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Questions tagged [theology]

Questions regarding our understanding of God, such as it is. NOT for every question about Jewish beliefs.

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Does God care about things that don't affect the Jews?

There is a trope in Judaism that God smites even the greatest Empires when they oppress the Jews. Does God ever smite nations that are wicked to other non-Jews? We do have the example of Sodom, but ...
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39 views

Are the Amalekites monotheistic?

When studying about Haman and the Amalekites I was trying to imagine their reality and mentality. So if they are intrinsically bad to the point of total opposition to the Jews, they should be the ...
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Sources for Rambam scientific views in Yesodey Hatorah?

Rambam lays his scientific outlooks in Yesodey Hatora 1 and on. Bases of Theology (monotheism), Astronomy, physics, some chemistry and more. Interestingly, according to the Meforshim that don't cite ...
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19 views

Source for the Evil inclination being commanded by G-d to be evil

Several questions deal with the Snake aka the Satan aka the Evil Inclination etc trying to entice Adam and his wife. What are the original sources that show that the Evil inclination was originally ...
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1answer
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“Let's make the Man” - isn't the Man the purpose of the creation?

"וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ" And God said, “Let US (plural) make man in our (plural) image, after our (plural) likeness..." Bereshis 1,26 To resolve the apparent ...
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1answer
37 views

Why angels are needed in a monotheistic religion? [duplicate]

Moshe's questions about angels made me think: We see that G-d "acts" in the world either through angels (Sdom) or by "Himself" with no intermediator (Exodus). Why angels are needed at all in a ...
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2answers
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Where is Heaven located?

God is infinite, omnipresent, beyond time and space, but what about angels and heaven? Surely they have limitations with regard to time and space? In the (Tehilas hashem) siddur, before Shema, it ...
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What does אחָד in שמע ישראל actually mean?

In the Shema the word used for the oneness of God is אחָד (ref.). This is startling for a Muslim, as they find in the Quran almost a transliteration of the same word, i.e. the Arabic احد (pronounced: ...
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How can something contain the Presence of the Almighty?

How could a building like the Mishkan or the Beit HaMikdash, or a natural phenomenom like a cloud (at Har Sinai) contain the Presence of the Almighty (Ubiquitious, the infinite volume; omnipotent; ...
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2answers
67 views

Why is G-d mentioned in the feminine sometimes?

In one part of the Birkat Hamazon we say "veal hakol... anu modim lach umevarchim otach". This is only one small example, and there are many others, but why is God being adressed in the feminine "...
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Why is the plural form used in describing the creation of man? [duplicate]

When man is being created, it is Betzelemenu Kidimutenu, why is this in plural form? Is this implying that the oneness of God Echad is somehow contradicted?
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A truth vs THE truth in Judaism

The word "אמת"/truth is used everywhere in Judaism in relation to all of its writings, both Tanach and the Oral Law. At the beginning of my Teshuva, it made me very confused, especially when applied ...
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2answers
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Why does HaShem say, “I rebuke you Satan” in Zech 3:1-2.?

If Satan is obedient to G-d and works under his authority, why did HaShem reprimand him in Zechariah 3:1-2?
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Reconciling “פותח את ידך” and knowing people are starving?

Tehillim 145:16 (Sefaria's translation): פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת־יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל־חַי רָצוֹן׃ You give it (the food mentioned in the previous pasuk) openhandedly, feeding every creature to its ...
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1answer
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Why does the Torah refer to G-d paternally?

We know G-d has no gender yet our Scriptures use masculine pronouns when referring to Him and also when He refers to Himself in the third person. Obviously there are only three options: male, female ...
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Interpretations of (pseudo)hallucinations vis a vis the Talmud’s interpretations of dreams

The Talmud (last chapter of Berachot, 55a ff.) contains a long treatment interpreting various visions one may experience “בחלום” (in a dream). If when under the influence of a psychoactive drug an ...
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2answers
48 views

Definition of Avodah Zarah

Looking at different explanations regards Avodah Zarah, different/various forms of idolatry, I tried to sum things up, I tried to get to get a definition out of it based on their common denominator. ...
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3answers
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Hashem's will is not “nihilo”, so why is it “creatio ex nihilo”?

