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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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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 to ...
Adám's user avatar
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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 ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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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 ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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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?
Hacham Gabriel's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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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 -- ...
Shalom's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Antidisestablishmentarianism's user avatar
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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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
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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. ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
6 votes
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164 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 ...
Mick'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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Comparison of different hashkafas

I'm curious whether anyone has published a (reasonably unbiased) comparison of different major hashkafas and the key differences between them. Has anyone come across such a thing? To clarify: I'm ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
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Proof of Hashem via Talmud/Amora/Tanna

Does anyone know of the places where a Tanna/Amora offers a proof for the existence of Hashem. ie: Bereshit Rabbah 39:1 Avraham Avinu passes a castle on fire (see below) Is there perhaps a list, or a ...
msj121's user avatar
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The Gemara (Sukkah 25b) mentions "taking your mind off your worries." Do any commentators elaborate on exactly how to do that?

The Gemara (Sukkah 25b) mentions that an avel (mourner) is obligated in the mitzvah of Sukkah. One might have thought that since someone who is mitzta'er (in pain) is exempt from the mitzvah, that an ...
Elyah's user avatar
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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 ...
ShipBuilding's user avatar
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265 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 ...
Yiddishe Yid's user avatar
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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 ...
Gavriel's user avatar
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Who is the author of "How to Get Deeper into Torah Without Falling Off the Deep End"?

In a short pamphlet (which became quite famous) called "How to Get Deeper into Torah Without Falling Off the Deep End" -- first published in 1994 by Laser Pages Publishing -- the author, who ...
Chaim's user avatar
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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 ...
Tzafnas Paneach's user avatar
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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 ...
Gavriel's user avatar
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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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
135 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 ...
Resident Mortal's user avatar
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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?...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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What keeps the immaterial soul inside the physical body?

By what methods the immaterial soul is contained within the material body during our lifetime?
Al Berko's user avatar
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180 views

The Battle of Gog and Magog

Very little is known about The Battle of Gog and Magog, it is shroud in mystery and countless debates. The prophet Ezekiel (chapters 38-39) describes the battle and the prophet Zachariya (chapter 14) ...
Joe Howard's user avatar
4 votes
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209 views

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). ...
Alex's user avatar
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0 answers
341 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?” ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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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 ...
Mark A.'s user avatar
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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 ...
mroll's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
182 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 ...
Uncle's user avatar
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1 answer
149 views

Individual Life Mission

What are the earliest sources that support or contradict the view of Sfas Emes and Chiddushei HaRim that each person (or Jew) has a unique mission in the world? Specifically looking for sources pre-...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
250 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
47 views

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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3 votes
0 answers
71 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 ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
129 views

Reconiciling Statements Rav Kook made about other Religions

The introduction to the book "Abraham Isaac Kook - The Lights of Penitence, Lights of Holiness, The Moral Principles, Essays, Letters, and Poems", states that Rav Kook was positive toward ...
Benyamin's user avatar
  • 327
3 votes
1 answer
167 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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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3 votes
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Have any Rabbis discussed hating Hashem as being part of a deeper level of a relationship with him?

There's a belief that the people you love the most are the ones who can make you hurt the most. Friends & family have a closeness to us which can hurt us in a deeply personal way. The anger and ...
Michael's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
45 views

What went wrong at Matan Torah - adjusting G-d's presentation to the Jewish people?

וְכָל־הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִם וְאֵת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וְאֶת־הָהָר עָשֵׁן וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּה עִמָּנוּ וְנִשְׁמָעָה ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
32 views

Considerations for electing the Nassi - theoretical vs practical?

In theory Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin 1.3 teaches us: הַגָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן מוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ רֹאשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן וְהוּא רֹאשׁ הַיְשִׁיבָה וְהוּא שֶׁקּוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ הַחֲכָמִים נָשִׂיא בְּכָל ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
85 views

Does God care about things that don't affect the Jews?

There is a trope in Judaism that God smites even the greatest Empires when they oppress the Jews. Does God ever smite nations that are wicked to other non-Jews? We do have the example of Sodom, but ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
133 views

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 ...
Nosson's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
67 views

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 ...
Yitz Shap's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
78 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 ...
Fei23's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
131 views

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 ...
Menachem Eliyahu's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
55 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
81 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 ...
kouty's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
211 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 ...
ray's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
164 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 ...
robev's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
169 views

Does God Compensate Animals For Their Pain During Shechita?

Rav Sa'adia Gaon states the following regarding ritual slaughter of animals: I will make this matter understandable and say: the Creator has decreed that every animal will die, and has given every ...
Aaron's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
605 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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