (Devarim 18:13), Rashi says : Conduct yourself with Him with simplicity and depend on Him, and do not inquire of the future; rather, accept whatever ...
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133 views

Age of Universe [duplicate]

What is the most plausible way to reconcile the traditional dating of the universe (now 5779) with science's understanding that the universe is billions of years old?
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190 views

B'ezras Hashem - make sense?

Does the phrase b'ezras Hashem make sense philosophically and if so, what does it mean? B'ezras Hashem implies to me that a person can do things himself, but Hashem helps. In what sense is it true ...
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69 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 ...
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103 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 ...
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73 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 ...
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283 views

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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168 views

How do we know that non-commandments in the Torah still apply today?

It has been stated elsewhere on here that the laws of the Torah are eternally binding on all Jews (e.g no chametz on Passover, shake the 4 species etc.), is there anywhere that discusses whether other ...
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35 views

Are animals commanded (Bereishit 1:22)?

In two places in parshat Bereishit Gd commands "be fruitful and multiply". The second place is the familiar commandment directed to humans (Gen 1:28). In the first place, the same words are used but ...
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348 views

Rationalism in Judaism [closed]

what exactly is the difference between the rationalist approach and the non-rationalist approach in Judaism. Have heard the Rambam as belonging to the rationalist side. I assume both believe in ...
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1answer
88 views

Are we destined to be evil?

It seems like from the very first chapters of the Torah, mankind is destined to be evil and transgress the law of God: The very first couple make the only sin they can. The second child the world has ...
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1answer
55 views

Fulfilling Someone Else's Mission

Rav Ari Bensoussan quotes the Alter of Navardok who says that when someone doesn't utilize their talents to accomplish a particular mission Hashem designed for them, then anyone can take the ...
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61 views

Forefathers and consumerism - why they had more that they can eat?

Yaakov said (Gen 33.11): ... כִּי־חַנַּנִי אֱלֹהִים וְכִי יֶשׁ־לִי־כֹל ...׃ ... for God has favored me and I have everything... Rashi: יש לי כל: כָּל סִפּוּקִי; וְעֵשָׂו דִּבֵּר בִּלְשׁוֹן ...
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1answer
106 views

Why does נהמא דכיסופא make sense at all between lovers? [duplicate]

This preliminary question asks about what N"D is. The נהמא דכיסופא is a possible explanation for why should we suffer in this world to receive the reward in the afterworld. I tried to verify that: ...
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118 views

Did Rambam explain why and how he got so influenced by Aristotle?

It is widely known that Rambam was greatly influenced by Aristotle, and his Guide and Hilchot Yesodey Hatorah practically repeat Aristotle's view and adopt them into Judaism (see also WIKI): Moses ...
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126 views

Judging whether a rabbi resembles an angel

THe previous question "How should a rabbi resemble an angel" asked for the qualities a Rabbi should possess in order to be worthy of learning Torah from him. The Gemmarah prescribes that a rabbi must ...
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43 views

Whose spirit and whose lips are referred to in Psalms 106:33?

32וַיַּקְצִיפוּ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה וַיֵּרַע לְמֹשֶׁה בַּעֲבוּרָם ׃ 33: כִּי־הִמְרוּ אֶת־רוּחוֹ וַיְבַטֵּא בִּשְׂפָתָיו׃ 32: They provoked wrath at the waters of Meribah and Moses suffered on ...
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94 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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1answer
37 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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1answer
81 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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1answer
70 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 (...
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1answer
165 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 ...
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1answer
54 views

Economics of Yeshivas

In economics we have used producer theory to analyse businesses which assumes the goal of a firm is profit maximisation. Economic literature has always referred to the goal of a education is to train ...
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1answer
176 views

Are non-Jews held accountable for their deeds?

According to the "Path of the Just" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato ch.3 For one who is still held captive in the prison of his evil inclination - his eyes do not see this truth, and he is incapable ...
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549 views

What does Hashem Echad mean?

What does it mean that Hashem is One and that there is nothing in the world except for Him? What does the Ba'al Ha'Tanya mean (chapter 20) that Hashem Echad means that He is alone in the world and ...