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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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What is Ramban's true opinion regarding the scope of hashgachah pratis?

Ramban seemingly contradicts himself regarding this subject. In Bereishis 18:19 (and Iyov 36:7) he says explicitly that only the righteous are under total divine protection; others, which comprise the ...
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Where is God in Judaism? [duplicate]

I am actually a Sunni Muslim, only asking this question out of my interest in Jewish interpretations of God as they are similar and distinct in many ways with the Islamic ones. So in Sunni Islam, ...
Syed M. Sannan's user avatar
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Where do Shedim (demons) fit in?

We have discussions regarding Shedim in Jewish history. I believe they're described as having chicken feet in one source. While the topic doesn't really seem to come up much in modern Judaism, the ...
Michael's user avatar
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What is Koheles' view of the Torah?

Koheles doesn't mention the special election of Israel, Maamad Har Sinai or Nevuah. It does talk about God, right and wrong and reward and punishment. Do any major Jewish thinkers entertain the ...
Nahum's user avatar
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1000th generation, and creating the world out of Rachamim

I recently saw in a (Chassidic) sefer that the concept of "Hashem intended to make the world out of justice, but saw that it wouldn't last, so made it out of mercy" (Rashi on Bereshit) means ...
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Hashgacha question

What is the explanation that in many cases the Tanakh speaks about nations (e.g. Aram) that Hashem sends to chastise the Jewish nation? It implies that Hashem is able to influence pagan nations, but ...
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Who is THE LORD and who is my lord?

Who is David referring to when he wrote in Psalms 110:1 "The Lord said to my lord" Who is he referring to when he says "THE LORD," and who is he referring to when he says "...
lifeisaquestion's user avatar
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Examples of Hashem changing His mind - is the explanation always the same?

There are times where there is a hava amina (automatic assumption) that Hashem changed His mind, and the standard commentary is "obviously, Hashem didn't really change His mind, it is to teach us ...
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Why did Eve Believe the Snake?

Rashi in Genesis 3 states: כָּל אֻמָּן שׂוֹנֵא אֶת בְּנֵי אֻמָּנוּתוֹ, מִן הָעֵץ אָכַל וּבָרָא אֶת הָעוֹלָם (בראשית רבה): כי ידע FOR [GOD] KNOWS — Every artisan detests his fellow-artisans (“Two of a ...
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Do we have free will or does Hashem know everything? [duplicate]

Does Hashem know the future? If not, how is he God? Doesn’t God know everything?
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History of religiosity decline after haskalah

Is any reason given by religiously Jewish theologians and thinkers for why religiosity and observance amongst Jews declined after the Haskalah? Are there any opinions rabbinic authorities have given ...
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What does "אל" mean?

I am talking about the Lashon Hakodesh appelation, אל, which is often translated as "God". What, precisely does it mean? How do we relate to a God, vs say, a King, or an Eternity, or a Lord ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Why did G-d allow for the serpent to be in the Garden (which is a sacred space) when the serpent is deceitful by nature and thus, evil?

According to the Ancient Israelite view, the Garden is a manifestation of sacred space (this is the sacred space theology. The Holy Temple was a manifestation of sacred space on Earth), guarded by ...
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Do we have the capacity to bless Hashem?

When children are taught that Baruch Ata Ado... means " the source of all blessings' ' as opposed to "blessed are you Hashem' ' because we don't have the capacity to bless our creator. Is ...
Truth seeker 's user avatar
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How did the early Kabbalists reconcile the belief in sefirot with the absolute unity of God?

It's possible the question has already been asked here, but wasn't able to find. So please excuse me for posting this again. The early Jewish philosophers/thinkers (Saadia, Ramabam, Bachya Ibn Pakuda ...
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Repent, but NOT Because God Commands So ...?

