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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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1 answer
46 views

Can't tzaddikim get Hashem to resolve certain issues based on their merits?

I know the question is a little pedantic because one could take it all the way and ask tzaddikim to get us full geula, fix everyone's health and money issues among other problems but still. For ...
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0 answers
35 views

Personification of Esav in Western Civilisation - basis for Rabbi Mendel Kessin's teaching

Rabbi Mendel Kessin explains in this shiur (around 15 minutes in) that Christianity is the spiritual inheritor of Esav, and Western Civilisation is broken up into three parts, representing 3 parts of ...
3 votes
1 answer
35 views

Midrashim that explore the exact meaning of "tov" in Genesis 1?

It's no secret that "good," in English as well as in Hebrew, is rather polysemous: on the one hand, it can mark the degree to which a given thing satisfies its purpose or relevant ideal (as ...
2 votes
1 answer
59 views

Torah fiction - dos and don'ts?

Is there a list of guidelines or rules about what is ok and what is not ok for an author to write fiction on, regarding Torah? E.g. assuming the author will be as faithful to the sources as possible: ...
0 votes
2 answers
120 views

Eradication of Free Will under a functioning Biblical legal system or Talmudic education

It is frequently argued that the lack of direct Heavenly intervention in the Creation was designed to allow for a free "pressure-free" choice between good and bad. E.g. when a person breaks ...
2 votes
0 answers
86 views

Where does Rambam say: "The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision"?

BH Hi according to https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/maimonides-quotes Rambam said the quote “The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” Where does he say this though?
9 votes
3 answers
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The Chazon Ish's definition of bitachon

The Chazon Ish wrote in the book Emunah U'Bitachon Chapter 2 that the definition of bitachon is NOT the mistaken belief that when faced with 2 possible outcomes one must believe that the better (or ...
-1 votes
1 answer
387 views

Did the Sadducees get anything right?

The Sadducee-Pharisee split probably began around 150 B.C.E and disappeared after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. As a result, the Karaites (9th-century) adopted many Sadducee-ideas ...
4 votes
4 answers
253 views

Is God Ever in Two Places at Once?

Are there any instances, ideally in Tanakh, where God's physical manifestation of Himself is present in two separate locations at once? Or more poignantly, are there instances of God speaking/...
1 vote
3 answers
465 views

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

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?
1 vote
2 answers
575 views

Is this Jewish Neoplatonic idea heresy?

Context: I've noticed before that whenever I post anything about Neoplatonism in a Jewish context, such posts usually tend to get downvoted to oblivion, and in general, such views are not very well ...
1 vote
0 answers
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Why is the prohibition against coveting (לא תחמוד) considered to be the greatest and most difficult commandment?

While writing an answer to the question of whether the War of Gog and Magog has occurred already (https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/143162/7303), a very significant idea was mentioned, which ...
4 votes
2 answers
487 views

What should a content person pray for?

There is a Jewish virtue, that one should be content with one's lot, and this leads to a feeling of wealth and happiness (see Avot 4:1). In my youth, I was a fan of a cartoon called Dragon Ball Z, ...
1 vote
2 answers
176 views

How to reconcile two approaches to worldly pleasures found in Torah - avoidance and obligation?

I am looking for a detailed, comprehensive answer (if possible) to this. As one studies Torah one comes across a seeming contradictory set of values. On the one hand, it seems that our greatest heroes ...
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
3 votes
1 answer
228 views

Rambam and Torah Lishma

The Rambam (Teshuva 10:2) defines the ideal motivation of performing mitzvot as (lishma) one "who does the truth because it is the truth". On the other hand, the Mesilat Yesharim defines the ...
3 votes
3 answers
231 views

Can a Frum person attend Limmud

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks ZT”L didn’t attend Limmud Festival. However Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis did attend, unlike R. Sacks who listened to Haredi opposition. The Limmud Festival (formerly known as ...
3 votes
3 answers
143 views

List of Tannaim and Amoraim with overall summary of their approach to Torah

Has anyone put together a list of Tannaim and Amoraim with analysis from their opinions in each place that they are cited to try to build an overall picture of what their approach to Torah is/what ...
3 votes
3 answers
187 views

Teshuvah: How to return or going back to one's true nature?

