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.

122 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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245 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
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All Sifre HaRamhal? (Rabbi Moshe Chayim Lutzato)

Is there a set that has "Kol Sifre HaRamhal"? The have "Kol Sifre HaHida" and other Rabanim, so maybe they'll also have all Sefarim of the Ramhal?
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How do I know my unanswered questions will be revealed [to me] when I die?

Many times as a Jew I think in the back of my head that certain question’s answers I greatly ponder will be revealed to me when I die. I’ll give an example. A few distant relatives of mine were ...
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Is there a connection between the two times 7 cows, ears and years that Yaakov worked for his wives?

Is there any connection or relationship between the seven fat & seven lean cows, the seven beautiful and seven parched ears of grain that Pharaoh dreamt and Yosef interpreted, and the seven years ...
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How is love created? Is giving sufficient or must there be Hakoras Hatov?

Related: Where does Rav Dessler mention that root word of אהבה is הב? Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur vol 2, in the first va'ad on Hakaras Hatov (page רעט) says that Hakaras Hatov is a foundation of love. ...
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175 views

Which Rishonim viewed maaseh bereishit as an allegory?

I have often heard that many rishonim were comfortable with the idea that at least the first week of creation could be read allegorically, not literally. What are the specific sources that support ...
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146 views

Why do we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings?

I have trouble understanding why we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings, why we pray for the restoration of the dynasty. Taking as examples the last six major kings of the Davidic line, they ...
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1answer
102 views

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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223 views

The treatment of Jewish unbelievers in Halacha

There is a man, not an am ha'aretz by any means nor a Tinok Shenishba who has become an Apikores by any definition. He is not evangelical about his unbelief and is observant. He does not publicly ...
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86 views

A widow using her deceased husbands semen to conceive?

If a husband has some of his semen frozen/saved and then dies, what halachic and hashkafic issues have to be addressed when deciding if his widow is allowed to/can/should use that semen to become ...
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Teaching Machshava and Hashkafa to Non-Jews

I know there is a prohibition against teaching Oral Torah to Non-Jews, but what about Machshava and Hashkafa? Sometime Non-Jews ask questions and the answer relates to either Hashkafa/Machshava. Is it ...
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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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59 views

What is the source for this idea about the deeper meaning of bowing/prostrating one's self?

I seem to remember hearing an idea that the significance of bowing/prostrating oneself is that a human being differs from all other elements of creation in that a human being stands erect and walks on ...
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1answer
165 views

Is “You Shall Choose Life” ever interpreted literally?

Inspired by Did people ever place actual physical stumbling blocks before the blind? In Devarim 30:19, we are told by G-d to "choose life": This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as ...
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108 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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1answer
238 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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210 views

May a builder skip “13” when numbering floors on a building or rooms on a floor

Rabbi Kaganoff discusses the prohibition of nichush (superstitious omens) and starts the discussion with the question “May a frum builder skip the number 13 when naming the floors of a building?” ...
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108 views

Shalosh Shevuoth (The Three Oaths) - halacha or aggadata

I am aware that there is a long standing argument about whether the Shalosh Shevuot(1) are a Halachic concept to be reckoned with or "just" an aggadata. I'm sure that there are many varied opinions in ...
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103 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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The importance of having a Rebbe for non-halachic subjects

It's easily understandable why a person must have a Rabbi to ask questions to in matters of halacha (a posek). If I remember correctly, many mefarshim explain one of the 2 statements of "asei le'cha ...
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237 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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104 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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Does a Ben Noach, who keeps the seven mitzvot but has bad hashkafah, get punished by Hashem?

Does a Ben Noach, who keeps the seven mitzvot but has bad Hashkafah, get punished by Hashem? For example, if the B'nei Noach says things that are kefira for a Jew like saying that the Oral Torah is ...
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Rambam's seemingly contradictory statements about one who denies the Oral Law

Rambam clearly and explicitly states on a number of occasions that one who denies the Oral Law is a heretic, and that this includes Tzadok and Baythus and their followers (Sadducees and Boethusians). ...
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What’s the reason behind having to use specifically animal skin for klaf?

What’s the reasoning behind the need to use animals per se as opposed to any other paperlike material for klaf (to write on)? Is there significance in the need to take the life of an animal for the ...
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55 views

What is the reason that the world will end after 6/7 thousand years?

Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin [97a]: “Rav Kattina said: 'The world will exist for 6000 years and one (thousand) of destruction' What is the hashkafic reason to only have a finite world? Wouldn't an ...
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39 views

Is the Sefer Hachinuch actually about reasons for mitzvos?

