Questions tagged [theology]

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

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5
votes
7answers
258 views

what is good and what does it mean that God is good?

What does the term "tov" (good) mean? I am asking especially in how it relates to God. I.e. what does "tov" mean and what does it mean that God is "tov"? An example where God is ascribed "tov" is ...
17
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6answers
11k views

Have Jews believed that Ezra was the son of God?

In reading the Qur'an, I noticed this passage: Qur'an 9:30 The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their ...
10
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2answers
360 views

What is the proof that HaShem's purpose in creation was to bestow good?

Rabbi M Ch Luzzatto in Derech HaShem (1:2:1) gives HaShem’s purpose in creation to “bestow of His good to another”. (Translation Aryeh Kaplan.) The translator in his notes gives several sources/...
0
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0answers
37 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
253 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
43 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, ...
8
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0answers
41 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
138 views

Bodily or spiritual resurrection?

When, exactly, do we transition from physical, bodily resurrection after death, to a purely spiritual existence, with no body? On the one hand, we are taught the following order of events: The ...
2
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1answer
129 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
3
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4answers
160 views

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 ...
9
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4answers
320 views

Does HaShem need rest?

Why did HaShem create Shabbos? He doesn't need rest!
3
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1answer
98 views

The purpose and the permission to write Na"ch?

Torah (the 5 books) is [considered] G-d dictated, holistic and include all the necessary knowledge. It is allowed to be passed in the written form. The detailed interpretations were given orally and ...
6
votes
2answers
357 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
59 views

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. ...
11
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6answers
782 views

If Hashem doesn't change, how does prayer work?

If Hashem is perfect and unchanging, how can we pray to Him to have mercy on us? Doesn't that imply a change? I've heard it implied that the way this works is that the prayer itself has the effect ...
1
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2answers
149 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 ...
5
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4answers
296 views

Did HaShem “regret” creating someone/something

I heard once that it says somewhere in Chazal that there were certain things or people that HaShem "regretted" (had "charatah") in creating. Although I don't remember which examples were given or if a ...
1
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0answers
67 views

What does “the tree of life” mean when G-d decides on life solely?

My question is maybe an elaboration on this question "How does the tree of life work?: The Gemmorah says that G-d decides exclusively on a person’s lifespan. But the Torah says that G-d Himself is ...
-3
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1answer
142 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
68 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
79 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
58 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
49 views

What's the purpose of the body in/after resurrection?

Following "what-is-the-purpose-of-tchiat-hametim", the Gemmorah says: העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ...
5
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2answers
401 views

How did Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel arrive at the conclusion that it would have been preferable had man not been created?

תנו רבנן: שתי שנים ומחצה נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל, הללו אומרים: נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא, והללו אומרים: נוח לו לאדם שנברא יותר משלא נברא. נמנו וגמרו: נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא, עכשיו ...
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0answers
43 views

Why doesn't Dor Hamabul deserve the World to Come?

The Mishna (Sanhedrin 10) states that Dor Hamabul do not have a part in the world to come: דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל אֵין לָהֶם חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין בַּדִּין The generation of the flood ...
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0answers
33 views

What made G-d change His opinion about Humans and how is it possible?

וַיָּ֣רַח ה' אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ה' אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב הָאָדָ֛ם רַ֖ע מִנְּעֻרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־אֹסִ֥ף ע֛וֹד ...
0
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1answer
50 views

What was G-d's plan in having 20 generations before Abraham appears?

I'm trying to understand G-d's plan for creating wicked and sinful humans, waiting for 1600 years/10 generations for them to sin, wiping them out completely, then waiting for another 400 years for the ...
0
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1answer
97 views

Why does נהמא דכיסופא make sense at all between lovers? [duplicate]

This preliminary question asks about what N"D is. The נהמא דכיסופא is a possible explanation for why should we suffer in this world to receive the reward in the afterworld. I tried to verify that: ...
-5
votes
1answer
79 views

Were G-d's expectations for Dor Hamabul realistic?

