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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109 views

Hizzuk Emunah in Hebrew online

Hizzuk Emunah ("Faith Strengthened") is a Jewish response to Christian missionaries, composed by Lithuanian Karaite scholar, Isaac ben Abraham of Troki. I managed to find an English version of this ...
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How does one know his balance between Hishtadlus and Bitachon?

In every major decision there seems to be a constant struggle between Hishtadlus, doing what is in one’s own power, and Bitachon, leaving it up to Hashem. For example: does one go chase after ...
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Judaism's view of pagans/polytheists [duplicate]

How does Judaism view pagans or polytheists? Will they be burnt in hell for eternity like what Christianity and Islam say?
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How far should one read into Megalgelin Zechus?

There is a concept called מגלגלין זכות על ידי זכאי וחוב על ידי חייב, that good things and bad things come via those who are fitting to be their messengers (Shabbos 32a). How far should one read into ...
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If you have 100% trust in hashem, nothing can happen to you

I’ve heard that the more trust you have in Hashem, the more Hashem does for you. For example if you have a high level of Emunah in Hashem that your kids will be handsome, your kids wills come out ...
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How many levels of strictness of positive obligations are there?

When learning Halachic books from the Talmud through Rambam and Shu"A to Mishnah Berurah, one meets different levels of positive commandments that reflect different levels of obligation/strictness/...
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How is love created? Is giving sufficient or must there be Hakoras Hatov?

Related: Where does Rav Dessler mention that root word of אהבה is הב? Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur vol 2, in the first va'ad on Hakaras Hatov (page רעט) says that Hakaras Hatov is a foundation of love. ...
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How do I know my unanswered questions will be revealed [to me] when I die?

Many times as a Jew I think in the back of my head that certain question’s answers I greatly ponder will be revealed to me when I die. I’ll give an example. A few distant relatives of mine were ...
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865 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 does it mean Halachicly: “Hamechaber omitted those Halochos”?

There are numerous Halochos that appear in Rambam and even HaTur, and do apply nowadays, but HaMechaber omitted it completely from Shu"A, like Hilchot Teshuva, Hilchot שמירת הנפש, Hilchot Deot and ...
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Do animals have a share in the world to come? [duplicate]

Is it stated anywhere what happens to animals when they die? I think it is stated somewhere they have no share in the world to come, so what happens to them after they die? This topic interests me ...
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Do the Talmudic disputes prove absence of ruled Halachah (הלכה פסוקה)

This is a serious question about our understanding of the development of the current Halachah. When I started my Teshuvah some 30 years ago, I was told that the Sages knew the Whole Torah and their ...
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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 ...
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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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The case of the expanding heresy

Mitzvah # 387 in the Sefer Hachinuch is not to go astray towards heresy and licentiousness. In that mitzvah, the Sefer Hachinuch writes the following line: ענין לאו זה שנמנענו שלא ניחד מחשבותינו ...
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Parents of old age and children of 'disability' [closed]

While working I saw an old lady being aided by her daughter and grandson. I stood out of respect. Then it hit me. My last job before lunch was a mother of a son who was a quaddraplegic. I know the ...
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Do imprecise prayers work?

For example, if I were to pray that the businessman in front of me win the lottery, but technically he's not a businessman, he's just a person wearing a suit. Would this prayer not work?
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Rambam's seemingly contradictory statements about one who denies the Oral Law

Rambam clearly and explicitly states on a number of occasions that one who denies the Oral Law is a heretic, and that this includes Tzadok and Baythus and their followers (Sadducees and Boethusians). ...
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1answer
79 views

If one is aware the yetzer harah drove him to do something, must he stop?

Say you are fully aware that your yetzer harah drove you to do something specific- to visit a certain person on a certain day, or to have a certain kosher meal for dinner. Is that activitity ...
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3answers
189 views

Is treating others decently more important than keeping Shabbos?

Two questions: According to Jewish philosophy which is more important in Judaism, keeping Shabbos, or treating others decently? According to Jewish practical law, which is more important?
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Killing of the nations of Canaan

I always understood Judaism as being the most peaceful religion, the one that doesn't go on crusades or various campaigns of forced conversions. However, how do I approach the fact that we killed the ...
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What is the significance behind God splitting the seas?

I heard from one of my rebbeim that the inifinite God has an infinite amount of ways of performing any given task. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that twice in the Tanach, God splits the ...
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Why is laughter unique to humans?

Read in a book by Rabbi Moshe Shapiro zt'l (Shiurei Rabeinu sec.Purim) that only two truly laugh, human beings and G-d (Tehilim 2:4). If this is true, why is laughter unique to human beings of all ...
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What are some of the more 'controversial' statements that are found in Moreh Nevuchim (Rambam)? [closed]

and is it clear that he wrote it. I'm simply curious.
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How to approach teaching Jewish ethics morality for a 12 year old?