The traditional objection is to any material having existed prior to the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, but then why not call it "creation without material"? The will of Hashem is not "nihilo" ...
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1answer
31 views

Would the Torah be the same if not for the primordial sin?

This question encompasses more information than my header had stated, but namely, I’m inquiring; How would the Torah have been given if the sin had not occurred? Would the Torah possess the same ...
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Clarification of Yitro's comparison of G-d vs other gods

Yitro says (Shmos 18,11): "עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־גָדוֹל ה' מִכָּל־הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי בַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר זָדוּ עֲלֵיהֶם׃ " "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, yes, by the result of ...
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אלהים vs האלהים - what's the difference?

Those two are used in different places and both translated as "יי" - G-d. For example (Shmos 18): "...אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל" - כָּל דִי עֲבַד יְיָ לְמשֶׁה ...
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Is calling The LORD as “Father” common during Jesus time?

Most of the time I hear from some Christian friends that the "Father" name for to The LORD was founded by Jesus. Because I find it odd (if Jesus was the first person to start calling The LORD "...
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4answers
751 views

Why did the Davidic dynasty need to come from questionable relations?

On the one side of the family, we have the union between Tamar and Yehudah, which, while technically a fulfillment of Yibum, Yehudah thought she was a harlot. From this union came Peretz (Bereishis 38:...
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1answer
72 views

Did Hashem originally intend to have a connection with everyone?

Does it say anywhere that when Hashem created the world it was with the intention to have a connection with everyone, but because people sinned Hashem saw he could only have this intimate connection ...
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5answers
136 views

Were there prophets who could “see” the past?

According to Wikipedia, Judaism holds that there were 48 males prophets and 7 female prophetesses mentioned by name in Tenakh, counting ONLY the Jewish ones. (Judaism recognizes that there were many ...
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Is the one who fights with Jacob in Genesis 32: 25-31 a simple emissary of Esau according to a current of Jewish tradition?

I am an Italian noahide. I read the following words written by an Italian Orthodox Jew about the figure of one who fights with Jacob in Genesis 32: 25-31 This figure is defined by the tradition "...
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On the interpretation of Genesis 1: 1

I'm an Italian noahide. Here are some observations on Genesis 1: 1, about which I would very much like to know your opinion. 1 In most translations I have consulted, the verse is thus render:” In ...
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3answers
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How can G-d without form produce sound (voice)?

How can a G-d without form produce sound (voice)? For instance, G-d spoke at Mount Sinai to millions of Jews.
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2answers
75 views

G-d is formless even if we have divine spark

If G-d is formless, how then did He take a piece of Himself and put it in Adom? And the L-rd G-d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man ...
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2answers
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Hashem's inconsistent responses about Sedom

In parshas Vayeira there is a whole back-and-forth between Hashem and Avraham. Each time Avraham pleaded to save everyone if a certain number of righteous individuals would be found. Each time Hashem ...
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2answers
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Rambam on ascribing Emotions to G-d

The 3rd principle of faith of Maimonides states: "ג] אֲנִי מַאֲמִין בֶּאֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה, שֶׁהַבּורֵא יִתְבָּרַךְ שְׁמו אֵינו גוּף, וְלא יַשּיגוּהוּ מַשּיגֵי הַגּוּף, וְאֵין לו שׁוּם דִּמְיון ...
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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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2answers
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Hashem as the judge vs His omniscience

How can Hashem's role as the Supreme Judge on the High Holidays be reconciled with His omniscience: On one hand, we picture Him as He weighs the Mitzvot and the sins and awaits for our Teshuvah for ...
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1answer
120 views

Is there a Jewish theology equivalent to Calvinism?