Undoubtfully the all-loving G-d was a bit harsh on punishing the whole generation of Noah (probably millions?) by drowning them (and all the animals - what did they do?) in boiling water (He could ...
0
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3answers
107 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 ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Reverse Pascal's wager in the plain Torah

I'm trying to understand the simple "game theory" of the plain text of the Tora. I don't deal with the idea of afterlife/World to Come as it does not appear in the scriptures (maybe remotely hinted). ...
3
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2answers
101 views

What does it mean to bless anything?

In the first chapter of the Torah G-d Himself blesses various things: people, animals, days. What does it mean for G-d to bless anything after creating it?
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1answer
47 views

Theological importance of the Noah's flood [closed]

The story of the flood spans roughly three chapters of the Torah, yet it has no practical Halachic value. It describes numerous miraculous events that have no relation to the Jewish people and ...
51
votes
12answers
5k views

How do we know that God exists?

Simple enough question, and very much related to the topic. According to traditional Jewish sources, on what basis should people believe that there's a God?
12
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2answers
1k views

What should our response be to ancient scripts that mirror the Torah?

There are quite a number of ancient documents that have been found that (supposedly) predate the Torah, and yet they share many lines practically verbatim. If the Torah is truly divine, how could this ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Why should G-d correct His Creation as He goes?

THe Torah and the commentaries clearly suggest in several places that G-d corrected His Creation while still in the process: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר ...
0
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1answer
34 views

What does it mean that G-d calls names to things?

In the process of Creation G-d eventually calls names of different things: וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה ...׃ God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
1
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0answers
22 views

Why should G-d look at the parts of His creation?

THis part of the story of the Creation seriously puzzles me: G-d looking at His creation and checking/judging/evaluating it. Examples: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים ...
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2answers
75 views

“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 ...
14
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8answers
4k views

Does God love non-Jews?

I've read the topic of whether or not God discriminates between Jews and non-Jews, but does God love non-Jews? Does it say anywhere that He does love non-Jews. I don't believe that God hates non-Jews ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

How can Hashem judge a person לזכות, favourably, as in הדן חבירו לכף זכות דנין אותו לזכות

The Gemoro Shabbos 127b brings three stories illustrating the principle, הדן חבירו לכף זכות דנין אותו לזכות “He who judges his neighbour in the scale of merit is himself judged favourably.”...
9
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4answers
1k views

What is a summary of basic Jewish metaphysics or theology?

Whilst wishing no disrespect to any religion, various "basic concepts" are easily found summarised or explained in introductory texts or online. For example: Buddhist metaphysics would have to do ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Does God need us?

Does God need us? In Nitzavim, God says: This commandment [in the singular], that I command you today, is not hidden from you and is not distant. [Deut. 30:11] The Midrash explains: What [...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
269 views

Where is a mediator between God and man forbidden

I don't believe that there should be mediators (like Christians believe Jesus is a mediator between God and man whom they pray to and/or pray through) between us and God, but is there anywhere in the ...
4
votes
5answers
901 views

Does Judaism recognize other religions?

Does Judaism acknowledge that there are some other religions that come from G-d? If yes, how? Which religions are that? Please give me some examples. And what are the reference for this claim?
3
votes
1answer
110 views

G-d changing the past

A bit of a childish question. Is it possible for God to change the past? or is it one of those things that are generally possible but in certain occasions will never happen? I'm asking because of ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Sinning and G-d's will, what's wrong with this logic?

Nothing happens against Hashem's will. Ergo, when one sins, that's also Hashem's will. Yet we know that Hashem wants us not to sin, so it's against His will. Contradiction?
4
votes
3answers
195 views

Hashem in a Tallit

The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah 17b says: ויעבור ה' על פניו ויקרא א"ר יוחנן אלמלא מקרא כתוב אי אפשר לאומרו מלמד שנתעטף הקב"ה כשליח צבור והראה לו למשה סדר תפלה אמר לו כל זמן שישראל חוטאין יעשו לפני ...

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