The L'Dofkei B'Tshuva cites the Beit Yitzchak (B"Y) who states that the act of Teshuva needs no specific accompanying intent to fulfill the mitzva - unlike other mitzvot. Teshuva is all about ...
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How can He reign over no subjects? [אדון עולם אשר מלך בטרם כל יצור נברא]

אדון עולם אשר מלך בטרם כל יצור How can He have "reigned" over no one? Shouldn't another term have been used? אין מלך בלא עם ! (I'd also like to hear an explanation from Chassidus.) Possible ...
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Plague of Hails

Shemoth 9:23-"So Moses held out his rod toward the sky, and Hashem sent thunder and hail, and fire streamed down to the ground, as Hashem rained down hail upon the land of Egypt." Shemoth 9:...
Gembali Noach's user avatar
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What is אנדרלמוסיא

It is quite clear from context that it means a type of heavenly group punishment, like a flood or a plague* where both good and bad die, l'a. It seems mainly connected with the sin of זִּמָּה/זְנוּת i....
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Where do our thoughts come from? [closed]

Source: https://nehoraschool.com/are-our-thoughts-ours/ Are there any torah or talmudic sources for the statements in this article here?: Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag, the great master Kabbalist, teaches ...
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עוֹשֶׂה חֲדָשׁוֹת - what is this referring to?

In the morning berachot of Shema, we call Hashem עוֹשֶׂה חֲדָשׁוֹת - Doer/Former of Novelties. What does this mean? What is it referring to? Possibly referring to the "הַמְחַדֵּשׁ בְּטוּבוֹ ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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3 votes
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Kabbalah/chasidus explanations of theodicy

Are there any kabbalistic or hasidic explanations given to the question of theodicy? Beyond “rational”/philosophical explanations, are there any mystical reasons given to why bad things happen? If so, ...
Kirk's user avatar
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3 votes
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Source that we are inherently deserving

The question is about the concept not the song. I noticed an interesting difference in the lyrics of two versions of the song "Ribon" by Beri Weber. The original English version contains the ...
fulltimekollelguy's user avatar
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Meaning of Shmuel 2:22:26

עִם־חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד עִם־גִּבּוֹר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם׃ With a kind person, You are kind. With a person strong in innocence, You are innocent. Shmuel 2:22:26 תָּמִים could also be translated as whole,...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Ger chassidus teachings

Does the community know what defines Ger chasiduss ideologically and Hashkafically? Is there an English translated sefarim or article that explains the basics of the Hasidic dynasty’s teachings?
Kirk's user avatar
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(Why) did God take away free will from the sons of Eli?

In 1 Shmuel 2:25 it indicates that the sons of Eli don't repent for their sins because God wanted to kill them וְלֹ֤א יִשְׁמְעוּ֙ לְק֣וֹל אֲבִיהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־חָפֵ֥ץ ה' לַהֲמִיתָֽם But [the sons of Eli] ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is it commendable to be fearful of God's wrath?

In the daily recitation of the Shema, we mention God's anger (וחרה אף) as a potential motivation for adhering to the Torah. However, there seems to be a concern that some individuals might ...
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Proof of Hashem via Talmud/Amora/Tanna

Does anyone know of the places where a Tanna/Amora offers a proof for the existence of Hashem. ie: Bereshit Rabbah 39:1 Avraham Avinu passes a castle on fire (see below) Is there perhaps a list, or a ...
msj121's user avatar
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Man like God or separate from God

Bereshit 3:22: ויאמר ה' אלקים הן האדם היה כאחד ממנו לדעת טוב ורע Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil" Is this the correct translation? ...
Lisa Cremer's user avatar
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Why does G-d, blessed be He, say that something did not enter His mind when He is all-knowing?

Jeremiah 19:5 states: They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal— something I never commanded or mentioned, nor did it even enter My mind. ...
setszu's user avatar
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2 votes
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Elohim distinct from YHWH Elohim

In Genesis 1 it is Elohim who created. In Genesis 2 from verse 4 we see that YHWH Elohim created Adam and the animals etc. From here onwards God is referred to as YHWH Elohim. Then we read of the ...
Lisa Cremer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
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Is there a comprehensive list(s) which has every single attribute/trait of G-d, blessed be He, with their corresponding Torah, Talmud, etc. verses?

As the question states, I'm looking for some kind of a resource which contains a clear list, in a bullet-point form or otherwise, of every single attribute of G-d, blessed be He, according to Jewish ...
setszu's user avatar
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3 answers
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How can we exist?

Positing that G.od is perfect (by the fact that he is the moral authority and is thought of as absolute perfection according to the general consensus); a change that he makes would mean that he was ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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How can a name exist before anything was Created

BH I heard “before the world was created it was the Holy one blessed be He and His Great Name alone” עד שלא נברא העולם, היה הקדוש ברוך הוא ושמו הגדול בלבד Source How can a name exist before ...
David 's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are non-Jews considered Hashem's "children"?

