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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56 views

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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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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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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225 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? ...
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Is there a connection between the two times 7 cows, ears and years that Yaakov worked for his wives?

Is there any connection or relationship between the seven fat & seven lean cows, the seven beautiful and seven parched ears of grain that Pharaoh dreamt and Yosef interpreted, and the seven years ...
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What does the Torah think of Pangea?

What does Torah literature say about Pangaea? Is it considered be legitimate? Are there sources which lean either way?
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Did any rabbis address the theological possibility/implications of nuclear extinction?

During the Cold War, plenty of people were aware (I think?) that detonating enough nuclear bombs could lead to human extinction. Did any rabbis address whether the belief that Moshiach will come mean ...
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1answer
155 views

“Impossible” to resist a sin

In Tzidkat Hatzaddik 43, we see: Sometimes a person is subjected to such a difficult test that it is impossible that he not sin. As our Sages said [in explaining the sin of the Golden Calf: “...
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453 views

Jewish thoughts on people who can not grow a beard (due to genetic reasons)

Howdy my dear brothers and sisters, I've recently read a passage in the Zohar which gave insight to certain characteristics of people with specific hairtypes (curly wavy and straight, 'glossy' or not ...
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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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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 ...
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They could change nature and predict nature, but could not explain it

In contrast to the secularist position that the physical world is ours by right, whereas the spiritual world is hidden/inaccessible, the Jewish and generally religious position seems to be that Gd ...
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When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

I am bothered by an incident in the Torah that seems morally unacceptable. After the incident with Pinchas, the Torah records that Klal Yisroel were commanded to attack Midian to avenge their attempt ...
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Who is closer, parents to children, or grandparents to grandchildren?

According to Judaism, what relationship is closer: parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren? What is greater: the love to children or the love to grandchildren? (Someone asked me and I ...
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What is “Beyt Shamai/Beyt Hilel” for citing Mishnayot?

This question is intended to clarify D.S'.question - how-can-bet-shamai-argue-on-shamai: What exactly is called "Beyt Shammay/Hillel"? We don't find this term with other great Rabbis, such as R' ...
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What is the source for Rambam's thirteen principles?

What is the Rambam source for the thirteen principles, brought in his interpretation of the Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1? By that I mean what is his source that without these principles one does not go to ...
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Importance of the Prophecy and Moses' Prophecy in the 13 Principles

Rambam's 13 Principles (as a part of his Interpretation of the 10th Chapter of the Mishnah in Sanhedrin) brings #6 - Existence of the Prophecy (see the link for the English translation): היסוד הששי:...
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181 views

Are Jews allowed to pray on their knees?

If someone finds it a good way to have a concentration in pray while on his knees, can it be done? (Not talking about Amida/Sidur prayers, but talking with the creator.)
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Should people be encouraged to yield to the evil inclination?

Chazal say very clearly that the evil inclination is the foundation of great and good achievements: -Abaye said: The greater the man, the greater his evil inclination. [Sukkah 52a] -Nachman said, in ...
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What is the source for this idea about the deeper meaning of bowing/prostrating one's self?

I seem to remember hearing an idea that the significance of bowing/prostrating oneself is that a human being differs from all other elements of creation in that a human being stands erect and walks on ...
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What books discuss general rules of Tanach? [closed]

In particular, I am looking for books that deal with philosophical and linguistic questions on Tanach, such as: If there is seemingly no reason to place one passuk before another, is it reasonable/...
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Why don't we maximize our merits on Yom Kippur day through Mitzvos and Torah study?

This question deals with the procedures on YK itself, not the 10 days of repentance. Rambam (Hichot Teshuva 3) says that YK is dedicated for Beynonim, i.g. those whose merits equal to sins. Further ...
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Greeting other people (Jews and Non-Jews alike)

At work, some amount of interaction is inevitable. There are some people that I just don't feel like greeting. What is the Jewish view on this issue? What does the Halachah say about 'greeting one ...
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If we can't understand G-d at all, why do our sources try?

I have for a long time been been confused and dismayed that, although our sources -- including kabbalistic ones -- acknowledge frequently, emphatically, and without limitation that לית מחשבה תפיסא בך ...
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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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1answer
200 views

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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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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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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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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347 views

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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81 views

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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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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