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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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Measuring the universe in G-d's cubits (Eruvin 21a)

In the following passage (Eruvin 21a in William Davidson edition) the sages try to determine the size of the Torah scroll that Zachariah saw in his prophecy: In order to determine the measure of ...
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74 views

Meaning of the last sentence of the kaddish?

The last sentence of the kaddish - "עושה שלום במרומיו" -refers to Gd making peace on high. What does that mean? Is peace considered the opposite of chaos? Could someone restate the last sentence ...
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30 views

What גילוי פנים (G-d's closeness) looks like unlike הסתר פנים?

Besides some formal signs of "גילוי פנים" like the Temple or the prophecy that Am Israel enjoyed for about 1000 years from Matan Torah to the destruction of the first Temple. What are some general, ...
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1answer
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Who are the Rabbis that don't meet Rambam's reqs acc. to Raavad?

In Hilchos Teshuva 3.7 Rambam defines Minim (that can't do a full Teshuvah): חֲמִשָּׁה הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים מִינִים. ...3) וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם רִבּוֹן אֶחָד אֲבָל שֶׁהוּא גּוּף וּבַעַל תְּמוּנָה. ...
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Monarchian Monad to Trinitarian Triad [closed]

Before I submit the question I would like to preface with the fact that I am a Christian, though I do not hold the doctrine of the trinity as I see this to be a post New Testament thought sprung from ...
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How can G-d fight other gods?

During Passover, we read the following passage, from Exodus 12:12: וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָדָם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל ...
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1answer
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Would we keep religion when everyone is healthy, satiated and satisfied?

G-d's curse to Adam was that the abundance of Eden will stop and he will be lacking health/wealth/food etc. For millennia people turned to G-d to ask to fulfill their basic physiological needs. The ...
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Is it lawful,for the Noahide Laws, the thesis of Gentiles Christians according to whom Jesus has a divine nature but he is subordinate to God? [duplicate]

I am not a christian but I am an Italian noahide, therefore I do not believe in the divinity and messianicity of Jesus the Nazarene. I clarify that my question, being relevant to the application of ...
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Is Perfection better without or with it? [closed]

The pattern goes that G-d does not need our prayers, or anything tangible or intangible because He has no need whatsoever as the Primal cause and His perfection. He cannot gain from anything. Under ...
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68 views

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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1answer
48 views

Why is Hashem being separate from his creation a more acceptable belief than His creation being within Him?

I've read and been told that Hashem is separate from his creation because he is infinite and therefore he can't have the finite objects of the universe be a part of him. He must be uniform. I've ...
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1answer
54 views

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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“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
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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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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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2answers
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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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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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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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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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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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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 (Elohim and Ha'Elohim) 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 ...
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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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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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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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153 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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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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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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205 views

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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76 views

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
80 views

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
130 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
116 views

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
87 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
158 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?