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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Why are angelic icons not prominent in Judaism?

I learned that the song Shalom Aleichem is all about welcoming the Shabbat angels, and clearly angels are celebrated in Judaism. However I've noticed that images of angels are not very widespread in ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
236 views

Commemorating Death

What are some sources about when it is appropriate - if ever - to celebrate the death of an enemy? My question is inspired by last night's news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, naturally, as well as ...
Seth J's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
552 views

Maimonides and the Allegory of the Cave

Does Maimonides ever refer to the Allegory of the Cave from Plato's The Republic?
Matthew Miller's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
138 views

Stealing one or one Hundred

I wanted to Know any SOURCES and their answers as to if I steal 1 dollar or one hundred dollars is it the same Sin or is it different? Is it one sin of stealing or one Hundred? When you are punished ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
173 views

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 ...
WAF's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
996 views

Which 20th-century Rosh Yeshiva studied under the mysterious Monsieur Chouchani?

Monsieur Chouchani was a mysterious figure who travelled around post-World War II and taught several great Jewish thinkers, including Emmanuel Levinas z"l and [yibadel l'chayim] Elie Wiesel. ...
Shalom's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
143 views

Poems on Atticism by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal) [closed]

Can anyone find poems on Atticism for me by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal)?
Matthew Miller's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
178 views

Ideology of R' S. R. Hirsch

Perhaps someone can summarize the idea of "Torah im Derech Eretz" as endorsed by R' Samson Raphael Hirsch.
jake's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's up with the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva guys?

I know they learn a lot slower, dress a little flashier, and learn more mussar than in most mainstream yeshivos, but can someone specify exactly what is the philosophy of the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva ...
jake's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
740 views

Is the brain the seat of the soul?

There are disturbing ideas in the Feb 21, 2011 Time magazine cover article 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. The article attributes to Raymond Kurzweil the prediction that within the next 25 years ...
jbustamovej's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Moreh Nevuchim: To learn or not to learn?

I have come across many people who believe that it is inappropriate to learn Moreh Nevuchim especially at a younger inexperienced age. However, it seems that many important issues are discussed in the ...
jake's user avatar
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27 votes
9 answers
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If Christianity is avodah zarah and Islam is not, why has the Christian world triumphed over the non-Christian, and why do Jews prefer to live among Christians and not Muslims?

The Rambam quite clearly considered Christianity to be avodah zarah. He did not feel the same way about Islam, however, going so far as to condone praying within a mosque, and many Orthodox Jewish ...
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7 votes
0 answers
259 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)?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
445 views

Since G-d is Omnipotent Why Does He Need Our Prayers?

What are some good answers to the Question if God is all powerfull what does he need our Prayers for? I would appreciate as many answers as possibile
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
83 views

Ma'ase avos siman l'banim - prescriptive or descriptive?

The concept of the actions of the forebears being an indication of their descendants' actions is referred to by many commentators and midrashim, including the famous Ramba"n on B'reshis 12. What is ...
WAF's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
264 views

Why is an oppressor's wife/children punished?

In parashas Mishpatim (Shemot 22:21-23) the pesukim read כָּל־אַלְמָנָ֥ה וְיָת֖וֹם לֹ֥א תְעַנּֽוּן׃ אִם־עַנֵּ֥ה תְעַנֶּ֖ה אֹת֑וֹ כִּ֣י אִם־צָעֹ֤ק יִצְעַק֙ אֵלַ֔י שָׁמֹ֥עַ אֶשְׁמַ֖ע צַֽעֲקָתֽוֹ׃ ...
YDK's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
307 views

Modern Traditionalist Scholars Combatting Critical Approaches to the Tanach

I know that Shadal, David Hoffman, and many others tried very hard to combat the claims of scholars that criticized the Torah (both in terms of Higher and Lower Criticism). Can anyone help me find ...
Matthew Miller's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why is Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos so "controversial"?

I have heard that Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos is controversial, and that one needs a rebbe in order to learn it. What does the author say that is so difficult to understand?
Matthew Miller's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
384 views

"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?
WAF's user avatar
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15 votes
6 answers
7k views

Do Jews believe in Heaven and Hell?

In yeshiva I was always told about gan eden and gehinnom, and how the good go to the former place while the bad go to the latter. However, in popular culture, Jews are always said to not believe in ...
Tzvi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
139 views

When can we daven for a neis? [closed]

Riddle version of the question: When can we daven for a neis Hashkafic version of the question: Why does it seem that we can daven for a neis, when this is explicitly forbidden in masechet Brachot?
Jeremy's user avatar
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2 votes
7 answers
1k 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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28 votes
9 answers
3k views

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
RCW's user avatar
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24 votes
11 answers
851 views

"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 ...
user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
934 views

Voting for a person that will not uphold Torah values

It is well known that Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal strongly condemned those that voted for candidates that would not uphold Torah values. Yet there were many Gedolim that had no problem voting for such ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
232 views

If the odds are against you in life (Bais Shammai's opinion), why did G-d bother?

