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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 keeps the immaterial soul inside the physical body?

By what methods the immaterial soul is contained within the material body during our lifetime?
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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) ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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-...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Destined how many shidduch proposals?

Rabbi Dr. Wikler (p. 142) quotes a story of a Chassidic Rebbe looking for a shidduch for his daughter who would pay shadchanim for proposing a potential match even though the Rebbe declined the offer. ...
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Considerations for impeachment of the Nassi of Sanhedrin

While cynically coincidental, my business is exclusively with the Sugya of the [temporary] impeachment of Rabban Gamliel in his Maariv Chova argument with R' Yahoshua (Brochos 27b). אמרי עד כמה ...
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