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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85 views

Purposes of Marriage in Judaism [duplicate]

Why do we get married according to Judaism? What is the point behind us working so hard to get married? Presumably it is not just to bear children! I have heard of a concept of two halves coming ...
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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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Why was it specifically Gavriel who is Hashem’s messenger to guide events?

Among all of the Malachim, Gavriel seems disproportionately involved in human events: He was responsible for saving Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah from the fiery furnace (Berachos 4b, Pesachim 118a-...
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Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
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Incorporeal Resurrection

I was under the impression that, in contrast to Maimonides' distinction between techiyath hameithim (resurrection of the dead) and olam haba (the world to come), those Medieval/Renaissance period ...
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“Law of Attraction”? [closed]

Are there any Jewish responses to the "Law of Attraction" or analyses of this idea in the context of Jewish thought?
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Meaning of Zekher Livracha (ז"ל - Of blessed memory)

The literal translation of ז"ל is "of blessed memory" What does it mean to bless memory? How does it help the soul?
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Is everyone who dies in his 50s Chayav Kares?

I've come across a bunch of great Rabbanim: Poskim, Mekubalim and Tzadikim who passed away within their 50s. The Gemara in Moed Katan 28a says: אמר רבה: [מיתה] מחמשים ועד ששים שנה זו היא מיתת כרת....
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Mah hu af atah parameters

The Gemara (Shabbos 133b) brings down the mitzvah of emulating Hashem (derived from Shemos 15:2). Just as He is merciful, so should you be, for instance (mah hu rachum af atah rachum). Sotah 14a ...
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How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach?

There are some predictions in the Talmud for when Moshiach/Messiah will come. Avoda Zara 9b brings a Beraisa and Rabbi Chanina that say when Moshiach will come (the opinions are a few years apart), ...
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Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?

From what I've seen many non-Jews have a stereotype of Jewish people as being rude and greedy. Is there a Jewish source (from the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, or classic Torah commentators) that ...
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Source for R' Soloveitchik's teaching about why we don't stand for a baby in utero?

There's a famous teaching from Niddah 30b that a baby is taught the entire Torah in utero. Someone once referenced this gemara and asked The Rav, if that's the case why don't we stand for a pregnant ...
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478 views

Exorcism in Judaism

What is the consensus today regarding dybbuks, demons and possession? Do we attribute these things to mental illness or do we acknowledge their existence?
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What standard of living does Judaism endorse, if at all?

I've always wondered if there was a minimum standard of living mandated by the Torah. If there is, what is it? And if not, how does the Torah relate to this matter? Is it according to the individual's ...
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Purpose of Suffering

The Talmud in Berachos 5a says: "Rava said: If a man sees suffering coming on him, let him examine his ways..." does this mean the suffering is to atone for his sin or does it mean the suffering is ...
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Maimonides and the Allegory of the Cave

Does Maimonides ever refer to the Allegory of the Cave from Plato's The Republic?
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Is there anything wrong with not eating bread to avoid reciting Birkat Hamazon?

Is there anything wrong with not eating bread during the weekdays to avoid reciting Birkat Hamazon?
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What does the Rambam mean by “velo yishtomem”?

The Rambam uses an unusual word in Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 5:11: ולא ישתומם, which is translated on Sefaria as "and does not act so ridiculously". I am not criticizing this translation, rather I am ...
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Jews and Gentiles [duplicate]

For what purpose were the gentiles created by Hashem ?
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Machloket about the goal of the creation

The book Mishnat Chasidim from Rabbi Emanuel Chy Ricchi, begins by a presentation of the project of creation. He gives two reasons, for Ish Yare (man who fears God): To make known His perfection, To ...
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What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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Definition of Avodah Zarah

Looking at different explanations regards Avodah Zarah, different/various forms of idolatry, I tried to sum things up, I tried to get to get a definition out of it based on their common denominator. ...
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Is faith being built on 'mind, heart and actions'?

I've found this article online and part of it - from the words: "Philosophers of religion have observed that the word 'faith' covers a number of types or categories of religious existence..." till "...
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Interpretations of (pseudo)hallucinations vis a vis the Talmud’s interpretations of dreams

The Talmud (last chapter of Berachot, 55a ff.) contains a long treatment interpreting various visions one may experience “בחלום” (in a dream). If when under the influence of a psychoactive drug an ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the source for attempting to avoid daily challenges?

What is the source for the oft-repeated idea of trying to avoid daily challenges/nisyonos? As one example, in daily prayers, we say "...וְאַל תְּבִיאֵנוּ...וְלֹא לִידֵי נִסָּיוֹן" - "Do not bring us ...
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Why did God created physical impulse towards the “wrong” women

When I was young and had struggles with my "yetzer hara" - sexual impulse, I was fascinated by the Jewish attitude towards that impulse. God created this impulse for a purpose. It is meant to push ...
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555 views

Why does God allow slavery?

