Questions tagged [theology]

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

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67 views

How can the Almighty purify himself? [closed]

The Gemara discusses something of the following question: How can the Almighty purify himself, His Presence can never be contained in any body of water, so how can He ever properly emerge Himself?
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135 views

Does God love every Jew unconditionally?

If a Jew spent his entire life doing terrible sins, would God still love him? For example, does God love Jesus or Jews who have caused similarly terrible damage? Please provide sources.
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What was the reason for Job's original success and prosperity?

The book starts with the description of Job's piety and then his wealth and success: ... That man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born ...
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What practical powers do angels have?

In Jewish theology, what practical physical powers do angels have? How far can they intervene in our world while on a mission? Are those powers linked to the "name" they have for their ...
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119 views

How does God's bet with Satan square with monotheistic theology?

One day the divine beings presented themselves before the LORD, and [the] Satan came along with them. The LORD said to the Satan, “Where have you been?” ... -“I have been roaming all over the earth.” ....
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Why didn't God reveal to Job that He simply bet with Satan?

The book of Job focuses on theological and philosophical explanations of Job's (and other pious individuals') suffering. Eventually, God Himself talks to Job revealing that His thoughts and plans for ...
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Why does the Torah end before fulfilling the promise of entering the Promised land?

Most mundane facts are the most fascinating to question. The Torah ends with Moses dying in the wilderness and the Israelites still camping on the other bank of the Jordan River. This plot sounds ...
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3answers
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How is it we often see people who are on a mission to do a mitzvah get harmed?

The gemara quotes Rabbi Elazar no less than six(6) times saying, "שְׁלוּחֵי מִצְוָה אֵינָן נִיזּוֹקִין -- those on a mission to do a mitzvah are not harmed." (Pesachim 8a, 8b (twice), ...
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Why isn't Heavenly judgement final and exhaustive and requires Earthy retribution?

Many Biblical and Rabbinic sources speak of the Earthy retribution - a person suffers (is justly punished) in this Earthy world because of the sins of previous generations. For example, "אֵל ...
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Why didn't God intervene in the story of Itzhak's blessings to Eisav?

We can see God intervening in numerous situations in the Book of Genesis, revealing His divine plans to our forefathers, saving them, and preventing them from falling into different traps. However, in ...
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Why would God need to introduce Himself when revealing to forefathers?

וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה' בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ ...׃ - That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. ...” Genesis.26.24 This is ...
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What is the interpretation of Judges 11:24?

In the book of Judges Jephthah, judge of Israel and leader of the Israelite army, tells the king of the Ammonites (chapter 11 verse 24): "Do you not hold what Chemosh your god (elohim) gives you ...
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Why is the name of mercy YHWH is mentioned exclusively in the story of Sodom?

The name YHWH is associated with mercy whereas the name Elokim is associated with justice (Refer to Rashi on Devarim 3:24 quoting the Sifrei here). I noticed that the name of YHWH is used exclusively ...
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“sweep away the innocent along with the guilty” vs “once permission is given, he makes no distinction between righteous and wicked”?

וַיִּגַּ֥שׁ אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַאַ֣ף תִּסְפֶּ֔ה צַדִּ֖יק עִם־רָשָֽׁע׃ Abraham came forward and said, “Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty? Genesis.18.23 The negotiation ...
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how does one grow spiritually thus connecting to Hashem to become a better person and a better Yid?

I would like to be answered regarding the questions I have on spiritual growth. how does one grow? is it the internal or external factors that enable one to grow? is it possible only to rely on ...
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Did Rambam reflect on non-Jewish sources that shaped his views?

Many commentators and researchers point to the great influence that the Greek, Christian, and Islamic thinkers had on Rambam's theological, philosophical and scientific views, for example, in Hilchos ...
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115 views

How does Judaism solve the Euthyphro dilemma?

In short: Socrates asks whether God loves the pious because it is the pious, or whether the pious is pious only because it is loved by God. How does Judaism solve this dilemma?
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Does a soul develop over a lifetime?

@AvrohomYitzchok asked me this question to support the assertions for another question: "why-dont-newborns-speak-outright. In my understanding, in Judaism, a soul is a complete entity having only ...
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Why don't newborns speak, why do we need to learn a language?

In our dualistic approach, the soul is one that possesses the knowledge of a/the language (not clear to me if all souls speak Hebrew or just 70, like the angels or just any language) AFAIC, the soul ...
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Is “Understanding God half-way” a true understanding?

If I try to summarize answers to various theological questions, it goes like this: we understand that God is/acts/feels/desires X (good, just, etc) in the literal sense, or in this world, e.g. caring,...
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Locality and directionality in the world of immaterial souls

IIRC, in all prophecies and Rabbinic stories about Heavens, all Heavenly entities are local (let alone embodied), they have a certain location, they are not "all-around" or everywhere, and ...
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Is a trinitarian-like view of God found in the Tanakh and held in Judaism? [closed]

Is a triune quality to God's nature, like the Trinity as espoused in Christianity, a foreign teaching as far as Judaism is concerned? Or is such a belief held (or have been historically held) by Jews?
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Can God do bad?

Man has free will. He can choose to do good or bad. Does God have free will? Can God choose to do bad things? If we say that god does only good, isn't that putting a limitation on him?
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What exactly is “prohibited magic” in Judaism?

It appears that "magic" in most "modern" "western" civilizations is prohibited. But societies like those in China or Latin America or Africa have mentions of all kinds of ...
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57 views

How to safely write a name of G-d in Hebrew?

