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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
0answers
113 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Are people rational?

Does it say anywhere in the Sources that people are not rational? By that I mean: A certain course of action may be the most logical and common-sensical from all angles, and people do something else. ...
11
votes
2answers
689 views

Is there really a distinct “Jewish soul”?

I have heard many times about Jews having a "special soul" or a "Jewish soul" - a soul which is either lacking and/or fundamentally different than that of non-Jews. However, the sources which are ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Does God need to find out what happened? – Ralbag's seemingly contradictory comments

(Quick summary if you don't want to read the whole question: In Parshas Noach Ralbag seems to claim that God already knew what happened, while in Parshas Vayeira he seems to claim that God did not ...
3
votes
6answers
337 views

How does “everything is from heaven aside from fear of heaven” apply when others are doing the wrong action?

There's an idea in Judaism that says "HaKol BeYedei Shamayim Chutz MiYirat Shamayim," "Everything is in Hashem's hands except fear of Heaven" (Berachot 33b and Megillah 25a) This means that ...
3
votes
4answers
312 views

Egalitarian references in Chazal

I'm trying to find references in Chazal to the principle that people are judged/rewarded based on the choices they make, regardless of their specific role in society. For example, I believe I have ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Does Judaism advise us to do one thing at a time?

After reading this article in Aish by a Professor of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, sadly and surprisingly bereft of Jewish sources, I asked myself: Is there a general Jewish teaching that ...
-1
votes
1answer
420 views

How do we explain how God told jews to treat Egyptian, Amalekites, and Nearby Nations that Simply Refuse to do Labors

Egyptians were pretty bad. They killed Jewish boys. It's as bad as the Chinese one-child policy. But God told Jews not to abhor the Egyptian. The Amalekites are evil too. But they did not have non-...
-1
votes
4answers
111 views

If it is not mentioned in the Torah as a miracle - can it be interpreted as one?

Many events in the Torah were explicit miracles - meaning that G-d's super-natural intervention was mentioned, e.g. Sarah giving birth at 100 or splitting the sea or Mannah. For many other events, no ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Was the sin of the Spies more severe than the Golden Calf? [duplicate]

IIRC, in the story of the Golden Calf, people not only actually MADE the idol but worshipped it, while in the story of Meraglim people only BELIEVED in what the Spies said. Nevertheless, after the G"...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Weren't Dor Hamidbar exempt from all Mitzvos as “already sentenced to death”? [duplicate]

IIRC, one who was sentenced to death is considered already dead (גברא קטילא)(San 85a, but exact source needed) (or is it only about losing his property?). When G-d sentenced all 20-60 y.o. Jews to ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Why Dor Hamidbar weren't given a chance to repent?

This probably echoes "why-G-d-didnt-give-adam-chance-to-repent". I'm trying to empathize Dor Hamidbar and try to imagine how would they feel, doomed by G-d Himself to die pointlessly in the ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Does G-d have expiration on His tolerance?

וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עַד־אָנָה יְנַאֲצֻנִי הָעָם הַזֶּה וְעַד־אָנָה לֹא־יַאֲמִינוּ בִי בְּכֹל הָאֹתוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ׃ And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people ...
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Is Studying String Theory Permitted According To The Rambam?

Would the Rambam be fine with String Theory, being that String Theory involves what happened before the world was created (the big bang) and beyond our universe?
16
votes
3answers
604 views

What is “emunas chachomim”?

My daughter came home from school with a textbook response for what "emunas chachomim" is. I disagreed strongly with what was written in the book, so I'm not even going to say what they said. Rather,...
4
votes
6answers
340 views

Can Chazal be wrong? [duplicate]

I understand that a later ruling can't contradict an earlier one, but does that mean that Chazal are infallible, the way Catholics believe the Pope is infallible? And if so, where's the line? Who was ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Do insane people have free choice?

We know that Hashem gives everyone free choice. But when examining the traits of an insane person, it is clear that someone can be so mentally ill that it is impossible for them to control what they ...
3
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
800 views

How can I know a rav has daas Torah

I have been privileged to know rabbis of great wisdom and knowledge who could address my issues with unique and helpful insights through the prism of Torah. I always understood them to have "daas ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

Why are observant Jews so reluctant to admit that Chazal could ever make mistakes? [closed]

I have great respect for many of our sages of blessed memory, but there seems to be a tendency among Jews to refuse to admit the possibility that they could have ever made mistakes. I have been ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Do slaves owned by jews observe shabbat (day of rest)?

To my understanding it is a commandment of God that those who live among jews observe Shabbat. Historically, slaves owned by jews must have lived among them. Does Gods commandment apply to slaves, if ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Sefarim about how to respond or debate an apikores?

A friend of mine told me either the Steipler (or another gadol, my friend was not certain but recalled) wrote a Sefer concerning responding to an apikores. My main question inquires if any Sefer ...
3
votes
2answers
216 views

What did G-d do before Creation?

Is it possible to know what G-d was doing before this creation? While, as Maimonides states, that we cannot know anything about G-d except for what G-d is not (G-d has no body and is one), ...
7
votes
4answers
334 views

What is the traditional/common Haredi “non-Hasidic” response to using the “Three Oaths” as an anti-Zionist argument?