How could a kind G-D allow his people to use slavery on their weaker contemporaries and neighbors and yet be so strict with other requirements?
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Can materialistic values be learned from the Book of Amos?

Someone once told me that being too materialistic isn't a good thing. One day when I was reading the Tanakh, I happened to read Amos Chapter 6 and as far as what I've interpreted from it, I think, ...
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157 views

Rogaine or hair loss medications

Are there any Halachik or Hashkafic issues with using rogaine or some other hair loss prevention medicine?
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Why does Hashem answer and not answer prayers?

Why does Hashem answer some prayers and not others? I understand that there might be varieties of how Hashem answers or doesn't answer prayers. I'm not asking for personal opinions, I want to learn ...
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4answers
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How could the whole Torah be given at Sinai? [duplicate]

When we have instances of Moshe not knowing how to answer questions in the Torah. One of which happens in this week's Torah portion. Numbers 9 8 And Moses said unto them: 'Stay ye, that I may hear ...
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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 does it mean to make up for prayers unavoidably missed - Tashlumin?

The laws of Tashlumin (making up for prayers unavoidably missed) are delineated in Halachipedia “If one forgot to say Shacharit one should say Mincha twice, the first for Mincha and the second ...
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870 views

The greatest prophet after Moses

R. Jacob Emden, in his comments to Eruvin 43a, refers to Elijah the Prophet as the greatest prophet after Moses: אליהו הנביא הגדול בנביאים אחרי משרע"ה That Moses was the greatest prophet is hardly ...
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What exactly is the Mussar movement and how does it differ from mainstream Judaism?

I've been hearing the term "Mussar Movement" being used a lot more often as of late and I even saw some advertisements for it on other Jewish forums. I'm speaking to a specific movement, not just the ...
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Idiomatic Serenity Pledge?

There's something called the Serenity Prayer, which is a clever "prayer" often used at addiction support groups, such as AA. I did a little Googling, and it turns out that it may have been composed ...
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Is belief in Midrashim optional?

The Ramban in Sefer Havikuach (page 32, the bottom of the first column ) asserts with regard to Midrash: מי שיאמין בו טוב. ומי שלא יאמין בו לא יזיק ‏ Whoever believes in it, good, he who ...
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Would the Torah be the same if not for the primordial sin?

This question encompasses more information than my header had stated, but namely, I’m inquiring; How would the Torah have been given if the sin had not occurred? Would the Torah possess the same ...
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Jewish wisdom on how to remain calm under stressful situations

What do the scriptures say on how to calm oneself down when one is faced with exiting his comfort zone? As long as I can remember, I've always became quite nervous with uncomfortable feelings ...
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What is the relationship between Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Capital city of Mitzrayim?

It surely has not been lost on anyone that in this year, 5779 (2019), for this parsha, parshat Bo, the parsha which mentions the plague of 4 varieties of the single species of locusts which were ...
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Is tearing the hymen something that should be avoided

I have always heard that tearing the hymen by beilas mitzva (first intercourse with a virgin after marriage) is a good thing and it should not be avoided (maybe to tear it is the mitzvah as it seems ...
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Views of Rabbi Mazuz

Israeli media outlets report that Rabbi Gershon Edelstien commented about various Torah pamphlets which circulate in Jewish communities, basically characterizing them as nonsense. Perhaps most notably,...
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how to get the Youth to come to shul

I had a long conversation someone in their early teens and we were discussing as to why children don’t want to come to Shul although there are youth services etc and we narrowed it down to one ...
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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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“Jewish Philosophy” defined by halacha

I have heard the idea that the halacha (and the boundaries it creates) provide the basic premises with which our worldview and basic (philosophical/conceptual) understanding of the Torah is created. ...
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Are we born wicked/evil?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine (he's not Jewish). At one moment he showed me Tehillim 58:4, which states that the wicked are evil since birth: "זֹרוּ רְשָׁעִים מֵרָחֶם; ...
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“I never saw a tzaddik be abandoned…” - how do we understand this?

At the end of bentching we say that "I was young, and I also became old, and I never saw a righteous person be abandoned, and his children asking for bread" (Tehillim 37:25). How do we reconcile that ...
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Why bother with n'vi'im?

I was asked the following question recently and, incapable of doing it justice on my own, am seeking a cogent printed answer to give the questioner. If God wishes to express an unequivocal directive ...
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How does punishment in the World to Come make sense?

If a person is able to make choices in this world, and especially if a person is able to disbelieve that there is a Divine order of any type, how does it make sense for a person's soul to be punished ...
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221 views

Why does Rav Soloveichik feel lonely when he has G-d?

As I understand it, The Rav feels lonely, as a man of faith he feels definitionally lonely because he can't relate to people and people can't relate to him. Why doesn't he find solace with G-d though? ...