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 no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
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Is there an approach that cuts the Teffilot on Rosh Hashanah in favor of Torah study?

It is clear from the Sugiyot Gemmorah (Brochos and Shabbos 10, here) that the lengthening the Teffilah at the expense of Torah learning was perceived negatively through many generations till late ...
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Why does G-d carry out all the curses by Himself?

In Parashat Ki Tavo (28:15-on) Moses threatens the Nation with very descriptive curses. It starts from a distance: 'וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ׃ אָרוּר אַתָּה וכו One ...
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Eilu V'Eilu from Heaven - who said it applies to every Rabbi?

IIRC, the only examples of Elu Ve'elu (אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים) appear in the Talmud in the name of the Heaven (see here): Machlokes B"H and B"S (see for example Eruvin 13b): ...a Divine Voice ...
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28 views

Why no positive feedback from Moses in his reproof for everything Israel did good?

I'm a big fan of Positive Psychology approach to education, reinforcing positive behaviors instead of discouraging negative ones. When Moses is scolding the nations for the sins [of the previous ...
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27 views

Does G-d have expiration on His tolerance?

וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עַד־אָנָה יְנַאֲצֻנִי הָעָם הַזֶּה וְעַד־אָנָה לֹא־יַאֲמִינוּ בִי בְּכֹל הָאֹתוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ׃ And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people ...
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Was the sin of the Spies more severe than the Golden Calf? [duplicate]

IIRC, in the story of the Golden Calf, people not only actually MADE the idol but worshipped it, while in the story of Meraglim people only BELIEVED in what the Spies said. Nevertheless, after the G"...
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Sefarim about how to respond or debate an apikores?

A friend of mine told me either the Steipler (or another gadol, my friend was not certain but recalled) wrote a Sefer concerning responding to an apikores. My main question inquires if any Sefer ...
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When does a person transcend to status “Tzadik sets his bar”?

Background: we had a motivational lecture in our Kollel today, with a Rabbi praising virtues of studying Torah (towards Shavuos). He brought a couple of stories about prominent Rabbis dedicating their ...
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Mechanisms of protecting Judaism from misuse

As we can see with Nazi Germany, democracy can be a dangerous thing. Many countries try to override democracy with a special status of the supreme court, able to invalidate the parliamentary laws (to ...
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46 views

Source for R' Soloveitchik's teaching about why we don't stand for a baby in utero?

There's a famous teaching from Niddah 30b that a baby is taught the entire Torah in utero. Someone once referenced this gemara and asked The Rav, if that's the case why don't we stand for a pregnant ...
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60 views

Jews and Gentiles [duplicate]

For what purpose were the gentiles created by Hashem ?
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Is faith being built on 'mind, heart and actions'?

I've found this article online and part of it - from the words: "Philosophers of religion have observed that the word 'faith' covers a number of types or categories of religious existence..." till "...
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Do Hillel & R Akiva contradict Mamrim 3 & Y"D 158:2?

How do you reconcile Hillel (1) and Rabi Akiva (2) with the Mishnah Torah (3) and Shulchan Aruch (4)? "What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is ...
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Views of Rabbi Mazuz

Israeli media outlets report that Rabbi Gershon Edelstien commented about various Torah pamphlets which circulate in Jewish communities, basically characterizing them as nonsense. Perhaps most notably,...
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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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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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84 views

Is one who maintains an agnostic belief called a min (heretic) [duplicate]

Agnosticism, based on various definitions that I have seen, is defined as one who is beliefs that G-d or supernatural powers cannot be proved or disproved. Other definitions I have seen explain it ...
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Why does the letter Hei stands for Shechinah

Why is it the letter ה which represents or is connected with the Shechinah? What is the explanation behind this idea?
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243 views

What was the attitude of Chazal towards abstinence (asceticism, stoicism)?

Do Chazal have a positive or a negative attitude towards the person who abstains from worldly pleasures (pleasures that weren't prohibited by the Torah)?
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244 views

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? [duplicate]

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? This is not about some temporary state of judgement like is referred to on Rosh HaShanah 17a by the expression לדורי דורות, but a permanent ...
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How to interpret ומשביע לכל חי רצון [duplicate]

The possuk said multiple times a day in ashrei (psalms 145:16) says פותח את ידיך ומשביע לכל חי רצון Every so often, I see people who are utterly destitute come and ask for money in local shuls. I ...
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91 views

In Judaism is there an idea that women are more grounded

Does Judaism see Jewish woman as more down to earth, regarding money (their support) more in a more physical way then men (the supporters), clearing about their support more then religious questions? ...
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112 views

What do our sources say about the principle of plenitude?

In the book Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton discusses the principle of plenitude, where he claims that all possible viable life forms on a planet like earth appear to have been actualized (as a sort ...
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43 views

Is believing in G-d guided evolution a valid belief in Orthodox Judaism? [duplicate]

Like the title dictates. Does the theory of evolution hold legitamacy in light of Maaseh Bereishis? That being said, are there ramifications of having that understanding towards one's Avodas HaShem? ...
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72 views

Seeking uplifting vort for Thanksgiving day table

I am looking for suggestions for one or more short discussion topics or teachings for the Thanksgiving day table, with kids from 10 years of age and up. Topics alone are fine, but topics fleshed out ...
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39 views

What is the meaning of life according to Judaism? [duplicate]

I've heard different things, like improving your middot, etc. Is there an agreed upon meaning to life in Judaism?
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175 views

Difference between judgement and discernment in Torah thought

Pirkei Avos (2:5) tells us 'Don't judge your friend until you are in his situation'. I was wondering about the term 'judge' Merriam-Webster online defines:- 'judgement' as 'the process of forming ...
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55 views

Killing with hate?

