Questions tagged [theology]

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

42 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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3answers
287 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 ...
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0answers
153 views

Why are there only a finite number of people?

If the purpose that we ascribe as the reason for creation (as stated in the Ramchal's Derech Hashem, Klach Pischei Chochma and other works) is for God to bestow his goodness unto creation (bearing in ...
5
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1answer
279 views

Is Panentheism considered heretical?

(Closely related to this post, but I think it is still a bit different) Panentheism: A doctrine that the universe subsists within Gcd, but that Gcd nevertheless transcends or has some existence ...
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74 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 ...
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2answers
148 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 ...
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0answers
105 views

What did Bnei Yisrael experience at Matan Torah?

I'm having trouble understanding what the Israelites actually experienced at the Revelation at Mt Sinai. Did they all see God? Did they all hear Him? Did they all understand Him? Did they hear all of ...
3
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0answers
143 views

A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?

The Gemara (Ber. 32a) quotes R' El'azar that when HaShem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisrael and Moshe intervened, it is comparable to a king who beat his son terribly, and the king's friend was at his ...
2
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1answer
62 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, ...
2
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163 views

Ancient Texts Claiming that G-d is Perfect

I am looking for a list of sources (early Rishonim and before) explicitly claiming that G-d is perfect. One place I found is Devarim 32:4 "The deeds of the [Mighty] Rock are perfect, for all His ways ...
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0answers
105 views

Significance of man relative to God

God is totally infinite in space/time and beyond, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-everything. Compared to God, man, the universe, and everything in it - everything is completely insignificant. If so, ...
2
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1answer
123 views

What constitutes belief in HaShem?

What are the minimum requirements for a religion (besides Judaism) to have in order for it to be considered that they believe in HaShem? For instance, what conditions does Islam fulfill that makes us ...
2
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1answer
71 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 ...
2
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1answer
102 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 ...
2
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1answer
139 views

Does G-d's closeness necessitate anthropomorphism?

A big part of our Jewish theology and philosophy is based on our desire to be closer to G-d (hope it's accepted unanimously). All of our analogies are built around the personification of G-d, whether ...
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39 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 ...
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0answers
71 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 ...
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26 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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1answer
47 views

History and prophecy in Na"ch

I can roughly divide the text of the Torah into two categories - historical facts and prophecies. But, traditionally, they were all dictated by G-d to Moses. The books of prophets retain a similar ...
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57 views

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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42 views

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&...
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66 views

Proofs that Hashem doesn't eat

The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 21:16-19) brings several proofs that Hashem doesn't need to eat, and therefore the passuk that states that the Karban Tamid is "my karban, my bread" (Bamidbar 28:2) is not ...
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53 views

Who are the Attributists Rambam speaks of

in the 'Guide for the Perplexed' by Rabbi Moshe Maimonides, who are the 'attributists' he speaks of? Are they other Jews with a different view, a different sect within Judaism, the Mohammedans, the ...
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167 views

Are there any verses in the Hebrew bible (or just the Torah) that show that God is indivisible?

There are some monotheistic religions that believe that there is one god, but there are (or can be) parts to him (christianity is a good example). They don't believe that god is one and complete and ...
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167 views

Do the Rishonim that hold G-d can have physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.) also hold he can incarnate?

Among the various Rishonim that hold that G-d can take physical form (e.g Rav Moshe Taku, etc.), do they also hold he can "incarnate" into physical form (i.e come down to Earth and be born to a woman ...
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1answer
64 views

How do we understand G-d's attribute of “wisdom”?

In various places in tefillah, we speak of G-d as having or using his "wisdom" (E.g. in Asher Yatzar and in the Hame'ir La'aretz of Shacharit.) To understand G-d, we try to attribute human-like ...
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110 views

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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55 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 ...
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58 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 ...
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48 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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61 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). ...
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52 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 ...
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20 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 ...
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27 views

Does G-d have expiration on His tolerance?

וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עַד־אָנָה יְנַאֲצֻנִי הָעָם הַזֶּה וְעַד־אָנָה לֹא־יַאֲמִינוּ בִי בְּכֹל הָאֹתוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ׃ And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people ...
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35 views

Level of exactness of Na'"ch

Torah was dictated by G-d to Moses and is exact by letter. Mishnah and Gemmorah (and all subsequent books) are man-made and written loosely (at least not letter-exact - see תנא ושייר and more). The ...
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75 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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32 views

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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82 views

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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1answer
52 views

Does the term “G-d” (i.e Elokim) include the concept of ruler?

Often times Hashem is referred to as Elokim or Elokecha and the like, (10 commandments etc.) does this term include the terms/concepts of manhig or reshuiot? In other words, could someone ...
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2answers
93 views

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
70 views

Range of G-d's educational methods in the Torah

It is a positive Mitzvah to "emulate G-d's ways" (Rambam Deot, 1). To be a better father to my kids, I'm trying to see what educational methods does G-d exercise in the Torah to His sons when they ...
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1answer
58 views

Metaphorically speaking who is closer: humans to ants or humans to G-d?

Following my theological quest on the differences between the Maimonedian and Zoharian approach to G-d's anthropomorphism, how would both schools see this question: intellectually and spiritually, ...
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1answer
85 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 ...