I noticed that in English it is preferred by some to say G-d. What is the preferred way to write the/a name of G-d in Hebrew? For example, if you were to title a paper "G-d", how would you ...
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Does the fact that “Elohim” is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

(disclaimer, I am a gentile and don't know how to type in square script) My question applies to the whole Tanakh, but I'm specifically curious about Genesis. Translating strictly literally (ie, ...
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Mercy and Strict Judgment are both mercy

In Parsha In Pink on Parshas Va'eschanan, the author cites a Ramchal that gives a beautiful insight into the Passuk of Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4). שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד YKVK represents ...
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Does Hashem judge on Shabbos?

I was just reading a Devar Torah which said "Hashem does not judge human beings on Shabbos." I feel like I've heard this before but I'm wondering if this is true. Does anyone know of a ...
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How can I understand the concept of Uncorporeality [closed]

Speaking of Corporality, one can describe it as a shape and as a consistence or a density. Rambam 3rd article of principles states: "The belief in G‑d's non-corporeality, nor that He will be ...
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By what standards does Judaism hold infants accountable for sin?

In Samuel 15:3 Samuel relays God's instruction to Saul of obliterating the nation of Amalek. Included in this instruction is also the command to slay infants and sucklings. Samuel 15:3 "Now, go, and ...
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Looking for a quote by Maimonides that expresses how God is beyond us

Does anyone know of a quote by Maimonides (Rambam) that expresses how God is way beyond us and how we are so distant from God?
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Is it compatible with the Torah to believe that HaShem is not omnipotent in an absolute sense? [duplicate]

I am an Italian Noahide. HaShem is also defined in the Torah as "Elohim" who in this case expresses, as Ramban teaches, the concept of "Master of all the forces" and "the Power over all the powers". ...
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Ralbag and G-D'S Knowledge

I have recently read some posts here commenting about Ralbag and the Book III of Milchamot Hashem in which the basic idea is that G-D'S Knowledge of man's future actions is limited by man's free will. ...
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Animal Suffering and The Cruelty of Nature

Whilst the world's ecosystem and natural phenomena are magnificently complex and awe-inspiring, it is undoubtedly a system that is brutal - 'red in tooth and claw'. The laws of nature we can observe ...
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Is there an analogy between the concept of “sefirot” and that of Hindu “devataas”? [closed]

I am an Italian noahide. I recently discovered that relevant rabbinic authorities have changed the traditional orientation of the Jewish position towards the Hindu faith, considered in the past to ...
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Contradiction in Maimonides?

Maimonides felt that G-d is transcendent, that G-d has no body and is one, though we cannot attribute any description to G-d. At best, we can say what G-d is not. Thus it is impossible to describe G-d ...
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252 views

Does God owe us anything?

This is a question I've been wondering about for a few years. I've not been having an easy time in life, and that's why I have started asking this question. I'm sort of waiting for a "salvation", but ...
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9 year old Daughter Asked Me About god

My 9 year old learned in Sunday School about how we don't pray to idols but couldn't quite understand how god was any different. I wasn't sure how to approach the topic because I didn't know what they ...
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Did the Jewish people choose G-d, or did G-d choose the Jewish people? Or both?

Did the Jewish people choose G-d, or did G-d choose the Jewish people? Or both?
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Why do we need to daven out loud if G-D can hear our thoughts?

We know that G-D is all knowing, and all powerful. Therefore, when we pray, why does it have to be out loud? There are some brachos that you are not even יוצא if you say it quietly! Then why do we ...
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Is there a Modern day example of someone Sacrificing their Life to Sanctify HaShem's name?

Are there any recent (post holocaust) stories of a Jew who chose to sacrifice his life in order to be meKadesh HaShem? Are there any modern day Jewish martyrs (not including the many Jews who were ...
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Hashem's Ontology and the Sefirot

My question is, Hashem ontologically speaking, His Being, is a singular, yichud in all respects. So does this conception stop at Ein Sof, or even before Ein Sof? And once the ohr proceeds forth from ...
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Was R' Yishmael aware that his blessing was Hashem's prayer?

Berachos 7a: אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי יוֹסֵי: מִנַּיִן שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִתְפַּלֵּל? ... מַאי מְצַלֵּי? אָמַר רַב זוּטְרָא בַּר טוֹבִיָּה, אָמַר רַב: ״יְהִי רָצוֹן ...
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What is the soul and why is my conviction so weak? [closed]

Coming from a scientific materialist past, I have always had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of G-D and the Soul (נשמה ,רוח ,נפש). Due to some personal experiences, I have come to ...
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Source for Ralbag on G-d's knowledge

Does the Ralbag ever say that G-d does not know the future? I am aware that Ralbag writes that G-d only knows the generality of things but not the particular. Abraham ibn Ezra is of the same opinion. ...
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201 views

How can G-d’s attribute of infinity be squared with the finitude of His self-revelation?

I was wondering what the Jewish tradition teaches about the implications of the belief in the infinity of G-d. Whilst it obvious to me that a human being cannot relate to the infinite, it also seems ...
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Transgender identity and judaism [closed]

Why Hachem create transgender people? Did Hachem make some mistakes? Is there a purpos behind it? What is it the opinion of the rabbis from the different Jewish religious movements? Is it considered ...
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Does G-d's overt presence invalidate one's free choice?

It is frequently claimed that the reason for the current Haster Panim (lack of G-d's overt presence in the physical world) is that it is necessary for our free choice. In other words, if G-d's ...
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How does Rambam see the influence of our personal prayers on unchangeable G-d? [duplicate]

Rambam in Yesodot Hatora (1.11) describes a transcendent G-d that knows no change: He is not found within time, so that He would possess a beginning, an end, or age. He does not change, for there ...
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Is it permitted to think about God / Hashem in the bathroom?

One may not learn Torah in the bathroom, even if the thoughts are not verbally expressed. That made me wonder if it is permitted to think about God. My definition of "thinking about God" would be ...

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