Kesubos 111b lists the "Three Oaths" made incumbent on the Jews and the nations during the Exile. The "Three Oaths" have served as a cornerstone of anti-Zionist literature (http://www.nkusa.org/...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Source for “everyone has a specific area of Torah that they're naturally drawn to”

While we have to learn the entire Torah, I remember once learning that "everyone has a specific area of Torah that they're specifically drawn to/ naturally comes easier to them" (for example: monetary ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Books on science and Torah in Hebrew

Can anyone recommend books in Hebrew that address the topic of science and Torah? The types of books that I'm looking for are ones that address the interplay between science and Torah including topics ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Suppose you hear a commandment how do you know it’s God and not your own mind, or Satan? [duplicate]

Considering God asked Abraham to kill his son, it seems difficult to differentiate the word of God from that of Satan, how is one to know from whom a commandment is given? Is there a way to ...
3
votes
3answers
211 views

Can Morality Exist Without Divine Basis?

A common theistic claim is that atheism has no basis for morality, and that a basic morality must be determined by God for it to exist. There are instances in secular fields such as Biological ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Rem"a on Socrates being Achitophel's disciple

Rama mentions that Achitophel was a teacher of Socrates, as per the Moses Isserles, Torat ha-Olah 1:11): "Socrates was said to have been his disciple" I'm not lucidly fluent in Hebrew, but here's ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Whose spirit and whose lips are referred to in Psalms 106:33?

32וַיַּקְצִיפוּ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה וַיֵּרַע לְמֹשֶׁה בַּעֲבוּרָם ׃ 33: כִּי־הִמְרוּ אֶת־רוּחוֹ וַיְבַטֵּא בִּשְׂפָתָיו׃ 32: They provoked wrath at the waters of Meribah and Moses suffered on ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Is the Tanya only for those that are a Benoni?

What about those that want to get from the level of Rasha to Beinoni, is there a book for that? It is called Sefer shel Beinini and the few things I've read in it seem to be instructions directed for ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Can we know the absolute truth?

I've encountered Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers suggest that we, as finite creatures, cannot know the absolute, objective truth. All we can do (in This World), I've heard suggested, is to approach (in ...
3
votes
3answers
576 views

Sending letters to the deceased

Some Chassidim have the custom to leave letters at the graves of deceased Rebbes. Is it mutar to send a letter to any deceased Rebbe (specifically the Lubavitcher Rebbe), or is this similar to Avodah ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Is being vegan “kosher”?

Is being a vegan completely okay according to halacha? Even if a vegan is not eating anything traif (non-kosher), perhaps it's not truly correct because you are not following the commandments to ...
89
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “reputation scoring” make “the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with”?

Is "reputation scoring" against the spirit of Pirkei Ovos 4 (5) "Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, ...."
4
votes
1answer
749 views

Is it possible to pray to Hashem for a specific person as your prospective spouse?

I understand in the first Amud of Masechet Sotah, an individual’s future [first] spouse is predestined. Is there a possibility of praying to Hashem, such that one may change the decree and designate a ...
-6
votes
1answer
89 views

How G-d can be distinguished from AI?

One day, after the Moshiach comes, the Earth will be filled with "knowledge of G-d". On the other hand, technologically, one day the Earth will be filled with "knowledge of AI". I'm trying to prepare ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

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 ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

May one love a non-Jew?

May one love a non-Jew? Not romantically in the sense of marriage, but rather in the sense that one loves a friend or family. May a Jew love his Gentile father, for example? May a baal teshuvah ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Does “Ein Ye'ush” apply to everything or just spiritual related things?

I have recently heard about a concept called "Ein Ye'ush Baolam Clal" ("אין יאוש בעולם כלל") which translates as "There is never a time of despair". I was wondering if this is referring to all ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do we count years from the date of Creation?

Why do we count years from the date of Creation? I intend two sub-questions here, of which the second is far more interesting, so please answer it: Whence did this tradition originate? Why do we ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

What is the Jewish view of “work”?

What is the mainline Jewish view of "work"? (1) Work is an just an option for those who have enough money to live on. The Torah may say "Six days shall you labor and do all your work", but none of ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

Does Techiyat Hameisim, resurrection, apply to Non-Jews as well?

Will righteous non-jews also partake in Techiyat Hameisim, resurrection? Will they be brought back to life in the time of the Mashiach? Will Noach? Abraham? Malki-Tzedek? Shem? etc.
6
votes
1answer
132 views

G-d's Divine Presence vs Omnipresence?

In Shabbat 12b, G-d is called the Omnipresent several times, implying to me that G-d is present everywhere. But then it says this: אין מלאכי השרת מכירין בלשון ארמי שאני חולה דשכינה עמו "...
-2
votes
2answers
157 views

Views on vast economical inequity between people

While the lack of uniformity of the physical world remains a mystery of the Big Bang (how come that what once was unified and homogeneous shattered into pieces so different in sizes - from photons to ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

When does a person transcend to status “Tzadik sets his bar”?

Background: we had a motivational lecture in our Kollel today, with a Rabbi praising virtues of studying Torah (towards Shavuos). He brought a couple of stories about prominent Rabbis dedicating their ...
3
votes
2answers
420 views

Sources for Greek philosophy being influenced by Judaism [closed]

I'm aware of multiple sources describing exactly the opposite - the sheer influence of the Greek culture, language, economy, science and general worldview on the Sages and Judaism. The Greek culture ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Motivation for Miztvot

According to Bava Kamma 79b, the penalty difference between a ganav and a gazlan is that the robber does not disrespect Hashem -- he commits his crime in full view of anyone, man or God but the thief ...
-2
votes
1answer
42 views

How the crown of a good name (כתר שם טוב) was Halachicly left out?

רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, שְׁלשָׁה כְתָרִים הֵם, כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה וְכֶתֶר כְּהֻנָּה וְכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת, :וְכֶתֶר שֵׁם טוֹב עוֹלֶה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן Rabbi Shimon said: There are three crowns: the ...