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
113 views

Why are there such few observant Jews? [closed]

There are only around 20 million Jews out of a population of 7.6 billion. Of those 20 million maybe 10% (2 million) are Torah observant. According to the Torah one of the purposes of the Jewish People ...
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4answers
290 views

What happens the second you die?

What do our sources say about what happens the second you die. I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that one’s soul comes out of their body and they float around the room. Are there any fascinating ...
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2answers
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Who was the Ramchal fighting?

The Ramchal wrote the Mesillas Yesharim in 2 formats. The first version was written as a conversation (seder vikuach) between a chacham and a chasid [the second version is what everyone is now ...
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7answers
259 views

what is good and what does it mean that God is good?

What does the term "tov" (good) mean? I am asking especially in how it relates to God. I.e. what does "tov" mean and what does it mean that God is "tov"? An example where God is ascribed "tov" is ...
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Hashem's Ontology and the Sefirot

My question is, Hashem ontologically speaking, His Being, is a singular, yichud in all respects. So does this conception stop at Ein Sof, or even before Ein Sof? And once the ohr proceeds forth from ...
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What Happens to People Who Don't Have a Portion in Olam Haba?

The last perek of Sanhedrin lists some people who have no share in Olam Haba. Other people who forfeit their share are discussed in the answers to this question: No Olam Habah for these? My question ...
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1answer
79 views

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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Jewish concept of angels

Judaism does not believe in the free will of angels. What is the scriptural evidence for that and since when has such belief been held within the Jewish community?
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What is the proof that Judaism is true? [duplicate]

People are for some reason skeptical that Moshe wrote the Torah as word of G-d, that Tanach is divinely inspired, etc. What is the proof that we have to affirm these points of our faith?
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Was any prophet given a practical advice on making the life better?

Prophecy is a special moment of G-d revealing His secrets to the masses. But as far as I know, those revelations were very one-sided - "do what I demand or I will make you suffer", with lots of small ...
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How can the Sanhedrin ever err?

On the one hand we know that if a Sanhedrin issued an erroneous decision (which was acted upon) they must bring a sacrifice (Vayikra 4:13). On the other, we have the concept of "lo bashamayim hi" (...
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Is Judaism Fascism?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fascism is a regime that exalts nation above the individual. Many associate Nazism, for example, with fascism. And yet, considering the morning ...
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2answers
139 views

Should one refuse torah insights from heaven?

I have heard a story that the Vilna Gaon was offered torah insights by some sort of divine source, either an angel, a maggid or something else. The story goes that he refused those insights because ...
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1answer
43 views

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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3answers
266 views

Is it a sin to read a book arguing for the existence of G-d written by a Catholic? [closed]

So I bought this book written by a philosopher by the name of Edward Feser. His book is called "Five Proofs for the Existence of God". It can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Proofs-...
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6answers
266 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 ...
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11answers
762 views

Any primary sources that all Jewish males should l'chatchila stay in learning forever?

Does anyone know of any specific sources in Chazal or Rishonim (or even earlier achronim) that indicate that l'chatchila all Jewish males should learn full time forever? I know that this is the ...
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1answer
156 views

Learning Torah of Rav Soloveitchik

I heard that the Be'er Moshe (Debreciner Rav) wrote that one should not read the Torah of the Rav since it can bring one into the wrong haskafos. Does anyone know where this can be found in his ...
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1answer
422 views

Why do some Jewish groups wear a uniform?

My impression of male Chareidi Jews is that they only ever wear a white shirt with a black suit shoes and hat, no tie. I also get the impression that particular other (possibly Chassidic) groups have ...
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2answers
241 views

Is there a source for a man not addressing his wife by her first name?

I know a man who when addressing his wife calls her [for example] Mrs Doe as opposed to 'Jane' or 'Honey' [he does this when he is home too]. This person is very religious and what some might call '...
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2answers
283 views

What is the source for Rambam's thirteen principles?

What is the Rambam source for the thirteen principles, brought in his interpretation of the Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1? By that I mean what is his source that without these principles one does not go to ...
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1answer
64 views

Can eilu veilu apply to historical/factual reality or not?

This answer by @Alex says Rashi (כתובות נז. ד"ה הא) already notes that "eilu v'eilu" is only applicable in a machlokes in sevarah, where sometimes one sevarah can be correct while at other times ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
132 views

What Rabbis originally supported and opposed Rambam's 13 principles and why?

I heard the when Rambam presented his 13 principles the opinions divided pretty sharply between the Sefardic Rabbis that openly supported it and the Ashkenazi (Rabaney Tzarfat) that opposed it for ...
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1answer
56 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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0answers
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Angels saying Shirah before Hashem - “daily” rituals?

