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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According to Tanya, does the animal soul partially abide in the mind?

Tanya Chapter 8 (source) writes that "the abode of the animal soul ... is in the heart, ... the left ventricle". In contrast, "the abode of the divine soul is in the brains ... [and] ...
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Does the future depend on me alone?

I read in a book that the Zohar says that everyone should consider himself as if the future of the world depended on him alone. Where does it say that, and does the idea originate elsewhere? I know ...
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How can not taking revenge be reconciled with the concept of goel hadam?

We are not allowed to take revenge, as the Rambam codifies This would be, for example if one person did something [against another]; and the other person doesn't stop pursuing him until he pays him ...
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Is "Reason to Believe" correct that the Jewish Nation had no outstanding achievements?

R Gottlieb in his book called "Reason to Believe" claims that the UNEXPECTED survival of the Jews is a reason to believe in a Supernatural Being that cares about the Jews, has abilities to ...
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Question about proofs for Judaism

Here are some questions I asked Rabbi Gotlieb and would like to know if anybody knows the answer (please cite sources if necessary? My main question is in the event that the king over israel decides ...
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Did Any Rabbis Reject The Idea of There Being 613 Commandments?

I was reading "The Secret of the Torah: A Translation of Ibn Ezra’s Yesod Mora" and in the introduction the translator makes a point that Ibn Ezra doesn't believe in there being "613 ...
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What is hashgacha pratis

I always hear the term but I thought it meant hashgacha in everything that occurs. I did some research and found that hashgacha pratis refers to the animals and vegatation as opposed to just general ...
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July 4th in relation to the Jewish calendar

I was wondering if anyone has any sources that discuss the fact that July 4th, 1776 was 17 Tamuz 5536. Is there any correlation between the Declaration of Independence and the Destruction of Jerusalem?...
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Is all mankind suppose to reach the level of the Tzadick

In the cycle of reincarnation is every one to reincarnate until they reach the level of Tzadick or simply until they fulfill the Mitzvot?
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What can Torah teach us about if voting makes u responsible for the actions of the elected, or system?What does voting affect in the spiritual worlds?

If a nation has a national election with only so to speak "bad" candidates, what teachings from Tanakh, Talmud, Jewish law or Jewish ethics in general, and the mystical teachings of the ...
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Why do some communities not accept converts? [duplicate]

Why do some communities not accept converts? I heard that syrian communities don't accept converts. Also in Argentina. Why did they stop accepting converts? Also the gemara (yevamos 47b) says we push ...
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English translation for Kovetz Maamarim?

I’m looking for an English translation of Rabbi Elchanan Washerman’s sefer, “Kovetz Maamarim”. Are there any publications?
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Is it ideal for males to learn Torah full time and not work? [duplicate]

I see the ultra orthodox claiming that Torah study all day and all night is ideal, while everyone else seem to say that ideally one needs to go into the world and produce for society and not just 'sit ...
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Why would a philosophical/theological argument require voting?

"תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וּמֶחֱצָה נֶחְלְקוּ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. הַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא נִבְרָא יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁנִּבְרָא, וְהַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ ...
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How do the brain and the Neshama relate to each other?

We all know that every individual contains a "Neshama", or soul. The soul is the embodiment of our being; it is what makes us...us. The brain however, is the center of all our cognitive ...
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Where does 'lev melochim beyad hashem' apply

Someone was discussing with me siyata dishmaya during the second World War. He spoke about how Churchill came to power and inevitably fought against Hitler. So he quoted Rav Miller from gateshead ...
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Does Shoftim 2:10 refute the Kuzari argument?

Shoftim 2:10 states that a generation arose which: לא ידעו את ה' וגם את המעשה אשר עשה לישראל knew not the L-rd, nor yet the work which he had done for Yisrael This either means that we literally ...
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How to identify if a Chabad shul is Meshichist?

How can one discern whether a Chabad shul is Meshichist?
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Rambam and R' Yehuda Halevi

Is there any evidence that Rambam was familiar with the writings of R' Yehuda Halevi? The more concrete the better.
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Believing Universe to be older than 6k years K'firah (heresy)?

I know that the age of universe and/or earth is not one of the 13 ikarim. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan held it could be much older. But he wasn't a posek (at least he wasn't known as one) and was controversial. ...
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Is the Law of Attraction/Law of Assumption permitted to be used (Is it Kishuf if it works or any other issur)?

The law of attraction is "a belief that the world does not depend on what is there, but moreso the assumptions you form in your mind while looking at it. So your assumptions create your reality. ...
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What are the best books to read to get familiar with Jewish philosophy?

I'm looking to spend about 3 months learning Jewish philosophy pretty intensely. I'm looking for recommendations on what are the best books to read, which ones may be too complex, and how I should ...
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Finding one's neighbour / fellow

Shalom. I am a bit perplexed by the commandment to love one's neighbour / fellow as oneself. It is not immediately obvious to me who my neighbour / fellow is. I am not addressing the question of ...
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What will be the official language of the Kingdom of Israel?

This question assumes the correctness of the Shita that it is forbidden to use Lashon Koidesh for mundane language today. Rather I'm asking if this will or will not be the case in the restored Kingdom ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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The 'No True Scotsman' Fallacy and Judaism

I don't know if this has been asked before, perhaps with different terminology. There is a well-known fallacy, that in the realm of religious debates, comes up often especially with regards to "...
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Death on the battlefield

Last Shabbat, I was reading a book called היהודים בערב (The Jews in Arabia) by Dr. Yisrael Ben Ze'ev. In the book, a section was dedicated to a pre-Islamic Arabian Jewish poet named Shmuel ben Adiyah. ...
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2 votes
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How did Adam and Eve sin before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge?