At the end of parashat Emor it is written: וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיּוֹצִיאוּ אֶת-הַמְקַלֵּל אֶל-מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה, וַיִּרְגְּמוּ אֹתוֹ אָבֶן; וּבְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשׂוּ, ...
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54 views

How is it possible to have machlokot in very basic issues of the halacha [duplicate]

The orthodox world view assumes that the whole torah came from the mountain of sinai and is transferred from generation to generation. When there is a machloket this is because either: The ...
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29 views

Why do we believe that God is all powerful? [duplicate]

The only way we could know that God is all powerful is if we knew that He created the universe — then, logically, He would be all-powerful within it. (And, to the best of our knowledge, nothing exists ...
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81 views

Does the mitzvah of Tzedakah require poverty and inequality in society?

If we accept that giving to the poor and an emphasis on Tzedakah are Mitzvot that are repeatedly noted within Tanakh - for example some Midrashic commentary suggests that the sin of Sodom was actually ...
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2answers
129 views

What is the Jewish view of “work”?

What is the mainline Jewish view of "work"? (1) Work is an just an option for those who have enough money to live on. The Torah may say "Six days shall you labor and do all your work", but none of ...
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153 views

Explanation of Alter Rebbe's proof of G-d?

I heard recently from a Rabbi's speech (a.k.a., I don't know the actual source) that when the Alter Rebbe was in prison in Russia one of the Russians there asked him to prove the existence of G-d. So ...
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88 views

infallible reasoning for believing in a god that created and runs the world [duplicate]

In the Torah it is written that we should serve God, love him, have trust in him, believe that he runs the show and in return we are promised a share in the world to come - a world of eternal bliss. ...
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1answer
109 views

Not inquiring into heresy?

Is there some sort of injunction against inquiring into heresy? I am pretty sure there is an issur d'oraissa to inquire into Avodah Zarah? Thank you (By "inquire" I mean to investigate their beliefs ...
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3answers
106 views

Why Adam wasn’t explicitly commanded to pass his knowledge on to others?

I'm still trying to grasp the way of transmission of the Torah knowledge from day 1. This question can equally deal with two phenomena: the commandment of eating the forbidden fruit or the commandment ...
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1answer
30 views

Why was G-d's only direct interaction with the Jewish nation be limited to two commandments?

Following "what-went-wrong-at-matan-torah: We claim that Matan Torah was/is the ultimate proof of the veracity of the Torah, because unlike what we observe in other religions, where G-d never makes ...
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2answers
68 views

Why didn't the Heavenly Voice testify for Elu Ve'Elu in Tanuro Shel Achnai argument?

There are a couple of iconic arguments in our Gemmorah and Tanuro Shel Achnai (BM 59)is surely one of them. Here's a short recap: R' Eliezer had an argument with some Chachamim, and R' Yehoshua was ...
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124 views

Seeing signs from God

What is Judaism's view on signs from God? Let's say, for instance, that I am planning to take a bus somewhere, but the bus came a minute or two early and I missed it. Can one take that as being a sign ...
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89 views

What defines a human in Judaism?

As a follow up to "creation-of-super-humans", The Gene-modification technologies promise interesting developments in human evolution/changes, both physical and intellectual. On the physical side - ...
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1answer
81 views

Why did some prominent prophets initially refuse to comply with G-d's commands? [duplicate]

Rambam in Yesodey Hatorah 7 writes that Prophets are very special people that prepare themselves thoroughly to detach themselves from this physical world and serve Hashem. However, we can clearly see ...
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2answers
309 views

How do those who adovcate chumrah understand this Gemorah (Gitin 55-56)

Because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, Jerusalem was destroyed. It happened this way: A certain man had a friend named Kamtza and an enemy called Bar Kamtza. He once made a party and said to his ...
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1answer
420 views

How do we explain how God told jews to treat Egyptian, Amalekites, and Nearby Nations that Simply Refuse to do Labors

Egyptians were pretty bad. They killed Jewish boys. It's as bad as the Chinese one-child policy. But God told Jews not to abhor the Egyptian. The Amalekites are evil too. But they did not have non-...
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2answers
113 views

What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

In the eyes of halacha, who is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy, an idolator or an atheist? Whichever is worse, is that the case by both Jew and Non-Jew?
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Is Hashem polite? [closed]

This question might be a bit weird, but here's what inspired it. In an internet forum I frequent, someone posted a wall of text (that is, a long post without any line breaks or paragraphs). I pointed ...
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3answers
250 views

Is getting a blessing from a rabbi considered heresy?

The situation a person is in, is the best situation God wants you to be in. By going to a rabbi to get a blessing to change your situation, you might be neglecting this fact. With that being the ...
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4answers
161 views

How should a Rabbi resemble an angel?

The Gemmorah in Moed Katan 17 says: א"ר יוחנן... אם דומה הרב למלאך ה' יבקשו תורה מפיו ואם לאו אל יבקשו תורה מפיו Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: ... If the teacher is similar to an angel [...
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3answers
565 views

Does Judaism have a double standard? [closed]

I have asked two questions on Mi Yodeya regarding discrepancies between claims found in Torah and what we think we know about the world. One is a small one: Rivers in Genesis And one is a huge one: ...
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4answers
112 views

If it is not mentioned in the Torah as a miracle - can it be interpreted as one?

Many events in the Torah were explicit miracles - meaning that G-d's super-natural intervention was mentioned, e.g. Sarah giving birth at 100 or splitting the sea or Mannah. For many other events, no ...