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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14
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1answer
6k views

Why does the Jewish calendar HAVE to end?

It seems to be common knowledge that on or around the year 6,000 of the Jewish calendar "everything" (left intentionally vague) will come to an end and there will be a 1,000 year 'Shabbos'. I'm ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
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2answers
602 views

“God is Fire”: Trying to Source an Analogy for Prayer

I remember reading once a very clever analogy, which I was sure that I had found in the writings of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (who sourced it, from memory, in the writings of the Rav, R' Yosef Ber ...
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7answers
404 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
9
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5answers
400 views

Why does the belief in Mashiach require that one be anxious for his coming?

The question of why belief in Mashiach should be a fundamental belief (an ikkar/yesod of Judaism of the Rambam's 13) is asked here, and I answered it myself here. However, when it comes to this ...
8
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4answers
5k views

English translation of Rambam's Moreh Nevuchim (Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed) on the Internet?

Is there an English translation on the Internet of Rambam's philosophic treatise on Jewish philosophy, Moreh Nevuchim?
8
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4answers
262 views

Why is it neccesary to have an Oral Law?

Why was it necessary to have an oral law? Couldn't we have avoided inaccuracies and machlokot in the mishnah, gemara and etc by writing it down originally?
8
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6answers
611 views

Tikkun Olam source

What is the source for the concept that Jews have to practice Tikkun Olam, and where in the classical Jewish sources is this concept defined? It seems people throw this term around a lot in the ...
7
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2answers
1k views

No Olam Habah for these?

At the end of Gemorah (Tractate) Sanhedrin, there is discussion of people who are not Zocheh to get into Olam Haba (Gan Eden). Is there a comprehensive list somewhere of people mentioned throughout ...
7
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3answers
516 views

Mashiach in year 6000?

I have heard in various discussions that we have an idea that mashiach will come at the latest by year 6000. Is this a normative belief? Furthermore, is this a belief that is understood literally by ...
6
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1answer
590 views

Why did Rabbis stay away from Amei Haaretz?

The Gemara tells Torah scholars that they should not mix with Amei Haaretz, and shouldn't be around them, eat with them, etc. The reason is that the Torah Scholars would learn from their bad ways. ...
6
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3answers
733 views

Is it greater to refrain from doing an aveirah than to perform a mitzvah?

Given the opportunity to do a mitzvah or to refrain from doing an aveirah - which would place you in a better situation on the scale of heaven with regards to a person's level of righteousness?
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2answers
474 views

What are the implications of karet?

Does karet mean the soul will not ever enter the olam haba? Can teshuvah rectify the transgression which lead to the karet? Can that soul in another re-incarnation rectify the blemish of karet? By "...
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3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a kofer and apicorsis

I always hear the terms "apicorsis" and "kofer״, along with "kefirah" and amaratzit. What is the definition of each?
5
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4answers
787 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
5
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3answers
97 views

Why does there have to be a written Torah?

I’d like to ask the opposite of this question. There, the OP asked why we have a distinct Torah SheBa’al Peh; wouldn’t it help to disseminate the Torah better if everything were written? Answers ...
4
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2answers
492 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?
3
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1answer
235 views

Hashgachah pratis according to Rambam/n

Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim 3:18 and Ramban in his commentary to Iyov (do not remember exactly where) as well as on Parashas Vayeiroh (Bereishis 18:19) say that for the majority of humanity, including ...
2
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2answers
319 views

Animal sacrifice in Judaism — was it copied from other religions?

Why is there animal sacrifice in Judaism? Animal sacrifice was found in other religions before Judaism, so could it be that the Jews copied the practice of animal sacrifice from other religions?
2
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2answers
1k views

Did Moshe have a son with Ethiopian Queen prior to Exodus

According to Josephus, Moshe was a great military leader who lead in battle for Egypt when Egypt and Ethiopia was at war and Moshe married the Ethiopian Queen and had a child with her who became the ...
2
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3answers
734 views

Bad Jew or Good Gentile?

Whom does Hashem love more: Gentiles who love Jewish people and Israel or Jews who are against Jewish people and Israel?
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5answers
278 views

Maybe God lied?

How do we know that God didn't lie at Sinai? Maybe he said he was good and compassionate, and promised us reward, but it's all a trick? Why believe that God is true?
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2answers
375 views

Where do Jews believe The Quran came from? [closed]

The "prophet" Muhammad stated that the angel Gabriel visited him with revelation and he put great importance upon Gabriel. So my question is, where do Jews believe Muhammad's revelation came from and ...
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2answers
173 views

How much room is there for personal influence given the existence of “free will” and “God's will” and “God's plan”?

Today's interesting question delves deeper into the concept of free will. I understand that Judaism views free will as the freedom to choose between life and death (i.e. choose life and live), but ...
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2answers
204 views

Social Action/Responsibility in Judaism towards gentiles

Non-orthodox organisations place immense significance on social responsibility calling it "Tikkun Olam". Orthodoxy less so... Are there any relevant rabbinic teachings on the topic of social action (...
16
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8answers
1k views

“If God had not delivered us from Egypt we would still be slaves”? Really?

One part of the Pesach seder that has always bothered me is saying that if God had not taken us out of Mitzrayim at that time we would still be slaves today. This seems lacking in faith in God; ...
16
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1answer
453 views

Do not separate yourself from the community: what exactly is the community?

Hillel teaches in Pirke Avot (2:4): do not separate yourself from the community. I'm not a historian, but I have the impression that at the time he was writing, towns tended to have one (Jewish) ...
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2answers
198 views

Why didn't the Tur discuss traditional Jewish philosophy?