I'm asking this question only because I recall hearing an answer, but unfortunately I don't remember the answer, or from which rabbi. Help me please? Mesilas Yesharim says G-d made creation out of ...
Shalom's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
113 views

Why does the Rambam require repentance, and not just more good deeds, before Yom Kippur?

The Rambam says if someone's virtues-vs-sins balance is even as of Rosh Hashanah, their verdict happens on yom kippur. If they did teshuva in those ten days, they get a pass; if not, they don't. ...
Shalom's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
644 views

How do you understand the Rambam on Free choice in Teshuvah 5:5?

What is the Rambam really bothered by in Teshuvah 5:5? רמב"ם הלכות תשובה פרק ה הלכה ה שמא תאמר והלא הקב"ה יודע כל מה שיהיה וקודם שיהיה ידע שזה יהיה צדיק או רשע או לא ידע, אם ידע שהוא יהיה ...
RCW's user avatar
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16 votes
7 answers
5k views

40 Days Before Conception

It is written somewhere (I don't remember exactly where) that 40 days before conception, it is called out in Heaven who that person will marry. However, if the person gets married multiple times how ...
yydl's user avatar
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18 votes
8 answers
39k views

What does Kadosh really mean?

What do the terms קדוש (Kadosh), קדושים, קדושה, and קדיש really mean?
RCW's user avatar
  • 6,778
15 votes
3 answers
404 views

Yearning for Moshiach while the Temples stood

Did we (the Jewish people) yearn for the complete Redemption (with the Techias HaMasim, etc) like we do today, at the time the either Temple was standing? It can't be that we just assumed "This is it"...
chaimp's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
1k views

Different types of Nevuah

What are the differences between the "typical" navi's prophecy, Moshe Rabbeinu's prophecy, and Bil'am HaRasha's prophecy? (Answers with sources [and preferably links to sources] only please!)
Yahu's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
238 views

How to define success in life?

What defines success in life (in a Jewish outlook)?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
9 votes
3 answers
284 views

Why did Hashem start the Torah with a story?

Why did Hashem start the Torah with a story?
user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
640 views

Is diversity a Jewish value?

We hear a lot about the value of diversity these days, especially in academic settings. What about in hashkafa? Does "shivim panim l'Torah" teach that diversity is to be valued, and to what degree? ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are Jews racist against non-Jews? [closed]

Are Jews racist against non-Jews?
shlomo's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
206 views

Choices before birth

Before we are born, do we pick who our parents, guides, and rebbaim in life will be?
my rebbi's talmid's user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
298 views

Why did Hashem make some non-Kosher animals look like Kosher ones?

Why did Hashem make animals like the pig, camel, etc. that have one exact character trait of kosher animals and then write in the Torah that they aren't kosher? If He's trying to trick us, shouldn't ...
shy''k's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
361 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 ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
92 views

Helping others succeed

What do you do when you are trying to help friends get themselves on a good track, but you are afraid that by helping them you yourself might fall...what is the Torah obligation here?
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7 votes
6 answers
458 views

Will money fall from the sky if you pray for it?

If you daven for a parnasah and then just sit back will money come to you?
shy''k's user avatar
  • 1,375
1 vote
2 answers
111 views

is it right to set goals?

Is it right to set goals for yourself? How do you know that hashem knows you can accomplish more than the goal you have now? How do you know that hashem knows you bit more than you can chew?
Carrot monster's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
372 views

Geihinom and Gan Eden

What are Gohenom and Gan Eden? Is it common to go to Gohenom before Gan Eden?
shy''k's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
shy''k's user avatar
  • 1,375
7 votes
5 answers
574 views

Bad things happening to good people

Why do bad things happen to good people? And, even if they do, bad things, not good things, should happen to bad people!
shy''k's user avatar
  • 1,375
15 votes
12 answers
2k views

Do we really have free choice?

I was told Hashem created us with free will; so we can make a choice to do good or evil, right? Well, Hashem knows what we are going to do in 10 minutes. So do we really have free will? Hashem can see ...
Carrot monster's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
93 views

A persons potential

It says that a persons potential keeps rising as his spiritual level rises. If so, how does a person reach his potential?
shlomo's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
303 views

do we get another chance to reach shamayim if we missed our goal once?

I have heard that there is a task for everyone to fulfill before they enter shamayim, but what happens if you had a chance to fulfill your task in life and you missed it? do you get a different task? ...
Carrot monster's user avatar
30 votes
9 answers
5k views

Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
wayon's user avatar
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