I have a question that may seem odd, but bear with me. Basically, I'm wondering whether there's any Jewish theology analogous to Calvinist Christianity. I am NOT wondering about the salvation/...
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2answers
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Learning from stories that are impossible to negate

The Talmud is full of Musar stories in the following pattern: a Rabbi did X and G-d made him Y, therefore we all should do X so G-d will make us Y. In many cases, G-d's reaction can be the opposite ...
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1answer
81 views

Who said that before Rambam's 13 principles it was allowed to have different opinions about the Messiah?

I don't exactly remember the name of the rabbi who said this (Not sure if it was Chasam Sofer?) and I don't exactly remember what he said but from what I understood and remember was that before Rambam ...
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Does the story of R. Bena'a in the Cave of Macpelah imply that G-d has a physical form?

On Bava Basra 58a it says (from Sefaria): כי מטא למערתא דאדם הראשון יצתה בת קול ואמרה נסתכלת בדמות דיוקני בדיוקני עצמה אל תסתכל הא בעינא לציוני מערתא כמדת החיצונה כך מדת הפנימית ולמ"ד שני בתים זו ...
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Hashems infinite power

I've heard many times that Hashem is infinitely powerful. But how do we know this? Perhaps he's just very powerful or even all powerful (possessing all power there is, which is possibly finite). Is ...
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1answer
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Sages that questioned the existence of Hashem

While I'm sure there are individuals that perhaps struggled with their belief in Hashem and His "existence" were there ever any great chachamim (sages) from the throughout the generations that perhaps ...
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1answer
120 views

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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1answer
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Has God appeared in human form in Genesis 18? [closed]

As the title says, has God appeared in human form in Genesis 18?
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2answers
83 views

God as Cohen(paradigm) mentioned in my Jewish Study Bible (The Jewish Publication Society)

Hello I'm a Christian that joined the board to learn more about the background of the Bible. A decade ago, I bought a Jewish Study Bible and was intrigued by some of the ideas in the footnotes, and ...
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2answers
156 views

Are there any Rishonim who believe that God´s existence cannot be proven rationally?

Are there any Rishonim who believe that God´s existence cannot be proven rationally?
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135 views

Paradox of the Evil Inclination: Hashem commands to disobey Himself?

I understand that to make this world spinning (to get to its purpose of bestowing the world to come), the Evil Inclination (Yetzer Harah) is commanded by Hashem to constantly drag us to do ...
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1answer
431 views

How will the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc come to recognize the G-d of Israel when the Messiah comes

How will the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc come to recognize the G-d of Israel when the Messiah comes since these religions and rest of the 49% of the world's population that doesn't believe ...
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2answers
70 views

References to intimacy between God and the Jewish people

There's a Baal HaTurim on Exodus 19:4: ואביא אתכם אלי מה אשה נקנית בכסף ובשטר ובביאה אף ישראל כן. ... בביאה זהו שנא' ואפרוש כנפי עליך וגו' ואבא בברית אתך לכן אמר הושע ג''פ וארשתיך לי: ואביא בגימ' ...
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2answers
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Rambam on the relationship between oneness and incorporeality

One of Rambam's arguments for the existence of only one god is that the existence of multiple gods by definition implies some form of corporeality. Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 1:7 אלוה זה אחד הוא ...
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1answer
75 views

Understanding G-d's unity [duplicate]

I recently learned according to the Torah ("Shema Isroel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is one"), that G-D is one and single. Please help me understand this unity.
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2answers
101 views

If God is infinitely good, why did He create finite people to bestow good to?

Assuming God is absolutely good to the furthest extreme possible and there are no other worlds out there like ours (with torah observant creatures), if so, why did He create finite number of worlds to ...
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2answers
178 views

How does Judaism relate to miracle claims by other religions?

Other religions claim that (their) God or other individuals have performed miracles either on behalf of a person(s) or entire nations. Growing up I was taught that the Jewish people are God's special,...