Of all classical works of Halacha, only the Rambam has a section dedicated "Hilchos Deos". For example, he begins with the most fundamental Jewish belief, the belief in one G-d, that G-d is the ...
10
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1answer
413 views

Should a Jew who doesn't believe in G-d observe the commandments?

In an earlier question, I asked if it was a commandment to believe in G-d. As with so many areas, there were differing opinions. Some of the respondents claimed that there would be no point in being ...
10
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3answers
323 views

Can our deceased relatives observe us?

People often say (e.g. at s'machot and other such events) things like "Grandpa Chaim would have loved to be here today, but we know he is smiling down on us from shamayim" Is this really a ...
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2answers
130 views

Would they have died anyway?

I preface my question by noting that this question can be uncomfortable to some people, but hope that this great community can answer it Take any tragic event where people died, be it 9/11 or the ...
7
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0answers
243 views

Why does God care so much about Details [duplicate]

Kizayis, Kebeitzah, Toich Kedai Achilas Pras, Zman Kriyas Shemah Why is god so into details what are their significance(e.x why does god care if I daven after Zman Kriyas Shemah)?
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2answers
249 views

Near Death Experience and Judaism

How does Judaism view Near Death experiences? do we believe they are a figment of the imagination, or do we accept them? and if we do accept them, how do we believe stories of people who claim that ...
6
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2answers
790 views

Does the end justify the means

Is the phrase "The ends justify the means" a concept favored in Judaism? For instance, can one lie in order to get others to perform a Mitzvah?
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3answers
5k views

Do Jews think that all the unbelievers would go to hell someday?

I wonder whether Judaism teaches that those unbelievers or those who are Jews but nevertheless lead a sinful life would go to hell someday when judgement time comes.
5
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3answers
135 views

If something is not explicitly prohibited, is it permitted?

I had this disagreement with someone. I said that everything is 'b'chezkas' heter, and is mutar unless there is a source that assurs it. He said that everything is assur unless you find a source that ...
5
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1answer
645 views

Does God discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish people?

I often wonder if God has a different attitude towards people who are not Jews. Why Jews are consisdered to be most favored nation? Does that mean that all other people are inferior to Jews? Wouldn't ...
4
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1answer
238 views

Must one go according to his/her opinion (leshitato)?

Imagine that a Halakhic Decisor (decider?) maintains a certain Halakhic position or Hashkafic belief. [I am assuming that such thing as a Hashkafic Decisor exists.] Anyway, is it imperative that s/he ...
4
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1answer
230 views

If someone doesn't believe in the Gemara, is he a heretic?

If someone says "I believe that the Mishnayos/Braisos/Toseftas are accurate, but I think that the Gemara made mistakes and has no holiness. Is such philosophy heresy? What about someone who argues ...
4
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3answers
188 views

The wicked rewarded here seemingly aren't rewarded in full. Fair?

I'm reading volume 1 of Strive for Truth, Rabbi Aryeh Carmell's English-language adaptation of Michtav Meeliyahu, and one of the first essays cites Chazal as explaining that one reason good things ...
4
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1answer
145 views

Asking From Angels Borchuni Lshalom

Jews usaly do not ask angels for help as per the RAMBAM. He writes (in Sanhedrin, Perek 11) in the fifth Yesod ha'Emunah the prohibition against serving Avodah Zarah -- that not only should a person ...
3
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3answers
227 views

Must one “work” and “deserve” to observe Shabbat?

The verse on the Ten commandments, also read in Kidusha Raba by certains (Exodus 20, 8-9) says שֵׁ֤שֶׁת יָמִים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד וְעָשִׂ֖יתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ: וְיוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיהוָֹ֣ה ...
3
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2answers
197 views

Chovos Halevavos' Proof from Design

Where (preferably online) is the passage of Rabbeinu Bahya Ibn Paqud in his Chovos Halevavos (in Shaar HaYichud I believe) in which he proves the existence of the Creator by citing a story where a ...
3
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3answers
318 views

Is there a source where Emuna and Bitachon are described as separate ideas?

In the sefer Emuna UBitachon, the Chazon Ish popularized the idea that Emuna and Bitachon are really two parts of one idea, one being the belief in the idea, and one being the idea believed in. Is ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Legal status of one sentenced to death until execution?

What's the legal status of one who's sentenced to death by a court (say smoked on Shabbos) from the moment of the verdict till the actual death: What're his economical rights (his property, estate, ...
2
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2answers
135 views

What is the “good of marriage” in Jewish thought?

In Christian philosophy, many ancient philosophers such as Aquinas and Augustine speak about the "good of marriage." Marriage is "good", they argue, because it leads to offspring, chastity and ...
2
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4answers
346 views

Why go to the doctor?

According to Jewish belief, God gives you sicknesses and God gives you cures. If you are sick it's because God wants you to be sick. Once he deems that you no longer need the disease you are then ...
2
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4answers
218 views

What is the status of someone who denies one of the Rambam's 13 Principles?

i.e. are they considered an apikores etc? Or that they just hold an incorrect belief. Previously I had assumed their status was dependent on the principle they denied, so a person who denied the first ...
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6answers
654 views

Can God destroy Himself?

I was thinking about it lately. If God can do everything, can He destroy Himself? Is there something about this possibility in any of the holy books?
2
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2answers
290 views

How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?

I've heard that the Rambam says that when the Torah speaks about magic it is meant as a parable. If this is the case, how does he explain Pharoah's sorcerers and other incidents in Tanakh such as ...