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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3answers
175 views

Holy Artificial intelligence?

If Ai became a reality and self-aware, able-bodied robots akin to humans were commonplace, would it be pious to convert the AI's to Judaism? Essentially, if a non-human wants to become Jewish, can we ...
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Annus al pi haDibbur

In the Haggadah, we read that Ya'akov Avinu descended to Mitzrayim 'compelled by Divine decree.' Most understand this to mean that Ya'akov understood that his reunion with Yosef would begin the ...
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How can we be sure that Judaism is true/the truth?

I borrowed (with permission) a question from Ahmed Han, which is: People of every religion claim that they are the ones in the right path. Even the people of sects in these religions think that ...
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8answers
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If Hashem doesn't change, how does prayer work?

If Hashem is perfect and unchanging, how can we pray to Him to have mercy on us? Doesn't that imply a change? I've heard it implied that the way this works is that the prayer itself has the effect ...
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3answers
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Where do we find that the Torah is compared to a sea (yam)?

Just need this for something I’m writing.
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2answers
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What defines a human in Judaism?

As a follow up to "creation-of-super-humans", The Gene-modification technologies promise interesting developments in human evolution/changes, both physical and intellectual. On the physical side - ...
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Is mathematical truthfulness applied in Halachah an Oral tradition?

Many Biblical Halochos are built on some basic math techniques - addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, etc. This is predicated on our common sense, we speculate that mathematical logic ...
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4answers
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Why was the purpose of the creation of Man was so dull?

On the 6th day of the Creation, G-d consults angels (see my other question) and presents them with what looks like His vision of Man's goal on Earth: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ ...
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2answers
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What was G-d's problem with building the Babel Tower? [duplicate]

In the story of the Babel Tower (Gen 11) people are trying to build a tower to the skies. I assume they followed the assumption that the firmament is real (firm) and it divides between the Heavens and ...
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2answers
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10 types of angels

In Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah 2:7 Rambam says: שִׁנּוּי שְׁמוֹת הַמַּלְאָכִים עַל שֵׁם מַעֲלָתָם הוּא. וּלְפִיכָךְ נִקְרָאִים חַיּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהֵם לְמַעְלָה מִן הַכּל וְאוֹפַנִּים וְאֶרְאֶלִּים ...
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Tikkun for Timtum HaLev

Is there teshuva/tikkun for timtum halev (specifically for forbidden foods)? Please cite sources.
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Considerations for electing the Nassi - theoretical vs practical?

In theory Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin 1.3 teaches us: הַגָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן מוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ רֹאשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן וְהוּא רֹאשׁ הַיְשִׁיבָה וְהוּא שֶׁקּוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ הַחֲכָמִים נָשִׂיא בְּכָל ...
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9answers
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All the many, many details

I understand a number of reasons why the Jewish community keeps so many rules to the level of minutiae. But why SUCH a level of intricacy in some of these laws? I looked through a large book on the ...
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1answer
136 views

Must Noachides accept the story of Noach?

I know of a certain person who attempted an Orthodox conversion some time ago, but had to stop in the middle for various reasons, including, but not limited to, opposing hashkafic views. This person ...
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1answer
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Why no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
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Why do we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt?

In many prayers and weekly Torah readings, we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt. But, since G-d was the one that put us there, why are we thanking Him for taking us out? I can even make this ...
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1answer
118 views

Does a soul develop over a lifetime?

@AvrohomYitzchok asked me this question to support the assertions for another question: "Why don't newborns speak? Why do we need to learn a language?" In my understanding, in Judaism, a ...
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Why don't newborns speak? Why do we need to learn a language?

In our dualistic approach, the soul is one that possesses the knowledge of a/the language (not clear to me if all souls speak Hebrew or just 70, like the angels or just any language) AFAIC, the soul ...
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3answers
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Is Hashem 'involved' in everything that happens?

The view in current Haredi thought seems to be that Hashem actively runs the world down to the most minute occurrences. I have seen discussions allude to the fact that there are many Rishonim who did ...
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1answer
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Do the Jews believe in the divine decree? [duplicate]

Many religions such as Islam, sikhism, etc... believe in the divine decree i.e. everything we: do, say, think, feel and everything that happens around us like the weather, earth quakes, etc... is ...
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Does the plain text of the Torah support the view that “It would have been preferable had man not been created”?

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וּמֶחֱצָה נֶחְלְקוּ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. הַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא נִבְרָא יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁנִּבְרָא, וְהַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם ...
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6answers
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Is diversity a Jewish value?

We hear a lot about the value of diversity these days, especially in academic settings. What about in hashkafa? Does "shivim panim l'Torah" teach that diversity is to be valued, and to what degree? ...
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8answers
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Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
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9answers
997 views

Why is there so much space and matter,etc. in the universe?

If the point of all of creation is for the Jewish people to accept and carry out the torah [I realize this is not axiomatic and may be a point of contention - see Shabbat 88a] what is the need for the ...
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Relevance of the cosmos [duplicate]

I'll have to look up the source, but I've heard R' Nasan Maimon quote a story of the Baal Shem Tov following a leaf blowing down the road and describing to one of his chassidim what the precise ...
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What is the difference between a kofer and apicorsis

I always hear the terms "apicorsis" and "kofer״, along with "kefirah" and amaratzit. What is the definition of each?
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Sefer of Jewish Philosophy

Is there any sefer which goes through the various philosophical issues according, and explains the opinion of the Jewish philosophers? (Example what is space; according to the Rambam, Rasag... What is ...
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5answers
385 views

The disappearance of וסת קבוע and הרגשות

At some point in history, Jewish women used to have very regularly scheduled Monthly cycles, and used to have some sensation that accompanied the onset of menstruation. Both of these play important ...
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1answer
53 views

Judging Others Favorable or Otherwise

In Pirkei Avos we are told not to judge another unless we are standing his place. Is this a command never to judge another negatively no matter his actions? or is there a qualification that it only ...
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2answers
150 views

Relationship between Amalek and Gog/Magog?

