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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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How does halachah relate to Jewish ideals according to Rabbi Lord Sacks ztz"l

Rabbi Lord Sacks zatzal says in his “Why I Am a Jew; A Chapter from Radical Then, Radical Now”: “I am a Jew because of our people’s passionate faith in freedom, holding that each of us is a moral ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
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233 views

How to decide where the development of Torah stops being useful

I've met so many people who have a different opinion on this than the one I was raised with. We all probably get it from our chinuch, but it seems there are quite a lot of opinions. I'll list what I'...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Is there any practical distinction in Halacha between obligation and being commanded to do a positive mitzvah?

In reflecting on the subject of the Israeli military’s use of Administrative Detention and the comparison by progressives of this behavior to the actions by Apartheid in South Africa, I started to ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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Taking a non-Aggadic view of Biblical characters?

Are there classic Commentators who took a non-Aggadic view of Biblical characters? There are certain people mentioned in Tanach who look one way according to a simple reading of the "Biblical ...
shmu's user avatar
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Does Karet apply in cases of Safek

If there is question which is a Machloket Halacha, and one takes a position which is lenient on a Safek D’oraita of a Karet level sin (such as say a dispute whether something constitutes a Melacha on ...
Kirk's user avatar
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108 views

Rationale of Orthodox groups who remained in the Synagogue Council of America

The opposition many had to Orthodox groups joining the Synagogue Council of America is well known. It remains easy to find articles explaining the opposition that were written back then in Torah or ...
Schmerel's user avatar
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5 votes
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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
2 votes
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How to interpret statements of Rabbonim on the nature of reality

I know that some people tend to take more or less everything that a Rav says as the absolute truth, but throughout the ages, different Rabbonim have expressed a variety of opinions, which can, in many ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Does someone get punished for unknowingly committing a sin or unknowingly hurting a person?

Does someone get punished for unknowingly committing a sin or unknowingly hurting a person? Please provide sources, thanks.
ddas91600's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
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Why weren’t the descendants of Esav or Yishmael also given the Torah alongside the benei Yaakob?

As we all know, Abraham had two descendants, Yishmael and Yitschak. Yitschak also had two descendants, Esav and Yaakob; however only the children of Yaakob were the nation that was chosen for the ...
Kyotiq's user avatar
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Kabbalah/chasidus explanations of theodicy

Are there any kabbalistic or hasidic explanations given to the question of theodicy? Beyond “rational”/philosophical explanations, are there any mystical reasons given to why bad things happen? If so, ...
Kirk's user avatar
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What type of enemies are being spoken about in Shaar Habitachon?

In Duties of the Heart, Ibn Paquda writes in Shaar Habitachon (Treatise on Trust, Ch. 4): אבל עניני אויביו וחומדיו ומבקשי רעתו יבטח בעניניהם על הבורא יתעלה ויסבל חרפתם ואל יגמל להם כפעלם אך יגמלם חסד ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 answer
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Chesed and food - healthy or tasty?

When a person prepares food for someone else, as an act of chesed, should they prioritise making the food healthy, or tasty? In case someone wants to make the case that they are not mutually ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 answer
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Non-Jewish philosophical defense of religion

Is there an issue, Hashkafically or otherwise, with using a non-Jewish philosophical argument to defend the belief in Hashem or utility of religion without referencing the Torah? Like referencing Leo ...
Kirk's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are we supposed to live in the matrix?

Rabbeinu Bachaya, while discussing why Hashem requires us to work so hard for our livelihood and in our service of Him says in Shaar Habitachon ch. 4: והיה מחמלת הבורא יתעלה על האדם שהטרידו בעניני ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Meaning of Shmuel 2:22:26

עִם־חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד עִם־גִּבּוֹר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם׃ With a kind person, You are kind. With a person strong in innocence, You are innocent. Shmuel 2:22:26 תָּמִים could also be translated as whole,...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Colonialism and Halacha

In halacha, is it considered “stealing” for a nation to colonize another piece of land if that piece of land doesn’t have a system of property rights. For example, the Americans colonizing the ...
Kirk's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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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2 answers
154 views

Does trusting in my efforts guarantee I'll be unsuccessful?