Rashi on Gen 32.27 כי עלה השחר. וְצָרִיךְ אֲנִי לוֹמַר שִׁירָה בַּיּוֹם (חולין צ"א): כי עלה השחר FOR THE DAY BREAKETH, and I have to sing God’s praise at day (Chullin 91b; Genesis Rabbah 78:1)....
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3answers
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What does it mean to be judged by the good or evil inclination?

Berachos 61b: תניא רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר צדיקים יצר טוב שופטן שנאמר ולבי חלל בקרבי רשעים יצר רע שופטן שנאמר נאם פשע לרשע בקרב לבי אין פחד אלהים לנגד עיניו Rabbi Yose HaG'lili said: The ...
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6answers
592 views

Why does evil exist?

I realize this is a very common question, but the problem of evil is an important one, and as far as I can tell, has not been asked here. In short, why does G-d allow evil to exist?
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5answers
249 views

Killing of the nations of Canaan

I always understood Judaism as being the most peaceful religion, the one that doesn't go on crusades or various campaigns of forced conversions. However, how do I approach the fact that we killed the ...
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2answers
114 views

What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

In the eyes of halacha, who is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy, an idolator or an atheist? Whichever is worse, is that the case by both Jew and Non-Jew?
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2answers
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Empirical evidence of Sages' intellectual superiority

Throughout ages, our Sages engaged in Halachic, scientific and philosophical arguments between themselves and with other nations' philosophers. We hold that the truthfulness of Talmudic discussions ...
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1answer
93 views

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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1answer
86 views

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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Can a person still be an Orthodox Jew and believe that the Torah contains narratives that are not scientifically correct?

I am taking the position that perhaps the Torah does contain narratives that are not scientifically correct, such as the creation and early human history narratives found in the first 11 chapters of ...
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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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1answer
60 views

Source for Ralbag on G-d's knowledge

Does the Ralbag ever say that G-d does not know the future? I am aware that Ralbag writes that G-d only knows the generality of things but not the particular. Abraham ibn Ezra is of the same opinion. ...
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3answers
92 views

Sources that G-d miraculously and deceptively conceal His deeds

In the debate on veracity and historicity of the Biblical stories and claims many assert that after an event in discussion G-d miraculously wiped all evidence or replaced it to look natural. For ...
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1answer
103 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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1answer
114 views

Why Torah never mentions any type of conversion for our foremothers?

As we know, all our foremothers came from homes of [famous] idolaters - Betuel and Lavan (well, Sarah also). Once Avraham started the dynasty with Itzhak it seems reasonable that all newcomers will ...
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783 views

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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1answer
87 views

How does creation of a new species of super humans align with Judaism?

One of the most promising scientific fields of the nearest future is bio-technologies especially genetic modifications, starting with gene-therapy, genetic enhancements, and, as the process is ...
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1answer
75 views

Eilu V'Eilu from Heaven - who said it applies to every Rabbi?

IIRC, the only examples of Elu Ve'elu (אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים) appear in the Talmud in the name of the Heaven (see here): Machlokes B"H and B"S (see for example Eruvin 13b): ...a Divine Voice ...
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3answers
163 views

What is the reason the religious adherence is currently inversely proportional to the standard of living? [closed]

It is a well-established fact that the most religious modern societies are the poorest, having the least life expectancy, most infant mortality, hunger, wars, wild animals and everything that's on the ...
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4answers
2k views

How did Gdoley Israel react to the landing on the Moon?

IMHO, landing on the Moon did/could seriously undermine the bases of the Jewish religious view about the nature of the celestial bodies. How did Gdoley Israel react/deal with the landing on Moon (and ...
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4answers
162 views

How should a Rabbi resemble an angel?

The Gemmorah in Moed Katan 17 says: א"ר יוחנן... אם דומה הרב למלאך ה' יבקשו תורה מפיו ואם לאו אל יבקשו תורה מפיו Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: ... If the teacher is similar to an angel [...
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0answers
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What does “the tree of life” mean when G-d decides on life solely?

My question is maybe an elaboration on this question "How does the tree of life work?: The Gemmorah says that G-d decides exclusively on a person’s lifespan. But the Torah says that G-d Himself is ...
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2answers
124 views

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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5answers
321 views

What is the purpose of t'chias hamasim?

Given the following: (note please feel free to argue with any of these premises, but please also cite a source) t'chias hamasim will only occur for the righteous the righteous who are currently dead ...
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49 views

What's the purpose of the body in/after resurrection?

Following "what-is-the-purpose-of-tchiat-hametim", the Gemmorah says: העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ...

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