In the 5th bracha of the Amidah, we request from HaShem "our father" (אבינו), to return us (השיבנו) we mention three kinds of Teshuvah – 1. returning to HaShem, 2.returning to the Torah, and ...
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1 answer
91 views

Advice to live a good life

Shalom everyone, In our daily life we face many circumstances, good and bad, and we react likewise. My thought is to accept everything, certainly the reality. If we can accept everything in our life, ...
10 votes
5 answers
928 views

Why does God allow slavery?

How could a kind G-D allow his people to use slavery on their weaker contemporaries and neighbors and yet be so strict with other requirements?
5 votes
2 answers
445 views

Colonialism and Halacha

In halacha, is it considered “stealing” for a nation to colonize another piece of land if that piece of land doesn’t have a system of property rights. For example, the Americans colonizing the ...
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Examples of "making a wish", the Torah way

I was recently thinking about the cultural concept of a "genie" who provides wishes (usually 3). There are generally two categories of wish in these stories: Someone tries to find 3 wishes ...
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

G-d doesn't have emotions? Why?

Here I've read, that the Rambam in yesode hatorah says, G-d has no emotions. But the Torah is full with things like: what He hates (usually the breaking of His laws, especially the sins related ...
-4 votes
5 answers
277 views

Can God Consider Himself to Be Wrong? [duplicate]

The Hebrew Bible has at least 2 places where God changes course or even regrets his actions. Does that mean God from the Biblical perspective can consider Himself to be wrong? I'm not asking from our ...
2 votes
3 answers
462 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
5 votes
1 answer
238 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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1 answer
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How Many Exiles Can There Be?

Parashat Bechukotai is coming up in which we get the short blessings followed by long curses for failure to follow the Torah in the land. I had always interpreted our right to live in the land to ...
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Special blessings/zechuyot - how does it work?

When we want special zechuyot (merits/credit, such as blessings, health etc.) for others as well as ourselves (bakashas etc), we often add dedications/names to our learning and prayers. Why exactly do ...
1 vote
1 answer
167 views

English translation for Kovetz Maamarim?

I’m looking for an English translation of Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman’s sefer, “Kovetz Maamarim”. Are there any publications?
7 votes
3 answers
324 views

According to the Tanya, is one never permitted to be sad at all?

In Iggeret Hakodesh chapter 11, the Baal Hatanya says : In truth, however, “No evil descends from above,” and everything is good, though it is not apprehended [as such] because of its immense and ...
3 votes
1 answer
185 views

What is the difference between mida k'negged mida and nekama

Not a kasha, a sincere question. What is the exact reason that mida k'negged mida is not considered revenge? Issues that may or may not be relevant: Is it just because it is Hashem doing it? Does ...
1 vote
4 answers
354 views

How did the early Kabbalists reconcile the belief in sefirot with the absolute unity of God?

It's possible the question has already been asked here, but wasn't able to find. So please excuse me for posting this again. The early Jewish philosophers/thinkers (Saadia, Ramabam, Bachya Ibn Pakuda ...
4 votes
5 answers
415 views

Does God care about individual animals?

Rambam writes in all his major Jewish works (PH, MT and MN) that if God cared about individual animals He wouldn't allow us to slaughter them for food. He writes that the pesukim that reflect divine ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Is there a source for Hashem loving Rashayim [duplicate]

People sometimes say that Hashem even loves Rashayim. Is there is a source in Chazal for that? There seem to be sources that say the oppisite: To give but one example. The Rambam Hilchos Teshuva 7:...
1 vote
2 answers
130 views

Only one Rebbi for hashkafa

I was told there is a gemara which stresses the importance of having only one Rebbi for hashkafa as multiple teachers in this area would only result in confusion. Anyone know where this gemara is? ...
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

Why compare a groom to a king?

