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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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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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
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Can God Consider Himself to Be Wrong?

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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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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:...
Schmerel's user avatar
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What is the correct order of learning the mesechta of shas from beginner level to advanced? [closed]

What order should Talmud be learned in?
Dude's user avatar
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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 ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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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 ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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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 ...
Nahum's user avatar
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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? ...
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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6 votes
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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, ...
Nitay Eshed's user avatar
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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 ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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Why the need to recreate the whole world from scratch?

Famous story in gemara Taanit about R Elazar ben Pedat who complained to Hashem about being poor in a vision/dream, and Hashem said: אלעזר בני, ניחא לך דאפכיה לעלמא מרישא, אפשר דמתילדת בשעתא דמזוני ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Can Noachide apostasy lead to delaying of the Moshiach

Can an individual who committed to being a Noachide, not before any rabbi but to himself and to G-D delay the coming of the Messiah by giving up the Noachide laws and renouncing G-D? What if the ...
NoachideCandala's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to handle the negative impressions non-Jews have of us [duplicate]

There are clear enemies of the Jewish people, and I assume that it's not our job to change their mind but to win. There are also people who are in the middle, who fall or are in danger of falling for ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Examples of Hashem changing His mind - is the explanation always the same?

There are times where there is a hava amina (automatic assumption) that Hashem changed His mind, and the standard commentary is "obviously, Hashem didn't really change His mind, it is to teach us ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
179 views

Origins of the term "עולם השקר"

What are the earliest sources referring to our world as "עולם השקר"? Thank you
Michaël's user avatar
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1 answer
129 views

Should we follow the outdated traditions of our forefathers? [closed]

How do we determine which traditions of our ancestors to uphold? For instance, the act of Yaakov kissing Rachel before marriage or women playing drums are practices from the past that definitely don't ...
Truth seeker 's user avatar
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Looking for the source of a teaching that HKBH always sides with the pursued, regardless of merit

Shalom. I heard a teaching a little while ago that HKBH always sides with the pursued, regardless of merit. I am quite sure this came from a reputable source. Does anyone know the source for this ...
Tom W's user avatar
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3 answers
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Can Earth exist without Heaven?

Science and materialism claim that everything about this world can be explained in terms of materialism. Stuff, and the maths that governs the rules of that stuff, basically, is all there is. Does ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
411 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 ...
Nahum's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
110 views

Baal Haleshem on Bitachon

I have seen several people mention the position of the R' Shlomo Elyashiv z"l, the "Baal Haleshem", on trust, bitachon. He seems to be one of the main sources for a position different ...
MichoelR's user avatar
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Have all the Torah we saw, even if we didn't learn it

Someone told me in Yeshiva that in the next life, whatever Torah we saw will be available to us, even if we didn't actually learn it. He was advising to flick through the whole of shas just in case. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
172 views

History of religiosity decline after haskalah

Is any reason given by religiously Jewish theologians and thinkers for why religiosity and observance amongst Jews declined after the Haskalah? Are there any opinions rabbinic authorities have given ...
Kirk's user avatar
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Improving the world through mitzvot and Torah study

When I was in yeshiva, before I had any real accomplishments in learning of my own, I was taught that as Jews, we don't fix the world by going out and literally improving it with our hands and labour. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Will the Torah you did learn save you from the Torah you didn't?

On the one hand: Torah study protects forever, in this life, in death, and in the resurrection of the dead. (Sotah 5b, paraphrased) Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakish said: Troubles are removed from all those ...
ThinkingJew's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does "אל" mean?

I am talking about the Lashon Hakodesh appelation, אל, which is often translated as "God". What, precisely does it mean? How do we relate to a God, vs say, a King, or an Eternity, or a Lord ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Free Will after Exodus

There are many sourcese.g. 1,2, that discuss what happened to the world after the splitting of the sea, and the giving of the Torah, implying that the whole world heard what happened. Everyone knew ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Mikva Erev Shabbat (for men) - looking for a detailed work on this practice

I would like to learn everything there is to learn about the practice of men going to mikva (immersing one's body in a ritual pool) on erev shabbat (Friday afternoon). I am not looking for a sif katan ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
47 views

Is yeridat hadorot natural or supernatural?