R. Bachya ibn Paquda states (Chovos Halevavos, Shaar Habitachon, Pesicha): ואם יבטח על חכמתו ותחבולותיו וכח גופו והשתדלותו ייגע לריק ויחלש כחו ותקצר תחבולתו מהשיג חפצו Taken literally, this implies ...
Yehuda's user avatar
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2 votes
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Does Rashi bring contadictory opinions?

Rashi on chumash is based on chazal. Sometimes Rashi appears to bring contradictory opinions and some mefarshim say that its machlokes midrashim. Is there a source or mesorah that Rashi's shita in ...
Shlomy's user avatar
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Eating reduces spritual sensitivity and Yitzchak Avinu wanting a meal before giving his berachot - contradiction?

There is a principle in mussar that overeating desensitises/spoils our mood for learning and davening with kavana (see Hachsharat HaAvrechim ch.9 for example). E.g. if one is very into one's learning, ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Jewish thoughts vs sexuality in the Gemara

A main part of Judaism is stuff like פרישות and guarding your eyes and thoughts from impurity or fantasies and the like. You’re basically supposed to stay away from any sexual thoughts or whatever ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can a Frum person attend Limmud

From what I’ve read, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks ZT”L didn’t attend Limmud, which is a festival started in the UK but popular among typically non Orthodox Ashkenazi communities (generally, although not ...
Kirk's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
89 views

Purchasing more than one lottery ticket

Disclaimer: Although the question about the permissibility of participating in a lottery has been asked and answered on this forum - my specific question has not been answered with clear sources. ...
The Targum's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

How can one reconcile statistics with this pasuk in Koheles?

The pasuk in Koheles states: שַׁבְתִּי וְרָאֹה תַחַת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ כִּי לֹא לַקַּלִּים הַמֵּרוֹץ וְלֹא לַגִּבּוֹרִים הַמִּלְחָמָה וְגַם לֹא לַחֲכָמִים לֶחֶם וְגַם לֹא לַנְּבֹנִים עֹשֶׁר וְגַם לֹא ...
Yehuda's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
167 views

Did the Rambam really say it's asur to believe foolish things?

I have sometimes heard it said that the shita of the Rambam is that it's asur to be stupid and/or believe stupid or foolish things. Clearly the Rambam's general approach puts a high value on ...
Avraham's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
67 views

Keeping Shabbos during the week?

Is there any value to or halachic discussion about keeping the laws of shabbos during the week? Were there ever Rebbes or great people who did this on any level? (Excluding those who do it as part of ...
Yehuda's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
111 views

Why did the plague of the first born work in changing Pharaoh's mind? (in light of explanation of R Albo and Sforno on Pharaoh's free will)

We are told that Hashem hardened the heart of Pharaoh in order that he would not be intimidated into letting the Jewish people go, but would still have the free will to be able to decide based on how ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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Refutations on Kant's approach to Judaism and mitzvos

I was reading "The Halakhist as Creator: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Halakhic Man" by Rabbi Reuven Ziegler. It could be considered a thorough summary of the famous sefer "The ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
106 views

Ger chassidus teachings

Does the community know what defines Ger chasiduss ideologically and Hashkafically? Is there an English translated sefarim or article that explains the basics of the Hasidic dynasty’s teachings?
Kirk's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
34 views

Why is the word Leviim written with only one yud: 'לויים' או 'לוים'

Do Chazal explain the inyan of the Tanach writing Levi חסר Chosser the yud that seems should be there grammatically? Does the double yud signify the rectification of the Leviim?
MosheSF's user avatar
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0 answers
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כף הקלע while alive?