How to describe and teach Jewish ethics/morality to 12 year old? Seeking topic lists, curricula, books, etc. on the topic of Jewish ethics/morality appropriate for a 12 year old. These might be case ...
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86 views

Does the Neshama (soul) choose the body?

I think i might have read in various places i just can't find where that the neshama chooses the body based on the life missions that it needs to accomplish so it chooses the most suitable conditions ...
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Is this type of advertising counter to Halacha?

A recent news article reported "Soda ad blitzes conspicuously match food stamp schedules" https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/07/soda-ad-blitzes-conspicuously-match-food-stamp-...
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140 views

How does one explain to a non-Jew why we wash our hands 3 times after using the bathroom?

How would you explain to a non-Jew why we wash our hands 3 times after using the bathroom ?
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56 views

How could this ever be true? [duplicate]

I am new here. Infact I got an account here to genuinely find an answer, how could all this be true right at the very beginning? Pardon my mistakes because I am not jewish. Apologies in advance if I ...
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260 views

Is it proper to daven for someone who has “no hope”?

If someone has a sickness that by current medical knowledge is terminal and has no chance of being cured, is it proper to daven for that person to get better? Might this be considered a tefilas shav ...
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If Tzitzis is such an important Mitzvah, why is there no obligation to purchase a four cornered garment?

The Shulchan Aruch (24/1) writes that there is no obligation to wear a four cornered garment. Rather if you wearing one you must have tzitzis strings on it. Yet we find that wearing tzitzis is a very ...
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What is the Jewish perspective on play time? [duplicate]

The Jewish books of ethics are replete with the notion that any available moment that a Jew has he should be engaged in the study of Torah - and every moment available that is not utilized for the ...
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Does “attempted murder” carry punishment by Jewish law?

[Question recently posed to me by a friend] קידושין דף מ עמוד א---------Kidushin 40a מחשבה רעה אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מצרפה למעשה שנאמר (תהלים סו, יח) און אם ראיתי בלבי לא ישמע ה' ואלא מה אני ...
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What is specific about the pre-ordination of these 3 things - spouses, houses, and fields?

Gemara Sotah 2a אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ארבעים יום קודם יצירת הולד בת קול יוצאת ואומרת בת פלוני לפלוני בית פלוני לפלוני שדה פלוני לפלוני... Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Forty days before an embryo is ...
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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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Where can I get Aryeh Kaplan’s מורה אור?

The author Aryeh Kaplan was well known for writing many scholarly English books about Judaism. After his death, several of his unpublished manuscripts were eventually published. One of them was a ...
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Aryeh Kaplan Text Identification

Follow-up/related question: I recently acquired this book which belonged to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. On page 48/49, I found an index card with some things typed on a typewriter.(picture below) I can’t ...
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What is the difference between the roots א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח? Between Emunah and Bitachon?

Both of the א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח roots are used to imply some level of trust in G-d; i.e., faith in Him. Bereshit 15:6 opens: "And he believed (aman) in the LORD" 2 Melachim 18:5: "He trusted (...
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From where/Why do you get more reward for doing a obligated mitzvah than a non obligated mitzvah?

Ive heard (not sure where)that you get more reward for doing a obligated mitzvah than a non obligated mitzvah. Where is this brought down, and whats the reason for this?
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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If we cannot be absolutely certain that Judaism is true/the truth, how can we impose on others in its name? [closed]

If we cannot be absolutely certain that Judaism is true/the truth, how can we impose on others in its name (e.g. killing a fetus endangering its mother's life, warring with Palestinians claiming ...
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Why does G-d care about small minutiae? [duplicate]

As an Orthodox Jew, I recently decided to start learning Shulchan Aruch to become more careful about halacha and my person conduct. However, I have found myself in an unexpected hashkafic crisis. ...
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134 views

Why is a bereaved person not even allowed to make a short blessing over his food?

The condition of the “onen” (a bereaved person whose close relative who has not yet been buried) and the laws are described here. There it says: Because of the need to make and conclude the ...
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360 views

Does every woman have a destined match?

There is a Talmudic statement in Sotah 2a which is commonly used as the source that every person has their destined match (the parameters of "destined" is a separate discussion): והא אמר רב יהודה ...
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136 views

Do traditional sources address how time “works”?

I’m sorry for such a convoluted question, but this has been bothering me for some time now. While the title isn’t quite accurate, I couldn’t think of a better way to phrase it - feel free to edit if ...
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How do we exercise free will when influenced on so many levels?

In Judaism, there is a concept of free will; but, from many sciences and probably our own experiences we know for a fact that many factors influence our decision-making process, and many of them ...
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141 views

B'ezras Hashem - make sense?

Does the phrase b'ezras Hashem make sense philosophically and if so, what does it mean? B'ezras Hashem implies to me that a person can do things himself, but Hashem helps. In what sense is it true ...
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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?