We see in chapter three of Genesis that although Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge by G-d, the serpent was able to make it desirable in their eyes and lead them to sin. ...
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Does an object exist if there is no one there to observe it?

I found this question on Quora and I wonder if Judaism or any Jewish thinkers weigh in on this. In particular, assuming God does everything for a purpose God is continuously willing that object to ...
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Can God influence man to sin?

We know that God is Sovereign, Creator of all things, whether spiritual or physical, and nothing escapes His control or goes against Him. So, from what is written: "However, [God hardened Pharaoh'...
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According to Halacha, are there rules for practicing celibacy, living a life as a monk or nun? Or is it simply prohibited? [duplicate]

Having children (or being "fruitful") is considered the first mitzvah and commandment, and is considered an "obligation" according to Halacha - but are there any rules for those ...
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Textual Criticism of Nach

I was recently learning Megillat Esther (as I prepare some shiurim on the topic), and was surprised to find the following comment by Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Ashkenazi (Tedeschi), in his commentary to ...
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Why must Jewish kingship be hereditary?

As we see in the scriptures many kings from the line of David sinned and caused devastation in Israel. What is the logical reason for kingship being inherited no matter what kind of person is the king?...
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How can I answer a Rishon's question

Since the Rishonim are a lot greater than us, and most of them had ruach hakodesh (see chabadlibrary.org/books/bsht/kst/3/217.htm), would it be possible for me to think of an answer to a question that ...
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What is the proper balance between halacha and social life? [closed]

I guess the question that I'm going to ask is an aspect of a much broader question on the tension between halacha and openness and I'm not even sure whether the question is halachic or hashkafic ... ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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May one study medieval Christian philosophers such as Augustine or Aquinas? [duplicate]

Many colleges and graduate schools require their students to read Christian philosophers such as Augustine or Aquinas. Does this pose a halachic problem?
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The fall of Yehudah the Maccabee

Yehudah the Maccabee died in the Battle of Elasa, a mere four years after the victory at Beit Tzur and the subsequent purification and rededication of the Temple. Are there any rabbinic sources that ...
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Opinions of Contemporary Gedolim Re: Me'or Einayim (De Rossi)

Rabbi Azariah De Rossi wrote a very controversial sefer called Meor Einayim. While earlier authorities did oppose it (see above link), are there any recent American rabbanim who have offered opinions ...
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How could Leah daven to change her fetus's gender?

The gemara brachos 60a asks how could Leah daven for her fetus to change genders if the mishna calls that a wasted tefilla. The gemara gives 2 answers.The first is, acts of miracles are different. I ...
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Is cutting corners in the Temple allowed?

Last week I went on an archeology studies field trip from my university. We toured parts of the City of David and around and under the Kotel. It turns out that the bottom-most blocks that form the ...
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Does the Torah have a gender?

Within the talmud, is the Torah as an entity referred to with with a particular gender and if so are there exceptions?
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Did Rambam ever refer to the 13 Principles in his other works?

Rambam lists the 13 Principles as the beliefs which measure one's merits for the world to come, and he writes it as an elaboration of the Mishnaic statement: "All of the Jewish people, have a ...
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What is the source of the teaching that Hashem, unlike humanity, perceives time continuously?

I recall once reading a passage that discussed divine perception of reality. The idea was something like this: Humans blink their eyes, and so do not see everything that happens in time. Hashem, ...
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4 votes
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Could Moses Have Failed?

Was having a conversation with another user in which I made the argument that Moses didn't fully believe he was talking to God because he doubts he can fulfill this mission from God even with God's ...
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What were the gedolim's reactions when the Alter of Kelm implemented general subjects in his Yeshivah?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv Broida, aka the Alter of Kelm, around the year 1865, opened a Yeshivah with a focus on Mussar. In addition to Mussar, he " ...also introduced general subjects such as ...
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Was there an opposition to Arizal?

There was a big conflict about the Hashkafa of Rambam. But it seems that there was nothing to contradict the Arizal, as if everybody agreed with the fact that he learned with Elyahu, and so him being ...
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Are the rights which provide basis for assertiveness in line with Jewish philosophy?

A common feature of assertiveness training involves one internalizing an assertiveness "bill of rights". Below is a an example of a popular list of such rights from Manuel J. Smith: I: You ...
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Is interfaith dialogue with Karaites permitted?

R' Joseph Soloveitchik famously objects to interfaith dialogue. @mbloch provides a thorough examination of the halachic issues surrounding interfaith dialogue. My question is, while this obviously ...
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What is the occupation of the soul, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the months prior to birth?

After reading an interesting scientific article concerning how mammals apparently dream prior to birth, it reminded me of Rabbi Simlai in Niddah 30b discussing how each Jewish soul learns the entire ...
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Rabbinical reaction to Milgram's experiments

Were/are there rabbis that wrote or spoke about Milgram's experiments, presenting a Torah view on the matter (the question of whether the Nazis were unique or the theory that anyone could potentially ...
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Why this common greeting: Tzom kal?

Tzom kal (easy fast) is a common greeting before the 9th of Av, but why? It runs counter to the adage, "No pain, no gain". The no pain adage seems similar to L'fum tzaara agra – according ...
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