Questions tagged [theology]

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

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7
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4answers
940 views

Lubavitch and Geocentricism

I read here in an article by Rabbi Gil Student that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a believed in the geocentric model despite the modern scientific evidence to the contrary. What is the source for this ...
6
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1answer
228 views

Does G-d only hear one language?

I'm a little confused by Rambam Hil. Tefilla 1:4. Consequently, when someone would pray, he would be limited in his ability to request his needs or to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, in Hebrew, ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Is Jewish theology Panentheistic by definition?

Is the Jewish view that everything in creation is a hidden manifestation of God, i.e. that God is enclothed so to speak, in every element of creation, similar to Panentheism. Or is God "outside" of ...
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3answers
250 views

What caused God?

I recently came across this webpage, in which I read the following: You say everything needs a cause, right? So what caused the 1st cause? Why is the 1st cause the exception to the rule? Maybe the ...
10
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2answers
628 views

“God is Fire”: Trying to Source an Analogy for Prayer

I remember reading once a very clever analogy, which I was sure that I had found in the writings of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (who sourced it, from memory, in the writings of the Rav, R' Yosef Ber ...
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3answers
349 views

From the Torah itself how do we know that various names of God points to the same God?

Jews believe that God, while having many names, is actually one. So the idea is that El Elyon, Elohim, El Shadai, YHWH, Adonai, El, are just names mostly referring to the same being. Is there any ...
3
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5answers
234 views

Shaar Yichud - Unity of God

According my understanding of the Shaar Yichud of Chovot Halevavot, an Eternal being must be infinite and everywhere since whatever is finite is necessarily bounded and whatever is bounded is preceded ...
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3answers
760 views

Bad Jew or Good Gentile?

Whom does Hashem love more: Gentiles who love Jewish people and Israel or Jews who are against Jewish people and Israel?
2
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5answers
291 views

Maybe God lied?

How do we know that God didn't lie at Sinai? Maybe he said he was good and compassionate, and promised us reward, but it's all a trick? Why believe that God is true?
2
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4answers
373 views

How can we know God?

How can we know God? Isn't God unknowable? We learn and study and follow God's commands and pray, but how do we know God (as opposed to what God wants)? What is a true way to know GOD better? ...
6
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2answers
230 views

Why does G-d reward reshaim in this world to punish them in the next, if He is good? [duplicate]

The question of "Why do some reshaim people live a good life, while some good people suffer" is often answered that G-d rewards the rasha in this world, in order to punish him in the world to come for ...
6
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5answers
111 views

In Kaddish — what consolation can we offer G-d?

In the Kaddish, we say that may G-d be praised "beyond any blessing, hymn, praise, and consolation said in this world." I understand how we can bless or praise G-d -- but how exactly (or even ...
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4answers
325 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 ...
4
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4answers
178 views

What does HaShem benefit from making the human being?

HaShem made the human being with free will (to choose), but what does it mean to HaShem, or what does He gain/benefits from making the human being and why make this human being with the ability to ...
4
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1answer
153 views

Omnipotence and Omniscience

Where was it first claimed that God is omnipotent or omniscient? Did God or an authorized prophet ever actually make this claim?
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0answers
92 views

אלקים בגימטריא הטבע and not טבע? [closed]

There's a oft quoted saying that "אלקים בגימטריא הטבע." Why is it הטבע and not טבע? Isn't it "cheating" to add the extra "ה"?
3
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2answers
217 views

Chovos Halevavos' Proof from Design

Where (preferably online) is the passage of Rabbeinu Bahya Ibn Paqud in his Chovos Halevavos (in Shaar HaYichud I believe) in which he proves the existence of the Creator by citing a story where a ...
3
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1answer
312 views

May one learn from a heretic?

The Rambam writes in his introduction to Shemona Perakim: "kabel ha-emet mimi she-amerah - accept the truth from whoever speaks it". Furthermore, the gemarah Chagigah 15b indicates that Rebbi Meir ...
2
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3answers
258 views

Why do we pray?

Say you have a very good king--he is very nice to his servants and makes the country prosperous and peaceful for everyone. Wouldn't he find it annoying if one of his servants praised him daily, three ...
2
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4answers
353 views

Why go to the doctor?

According to Jewish belief, God gives you sicknesses and God gives you cures. If you are sick it's because God wants you to be sick. Once he deems that you no longer need the disease you are then ...
2
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6answers
670 views

Can God destroy Himself?

I was thinking about it lately. If God can do everything, can He destroy Himself? Is there something about this possibility in any of the holy books?
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3answers
582 views

Why did God reveal himself only before there were recording devices?