In Torah there is a concept of "Yeridat Hadorot", the descent of the generations (Shabbat 112a). Earlier generations are seen as on a higher level than later ones. The reason given is that ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
340 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 ...
Bach's user avatar
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2 votes
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Cases of Jews commiting crimes - what are the limitations on how individuals should respond

I'm not sure exactly where it comes from, whether it be our cringe at chillul Hashem, our chizuk in the mitzva of Lashon Hara, our reluctance to hand over fellow Jews to non-Jewish authorities, our ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
60 views

What is the source for this Ibn Ezra on miracles

A rabbi wrote on Facebook that according to the Ibn Ezra the belief in miracles derogates from the perfection of God. The rabbi explains: Accordingly, we do not rely on supernatural miracles to ...
Jonathan's user avatar
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0 answers
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"Everything that you did, you did for your own needs." (Avodah Zara 2b) - Why do we need to know this now?

The gemara in Avodah Zara discusses the conversation between Hashem and the world, after Moshiach arrives. He invites everyone to come and get their reward for Torah. The various nations queue up and ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
256 views

Hashkafic reasons for not teaching secular topics

What are hashkafic reasons that some Jewish schools not teach secular science and only focus on religious education, when there are doctrines in Kabbalah about the natural universe being ...
Kirk's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
76 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, ...
Gembali Noach's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
76 views

In the marriage mashal, is Hashem ever considered the kalla, and Israel the chatan?

For example, in Yoma 54a, the mashal says זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, with the male mentioned first. In the nimshal preceding the mashal, Yisrael is mentioned first. The Shechina is considered feminine. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Being personally involved in a cause - recommended or not?

A common sense adage is that one shouldn't be personally involved in the subject they are put in charge of. Being personally involved makes it hard to stay completely objective. For example, if ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
77 views

What does Torah say about how innate our intelligence is?

Given that the Torah has a concept of an "Am Haaretz", I am tempted to ask if the lesson is that everyone has the capacity to improve their intelligence and rise out of being an Am Haaretz. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
110 views

What is אנדרלמוסיא

It is quite clear from context that it means a type of heavenly group punishment, like a flood or a plague* where both good and bad die, l'a. It seems mainly connected with the sin of זִּמָּה/זְנוּת i....
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Angel with 2 missions?

Regarding the angel that Yaacov wrestled, Radak on Bereshit 32:26 says that Yaacov Avinu was hit with limping as a punishment, midda k'negged midda, for not trusting in Hashem enough: היה לו זה מאת ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Where do our thoughts come from? [closed]

Source: https://nehoraschool.com/are-our-thoughts-ours/ Are there any torah or talmudic sources for the statements in this article here?: Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag, the great master Kabbalist, teaches ...
Miguel's user avatar
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2 answers
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How is the hardening of pharaoh’s heart reconciled with the fact you can always repent

There is a principle in Judaism that it is possible to repent for any transgression, even idolatry. My question is, how is this reconciled with the fact that hashem hardened pharaoh’s heart in the ...
Kirk's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
119 views

Bitachon: Yaakov Avinu vs David Hamelech

Yaakov Avinu "feared greatly" when he faced the prospect of a battle with Eisav (Bereishis 32:8). Rashi ad loc clarifies that Yaakov feared being killed. (I am aware of the Gemara that ...
shmu's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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Is it allowed to use the phrase “karma”

Is one allowed to use the word karma to describe something that happened? Karma being defined here as something happening to you specifically because you just did that same something to someone else (...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
89 views

Jewish way to describe depleted batteries?

Is there any halachic or hashkafic issues with saying that a battery has "died"? It is a well known Torah tradition, halachically and hashkafically, for us to avoid words like this, and ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
90 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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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