Both are mentioned as adversaries of the Jewish people, and are mentioned in various sources, but always separately. Amalek is first mentioned in Shemot Ch 17 and several times in Neviim, while Gog ...
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4answers
661 views

Difference between Jewish and Zionist?

I was in Israel last summer (Rehovot) visiting a close friend and his wife. In one of our very long conversations with them she said, "I would say I am not Jewish, but I am a Zionist". (...
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Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz source of quote

Woe to a man who is unaware of his faults, he is not attentive to what needs repair. But double woe to he who is unaware of his virtues, he is unskilled in the tools of the trade!” Where is this ...
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53 views

Jewish theodicy on natural evil [duplicate]

Serious question. I understand the free will explanation for why God allows people to do evil things. But why does God allow what is classically called "natural evil"? For example, why does ...
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1answer
243 views

Why is an oppressor's wife/children punished?

In parashas Mishpatim (Shemot 22:21-23) the pesukim read כָּל־אַלְמָנָ֥ה וְיָת֖וֹם לֹ֥א תְעַנּֽוּן׃ אִם־עַנֵּ֥ה תְעַנֶּ֖ה אֹת֑וֹ כִּ֣י אִם־צָעֹ֤ק יִצְעַק֙ אֵלַ֔י שָׁמֹ֥עַ אֶשְׁמַ֖ע צַֽעֲקָתֽוֹ׃ ...
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Why are the big heroes of the Tanach not perfect?

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple. Cain killed Abel. Abraham and Sarah abandoned Ismael and Hagar. Jacob was Blessed in a cruel move by Rivkah. Joseph was arrogant and his brothers left him almost ...
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When does a person transcend to status “Tzadik sets his bar”?

Background: we had a motivational lecture in our Kollel today, with a Rabbi praising virtues of studying Torah (towards Shavuos). He brought a couple of stories about prominent Rabbis dedicating their ...
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1answer
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Where is the term “Jewish philosophy” first attested? [closed]

Jewish philosophy has become such a commonplace term that a great many versions of Wikipedia include entries on this subject. Where is the term Jewish philosophy first attested? Surely this term ...
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Are there any writings which speak to the spiritual aspects of different materials (Metals/Wood/etc.)?

I found an article on Chabad which got into some spiritual ideas around metals. It specifically touches on Gold, Silver, and Copper and relates each to various concepts of holiness and spiritual ...
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2answers
773 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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1answer
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Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
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Jewish alternative to a Christian self-help book

I had a bad psychological trauma some time ago and I felt the urgent need to review myself. I found that reading self-help books helped me. I tried to learn Mussar books (Mesillat yesharim, Chafetz ...
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11answers
752 views

What is the purpose of life on this earth

We know that hashem created the whole world only for the purpose of human's on earth. Everything else is there for his benefit to obtain his purpose. So the question is, what real purpose does he ...
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0answers
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Have any Rabbis discussed hating Hashem as being part of a deeper level of a relationship with him?

There's a belief that the people you love the most are the ones who can make you hurt the most. Friends & family have a closeness to us which can hurt us in a deeply personal way. The anger and ...
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Are the laws exclusive to the land of Israel, also relevant in terms of what they teach us everywhere?

There are many laws enumerated in the written and oral Torah. One of their categorizations is those which are obligatory inside the land of Israel and those which are obligatory both in the land of ...
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2answers
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What גילוי פנים (G-d's closeness) looks like unlike הסתר פנים?

Besides some formal signs of "גילוי פנים" like the Temple or the prophecy that Am Israel enjoyed for about 1000 years from Matan Torah to the destruction of the first Temple. What are some general, ...
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Does God's providence extend to all people or only righteous people?

Does God's providence (Hashgacha Pratit) extend to all people? to all individuals of the nation of Israel? or only to righteous people (צדיקים)?
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526 views

How does one know his balance between Hishtadlus and Bitachon?

In every major decision there seems to be a constant struggle between Hishtadlus, doing what is in one’s own power, and Bitachon, leaving it up to Hashem. For example: does one go chase after ...
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4answers
788 views

Is buying a lottery ticket a lack of faith?

Everybody would like to be rich, and winning the lottery is the easiest (albeit most unlikely) path to sudden wealth. In terms of Jewish hashkafa (philosophy), I agree that buying more than one ...
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1answer
283 views

Can anyone explain R. Nissim of Marseilles's seemingly problematic opinion on longevity in Genesis?

Recently, I have been looking into the idea of longevity in Genesis. Today, I stumbled upon R. Nissim of Marseilles's opinion of it, but no matter how many times I read over the article that mentioned ...
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2answers
165 views

Does God love every Jew unconditionally?

If a Jew spent his entire life doing terrible sins, would God still love him? For example, does God love Jesus or Jews who have caused similarly terrible damage? Please provide sources.

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