(Inspired by the answers given by @רבות מחשבות and @mevaqesh to this question.) When people speak about reasons for mitzvos they generally mean something along the lines of "God commanded us to do ...
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56 views

Divine Providence for individuals and purpose of Creation

This question is about Jewish philosophers. I ask myself if there is not a logical link between two issues and it is, if authors address it Is there a link between the theory that the world was ...
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Who is the author of “How to Get Deeper into Torah Without Falling Off the Deep End”?

In an infamous short pamphlet called "How to Get Deeper into Torah Without Falling Off the Deep End" first published in 1994 by Laser Pages Publishing, the author, who goes by the title "Friedman the ...
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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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380 views

Responses to Dor Daim / Talmidei HaRambam

Occasionally on this site and on other websites I stumble upon things written by Dor Daim or Talmidei HaRambam. I was wondering what the response is to these groups by other contemporary Orthodox ...
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106 views

Honoring a wicked father who has repented - How is he still considered wicked?

The Shulhan 'Aruch (Y"D 240:18) writes that one is obligated to honor his father even if the father is wicked (actually, it says that a Mamzer is obligated, but I believe that the implication is that ...
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1answer
195 views

If rishonim/acharonim frequently make mistakes in their zeal to critique others, can we still justify a belief in their singular devotion to truth?

I was always taught that the great Torah scholars were as near-perfect human beings as could possibly be, particularly in their scholarly abilities, but perhaps even more so in their character traits ...
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How MiYodea and other knowledge-sharing sites influence the future of Judaism?

The previously unknown availability and abundance of knowledge, both religious, and scientific surely impose a serious challenge to the existing structure of Torah study. I hear many Rabbis, Ram"im, ...
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Relation between brain damage and the soul

Physical damage to the brain can lead to various psychological and cognitive phenomena, like drastic changes in character, selective memory loss (like forgetting faces but remembering names or vice ...
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A question of theodicy

A lot of people are bothered by the fact that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Chazal answers by saying that it all averages out in the World to Come. But I don'...
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71 views

How does Rav Saadia Gaon account for the suffering of children?

I came across this excerpt from Rav Saadia Gaon on reincarnation (on mesora.org, where they cite it as Saadia Gaon: “The Book of Beliefs and Opinions” “Refutation of Reincarnation” Yale Judaica Series,...
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55 views

Regain a Connection to Hashem

At times, one’s connection to Hashem could fade. According to various sources, what is the fastest way one can regain a connection to Hashem?
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How far should one read into Megalgelin Zechus?

There is a concept called מגלגלין זכות על ידי זכאי וחוב על ידי חייב, that good things and bad things come via those who are fitting to be their messengers (Shabbos 32a). How far should one read into ...
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Is this type of advertising counter to Halacha?

A recent news article reported "Soda ad blitzes conspicuously match food stamp schedules" https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/07/soda-ad-blitzes-conspicuously-match-food-stamp-...
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Purpose of non-Jews

I was having a conversation with a friend about the purpose of life. I remember learning somewhere that the purpose of non-Jews is to build up the physical world, while the purpose of Jews is to ...
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What status (if any) does a person suffering from depression have?

If someone is suffering from severe clinical & chronic depression & Is suffering so severely that he no longer has any capacity to experiences joy, how can he be expected to perform even ...
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56 views

Yom Yerushalayim and the seven weeks of sefira

Commentators in many places have discussed the spiritual ascent that is associated with the seven weeks of sefira, from the time an offering of barley (representing animal feed) is brought, right ...
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Why does the good inclination come in 13 years late?

To paraphrase Avos D'Rebbi Nassan 16:2: The evil inclination grows when a person is born, while the good inclination enters at Bar/Bas Mitzvah. As a minor, if he desecrates Shabbos, his inclination ...
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Do Jewish scholars and/or Rabbis consider myths to be a violation of the second commandment?

Scripture consistently instructs against idols. It is the second of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or ...
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Health blessing

where does it say in Gemara (I remember it was in the gemara) that the main blessing we get from HaShem is health, because w/o it we can't enjoy the other blessings?
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A name adding to our development into who we are/become?

In Bereshit 2:19 Adam gets the honorable task to name the animals. The Midrash Genesis/Bereshit Raba 17:4 tells us that the first man, Adam, looked into the essence and nature of every creature and ...
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107 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 ideal ...
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72 views

Putnam on Jewish philosophy

Hillary Putnam, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, wrote at least one book on Jewish philosophy: Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein. I was ...
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125 views

Source for ability to speak before Neshama

I've always understand conventional Jewish belief is that there are different aspects to the soul, and each one provides different abilities. The נפש is common to all living creatures and it is the ...