Inspired by this: For most of what's written in Tanakh, the only evidence that we have of its truth is Tanakh itself. Since many people are skeptical of a book with no independent sources backing up ...
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1answer
125 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. ...
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2answers
234 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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2answers
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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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1answer
728 views

If God was never incarnated, how come He sat in front of Abraham's tent and appeared among the oaks of Mamre? [closed]

http://yltbible.com/genesis/18.htm Update: This is a jewish source that think that the guy that approach Abraham is indeed God: But is it not so that he [Avraham] did not go to stand before Him? ...
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4answers
1k views

Native American Traditions and Mass Revelations

In Deuteronomy(4:32-34), two points are made in reassuring Israel that God has not abandoned them. The reader is tasked with searching from one end of the heavens to the other to see if a God ever ...
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7answers
2k views

Why is the Bible not a work of theology?

The Bible contains stories, and poetry, and history, and myth, and rules, and a few other bits and pieces. What it does not contain is theology, per se. Nowhere in the Bible does anyone attempt to ...
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3answers
364 views

Am I supposed to Ignore Most Non-Religious Jews?

Most of this question comes from Moznaim Rambam Mishneh Torah Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 2:5 In Hilchos Teshuva it says. "Five individuals are described as minnim: a) one who says there is no God or ...
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1answer
418 views

Elohim - Female Image of G-d

There is a group that teaches that analyzing the words in Genesis 1:26 : And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over ...
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6answers
890 views

Hashem studies Torah?

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah 3b lays out the 12-hour schedule of Hashem's day. I realize that any kind of description of Hashem in human terms is allegorical as Hashem is not a human bounded by time and ...
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3answers
2k views

How do you know what is God's will in a particular situation?

After reading this superb article by the great Rabbi Noah Weinberg I'm left pondering point number 5 "Make your will God's will". I understand that this does not mean that whatever you personally ...
10
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6answers
417 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
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4answers
720 views

Source of Ramban's famous debate

Where can one find the 'disputation of Barcelona' between Pablo Cristiani and the Ramban?
8
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3answers
815 views

Is believing that God, Israel, and Torah are one Avodah Zarah?

The Zohar said that God, Israel, and Torah are one. I thought Judaism is strictly monotheistic. When Jesus said, "I and the father is one", he was being a heretic. So how come the Zohar includes even ...
7
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4answers
689 views

The Absolute Unity of G-d

As we all who know Hebrew can assert, the sufix "im" in the words usually means plurality. How can HaShem be Elohim or Elokim if He is absolutely One and the Only Lord?
3
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0answers
221 views

Is it generally accepted by Jewish scholars that Judaism was at one stage henotheist and/or monolatrist? [duplicate]

It is widely believed, among scholars of the history of Judaism and the Jewish scriptures, that the earliest books of the Tanakh display a gradual shift from a position of henotheism, to a form of ...
3
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4answers
286 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 ...
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1answer
486 views

How will the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc come to recognize the G-d of Israel when the Messiah comes

How will the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc come to recognize the G-d of Israel when the Messiah comes since these religions and rest of the 49% of the world's population that doesn't believe ...
0
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2answers
146 views

Knowing Hashem how? [duplicate]

It says veyadata es Hashem elokecha And ladas ki Hashem hu Elokim devarim 4:35 What does it mean to know Hashem (God)? How can our finite and limited minds grasp him and understand him? Not Hashem's ...
10
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2answers
383 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/...
10
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3answers
355 views

How do scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder understand the fourth day of creation?

If I understand correctly, scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder have readings of Genesis Chapter 1 that fit with the current scientific understanding of how the universe/planet/life ...
7
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1answer
249 views

What is the Shekhina?

To what are people referring when they talk about the Shekhina? Is it a form of God? A part of God? An attribute of God? Perhaps it is something else entirely? Also, what is the etymology of the word,...
6
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2answers
750 views

Better for Man to Not have Been Created

The Talmud in Eruvin 13b concludes that it were better for a man not to have been created than to have been created. How can we understand this given that God is absolutely benevolent. Wouldn't it ...
5
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1answer
207 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for gentiles, or is it just practice?

Suppose a non-Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for gentiles?
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3answers
128 views

Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus?

Around the time of the exodus, the Torah says (Deut. 12:11, in Rabbi Kaplan's translation): there will be a site that God will choose as the place dedicated to His name. It is there that you will ...
4
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2answers
239 views

Shabbat songs that rhyme only with Hashem's real name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronouncing Hashem's name in a song Many songs we sing and the Shabbat table we use the word Hashem instead of Hashem's real name even when the song was written in rhyme ...
3
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4answers
353 views

Why is Avraham's monotheism not mentioned in the torah?

One of the more famous achievements of Avraham was his discovery in a single God. However there is no mention of this accomplishment anywhere in the Torah. In fact there is no conclusive proof that he ...
3
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2answers
180 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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3answers
157 views

Does God have complete knowledge of future?

This question Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus? ask around the idea that G-d would choose His holy places during exodus time. However, if he knows the future, he couldn't ...