According to Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer (Ch. 16), a groom is similar to a king (Chosson domeh lmelech). The Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer lists a few points where we see similarities: We praise a groom during ...
4 votes
1 answer
209 views

Meaning of "emunah shlaima"?

The Rambam's 13 Articles of Faith begin with the statement: "אני מאמין באמונה שלמה" - "I believe with complete faith...", words that then go on to express our faith that God "creates and guides" all ...
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0 answers
31 views

Is one allowed to pray for themselves to die [duplicate]

not promoting self harm Is one allowed to pray to Gd to take their lives? Possible proof is Choni HaMeagel doing this. Though you can argue that was an extreme circumstance. And a possible disproof ...
3 votes
3 answers
277 views

Original Sources for Ideas about Hidden Path to Moshiach

I sat in a class recently and listened to an Orthodox rabbi expound on the convoluted path that had to be taken in the past and will presumably be taken in the future to get to Moshiach. I may not ...
1 vote
0 answers
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"One who does not waste time, has time for everything" - learning on Shabbos

The Chida, in his Moreh BeEtzba (153) writes basically that on Shabbos, ones occupation should solely be Limud HaTorah. He says, כי לא נתנו שבתות וי״ט אלא ללמוד תורה. ומי שאינו מאבד הזמן יש עת לכל ...
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Paradox of being commanded to not do something when out of control?

One of the principles that comes out in discussions about drinking and doing mitzvot, is that the alcohol impairs one's self control, and thus they aren't doing the mitzva properly [e.g. some sources ...
4 votes
1 answer
141 views

Rewarding the few while punishing the majority

Why does the creation of the world to reward the few who can successfully work on themselves to cleave to Hashem have to come at the expense of the vast majority of mankind not getting olam haba and ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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What is Koheles' view of the Torah?

Koheles doesn't mention the special election of Israel, Maamad Har Sinai or Nevuah. It does talk about God, right and wrong and reward and punishment. Do any major Jewish thinkers entertain the ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Does True Belief Negate Free Will? [duplicate]

How can we say we have free will to sin or to abstain from doing mitzvos, while simultaneously saying that we believe in perfect faith in the punishments and rewards promised regarding these actions? ...
1 vote
3 answers
117 views

עוֹשֶׂה חֲדָשׁוֹת - what is this referring to?

In the morning berachot of Shema, we call Hashem עוֹשֶׂה חֲדָשׁוֹת - Doer/Former of Novelties. What does this mean? What is it referring to? Possibly referring to the "הַמְחַדֵּשׁ בְּטוּבוֹ ...
10 votes
4 answers
843 views

Why make a bracha on an earthquake but not on an eclipse?

According to this page, Chaza"l intentionally omitted solar and lunar eclipses from the list of natural phenomena upon which we make a bracha. The following explanation is given: The Hebrew term ...
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0 answers
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Esav - Patriarch of Nations?

I was listening to HaRav Mendel Kessin shlita and he brought the idea that Esav is a failed Av/Patriarch of the Jewish people. My question is, is there a concept that he is considered to be in some ...
6 votes
3 answers
198 views

If the rakia is a physical dome, why doesn't it cause tumat ohel on the entire world?

Ohalot (chapter 9) discusses that a corpse without a cover projects tumat meit (impurity imparted by a corpse) up to the rakia (firmament). Example: הָיְתָה פְחוּתָה וּפְקוּקָה בְקַשׁ אוֹ אֲפוּצָה, ...
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0 answers
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1000th generation, and creating the world out of Rachamim

I recently saw in a (Chassidic) sefer that the concept of "Hashem intended to make the world out of justice, but saw that it wouldn't last, so made it out of mercy" (Rashi on Bereshit) means ...

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