The pasuk says "banim atem lashem elokeichem," referring to us. Is there a drasha anywhere (or another source) that says that non-Jews are not called Hashem's children? (I don't think this ...
eliyahu's user avatar
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Why do Rabbis say that HaShem was mistaken and HaShem states that He was defeated and that He must obey the Rabbis?

I've been reading an article on an Islamic website called Muslim Skeptic and came accross the following: The way that Jews depict God, they celebrate the notion of debating with God, winning ...
setszu's user avatar
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2 answers
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Saying God is Great in Arabic - is a Jew allowed?

We all know the "aqbar" phrase. Is it permissible for a Jew to say this phrase? The assumption is that it is ok, because it commonly said that we are talking about the same Hashem. This ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Would there be bad tidings in Olam Haba?

https://www.sefaria.org/Pesachim.50a.17 ״וְהָיָה ה׳ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כׇּל הָאָרֶץ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה ה׳ אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד״. אַטּוּ הָאִידָּנָא לָאו אֶחָד הוּא? אָמַר רַבִּי אַחָא בַּר חֲנִינָא: ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Having a mystical or "religious experience"

This isn't really a question, more of an observation, but I don't think I've ever had a genuine "religious experience" where I have some kind of direct experience or connection with Hashem ...
Menachem's user avatar
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3 answers
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Why does Hashem force us to follow His commandments?

I understand that we have free will and are punished for doing things that hurt others, and are rewarded for doing the right thing. What I do not understand is, why does Hashem send us to Gehinnom for ...
HaLevi's user avatar
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8 answers
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Is G-d's 'mind' separate from Him?

Recently, I've been studying Neoplatonic philosophy in its Jewish context and the history of Jewish Neoplatonic thought. In such a view, some propose that because G-d, blessed be He, is absolutely ...
setszu's user avatar
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Information about some Kabbalah authors

There is a sentence on Wikipedia about Kabbalah, but unfortunately, there are no sources for it, and I would like to know the sources (if they exist). The sentence says: "Among the problems ...
Mineder's user avatar
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Is it to our credit, or our discredit, if we feel ashamed and in awe of the Greatness of the Divine Presence?

There's a theme that appears a lot in the commentaries that being afraid of holiness, ashamed of nakedness and so on are either good things, or unfortunate results of bad things. For an example of the ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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Should one who is unable to do a mitzvah wish he was able to do it?

For example, should one who must go work to make a living wish he can stay and learn, or should he feel that this is the ultimate option that Hashem wants for him and there's no point to wish for ...
DavidM's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Will Hashem reign alone?

In the morning prayer of the Chabad siddur it says "And when all things shall cease to be the Awesome One will reign alone." What does this mean and are there any halachic sources that state ...
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If HaShem truly sent רוּחַ שֶׁקֶר in [1 Kings 22], Why does G-d need humans to lie?

In [Derekh HaShem 3.4.11], Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal) validates the vision by Mikayahu of G-d fooling Achav with lying spirits in [1 Kings 22:22-28] as true. If HaShem knows trust in humans is ...
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Is a Jew permitted to believe in gods other than Hashem, provided they are not worshipped and are subservient to Hashem?

Imagine that a Jew were to say the following: I believe in the Greek sun god Helios. I believe that he is real, is a god, and has power. However, I believe Helios was created by, and is subservient ...
Benyamin's user avatar
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Proper definition for an idol/idol worshiping? [closed]

What is the proper definition for an idol/idol worshiping? I'm asking this because in Christianity, an idol can be any person or thing that consumes your thoughts, words, time, energy, or money other ...
Mineder's user avatar
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2 answers
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Hashem too holy to abide by us, yet closer to us than we can imagine - how to resolve?

tl;dr: Hashem creates us and communicates with us through prophecy. Creating seems as "close and personal" an activity as communicating, if not more. I note that He creates everyone (...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Not inquiring about pre-creation - why?

ואמר רב אחא בר יעקב עוד רקיע אחד יש למעלה מראשי החיות דכתיב (יחזקאל א, כב) ודמות על ראשי החיה רקיע כעין הקרח הנורא עד כאן יש לך רשות לדבר מכאן ואילך אין לך רשות לדבר שכן כתוב בספר בן סירא (בן סירא ג, ...
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