I saw this in the Piasezno Rebbe's Hachsharat Avrechim: וכבר אמרו חז״ל [בר״ר פל״ד] הצדיקים לבן ברשותן ולהיפך ח״ו, הם ברשות לבן. ובזה תלוי הכל, מי שלגמרי הוא ברשות לבו ואינו יכול להתגבר גם על תאוותיו ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
132 views

Suggestion to help rid one's physical desire for food

What guides are there available in the corpus of Torah, including all Rabbinic writings, on ridding oneself of specifically the desire for food? Context/Reason for asking: It is a common theme in ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
193 views

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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2 votes
4 answers
284 views

Infinite regress in answering 'Why G-d created the world"

Many answers are given to the quetion of "Why did G-d create the world?", some of them being: He wanted a dira betachtonim, a dwelling place below He wanted there to exist beings besides ...
user9806's user avatar
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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
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1 vote
2 answers
533 views

Is this Jewish Neoplatonic idea heresy?

Context: I've noticed before that whenever I post anything about Neoplatonism in a Jewish context, such posts usually tend to get downvoted to oblivion, and in general, such views are not very well ...
setszu's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
202 views

How did G-d bring creation into the world without changing? Did He not have to decide to create at some point? How did He bring creation without time?

So the question is something like this: If G-d, blessed be He, willed creation into being, then a) He either underwent change (deciding to create) [Impossible] b) He always knew that He was going to ...
setszu's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
244 views

If Hebrew was the target language, what was the source language in any of the Psalm in which “maskil” is mentioned?

If Hebrew was the target language, what was the source language in any of the Psalms in which “maskil” is mentioned? Rashi on Psalms 88:1 wrote: משכיל: כל מקום שנאמר משכיל ע"י תורגמן נאמר שהיה ...
ninamag's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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Did Rambam affirm or deny the principle of sufficient reason (PSR)?

In the simplest terms, the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) states that everything that exists has a sufficient explanation/reason/cause/grounding (there are different variations of the PSR, e.g. ...
setszu's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Do we believe in coincidences? [duplicate]

How far should one take coincidences? Should one go with the mehalech that everything is divine intervention and take it as a simaan? Or can one brush it off as simply a coincidence? For example, if I ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Why do we struggle to be good

Why is our whole life a struggle? At least from my observations we never move on to the "next level". The yetzer hara keeps giving us the same taavot and obstructions to improving ourselves ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does everyone have a significant purpose in life?

What if my sole purpose in life is to hold open the door for an old lady? While I'm not mocking this and I'm sure it is a tremendous service to her more so than me, where does that leave me mentally ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
128 views

Case study in chesed: parking morally

A strong, fit man decides that instead of grabbing the absolute closest and most convenient parking spot to his destination, he will leave it and park further away, in case someone more infirm/...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Is using "god" as a common noun assur?

In the English language, it is not uncommon to hear a person being referred to as "the god of x". Where x can be a skill or specialty like "software engineering", "the god of ...
DonCorleone's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
235 views

Why would some people "return" to Gehinnom?

Rashi on Psalms 9:18 states: לשאולה: אמר רבי נחמי' כל תיבה הצריכה למ"ד בתחלתה הטיל לה ה"א בסופה כגון (בראשית יב) מצרימה מדברה התיבון לי' והכתיב ישובו רשעים לשאולה א"ר אבא בר זבדי ...
ninamag's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
133 views

Concepts of God

Is the concept of God in Jewish religious traditions often characterized by attributes like self-centeredness, a demand for worship, jealousy, and punishment for not adhering to beliefs?
Manny's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
181 views

How can we exist?

Positing that G.od is perfect (by the fact that he is the moral authority and is thought of as absolute perfection according to the general consensus); a change that he makes would mean that he was ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Why is Human Intellect the only "faculty" with a dedicated Beracha in Amidah?

Only one of the berachot in Amidah (notably, the first one after the 3 berachot of praise; אַתָּה חוֹנֵן לְאָדָם דַּֽעַת) thematically corresponds to a faculty in the human being, namely intelligence. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Are there any torah based books discussing the outdoors, nature, sepcific plants flora or fauna?

Shalom, I'm trying to find books geared towards nature lovers. Wanting to go into the forest and identify plants, trees, rock formations and geological phenomena and their characteristics from a ...
Reuven D.'s user avatar

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