Questions tagged [theology]

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

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1answer
107 views

How the experience of G-d can be distinguished from experiencing AI? [closed]

This is a thought experiment aimed to aid me to prepare for the Messianic times: We know, that the European colonizers of America were seen by the natives as "sons of gods" because of the ...
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111 views

Were Jews always Monotheistic? [duplicate]

I was watching a debate where a Mormon claimed to a Christian that early Jews believed that other gods existed besides YHWH, but they only had a covenant with a single god (YHWH). He never got a ...
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2answers
259 views

Does Hashem care about Halachah Lemaase?

Upfront: this is a metaphysical/theological question In many (almost all?) areas of Jewish practice, there are a number of different and at times diametrically opposed opinions as to what the ...
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3answers
118 views

Torah 'not in Heaven' and free choice

The concept of “Torah lo b’shomayim hi” is usually taken to mean that the halacha is not decided (by G-d) in Heaven, but rather by people here on Earth. However, since nothing happens outside of G-d’s ...
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1answer
73 views

Measuring the universe in G-d's cubits (Eruvin 21a)

In the following passage (Eruvin 21a in William Davidson edition) the sages try to determine the size of the Torah scroll that Zachariah saw in his prophecy: In order to determine the measure of ...
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91 views

Meaning of the last sentence of the kaddish?

The last sentence of the kaddish - "עושה שלום במרומיו" -refers to Gd making peace on high. What does that mean? Is peace considered the opposite of chaos? Could someone restate the last sentence ...
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2answers
72 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, ...
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1answer
104 views

Who are the Rabbis that don't meet Rambam's reqs acc. to Raavad?

In Hilchos Teshuva 3.7 Rambam defines Minim (that can't do a full Teshuvah): חֲמִשָּׁה הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים מִינִים. ...3) וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם רִבּוֹן אֶחָד אֲבָל שֶׁהוּא גּוּף וּבַעַל תְּמוּנָה. ...
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74 views

Monarchian Monad to Trinitarian Triad [closed]

Before I submit the question I would like to preface with the fact that I am a Christian, though I do not hold the doctrine of the trinity as I see this to be a post New Testament thought sprung from ...
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3answers
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How can G-d fight other gods?

During Passover, we read the following passage, from Exodus 12:12: וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָדָם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי ...
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1answer
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Would we keep religion when everyone is healthy, satiated and satisfied? [closed]

G-d's curse to Adam was that the abundance of Eden will stop and he will be lacking health/wealth/food etc. For millennia people turned to G-d to ask to fulfill their basic physiological needs. The ...
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Is it lawful,for the Noahide Laws, the thesis of Gentiles Christians according to whom Jesus has a divine nature but he is subordinate to God? [duplicate]

I am not a christian but I am an Italian noahide, therefore I do not believe in the divinity and messianicity of Jesus the Nazarene. I clarify that my question, being relevant to the application of ...
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64 views

Is Perfection better without or with it? [closed]

The pattern goes that G-d does not need our prayers, or anything tangible or intangible because He has no need whatsoever as the Primal cause and His perfection. He cannot gain from anything. Under ...
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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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1answer
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Why is Hashem being separate from his creation a more acceptable belief than His creation being within Him?

I've read and been told that Hashem is separate from his creation because he is infinite and therefore he can't have the finite objects of the universe be a part of him. He must be uniform. I've ...
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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 ...
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2answers
88 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 ...
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Why angels are needed in a monotheistic religion? [duplicate]

Moshe's questions about angels made me think: We see that G-d "acts" in the world either through angels (Sdom) or by "Himself" with no intermediator (Exodus). Why angels are needed at all in a ...
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2answers
129 views

Where is Heaven located?

God is infinite, omnipresent, beyond time and space, but what about angels and heaven? Surely they have limitations with regard to time and space? In the (Tehilas hashem) siddur, before Shema, it ...
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What does אחָד in שמע ישראל actually mean?

In the Shema the word used for the oneness of God is אחָד (ref.). This is startling for a Muslim, as they find in the Quran almost a transliteration of the same word, i.e. the Arabic احد (pronounced: ...
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62 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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3answers
186 views

Why is G-d mentioned in the feminine sometimes?

In one part of the Birkat Hamazon we say "veal hakol... anu modim lach umevarchim otach". This is only one small example, and there are many others, but why is God being adressed in the feminine "...
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Why is the plural form used in describing the creation of man? [duplicate]

When man is being created, it is Betzelemenu Kidimutenu, why is this in plural form? Is this implying that the oneness of God Echad is somehow contradicted?
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Why does HaShem say, “I rebuke you Satan” in Zech 3:1-2.?

If Satan is obedient to G-d and works under his authority, why did HaShem reprimand him in Zechariah 3:1-2?
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Reconciling “פותח את ידך” and knowing people are starving?

Tehillim 145:16 (Sefaria's translation): פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת־יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל־חַי רָצוֹן׃ You give it (the food mentioned in the previous pasuk) openhandedly, feeding every creature to its ...
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1answer
110 views

Why does the Torah refer to G-d paternally?

We know G-d has no gender yet our Scriptures use masculine pronouns when referring to Him and also when He refers to Himself in the third person. Obviously there are only three options: male, female ...
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60 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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2answers
191 views

Definition of Avodah Zarah

Looking at different explanations regards Avodah Zarah, different/various forms of idolatry, I tried to sum things up, I tried to get to get a definition out of it based on their common denominator. ...
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3answers
105 views

Hashem's will is not “nihilo”, so why is it “creatio ex nihilo”?

The traditional objection is to any material having existed prior to the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, but then why not call it "creation without material"? The will of Hashem is not "nihilo" ...
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1answer
41 views

Would the Torah be the same if not for the primordial sin?

This question encompasses more information than my header had stated, but namely, I’m inquiring; How would the Torah have been given if the sin had not occurred? Would the Torah possess the same ...
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51 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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Is calling The LORD as “Father” common during Jesus time?

Most of the time I hear from some Christian friends that the "Father" name for to The LORD was founded by Jesus. Because I find it odd (if Jesus was the first person to start calling The LORD "...
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1answer
85 views

Did Hashem originally intend to have a connection with everyone?

Does it say anywhere that when Hashem created the world it was with the intention to have a connection with everyone, but because people sinned Hashem saw he could only have this intimate connection ...
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5answers
164 views

Were there prophets who could “see” the past?

According to Wikipedia, Judaism holds that there were 48 males prophets and 7 female prophetesses mentioned by name in Tenakh, counting ONLY the Jewish ones. (Judaism recognizes that there were many ...
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86 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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536 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 ...
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4answers
193 views

How can G-d without form produce sound (voice)?

How can a G-d without form produce sound (voice)? For instance, G-d spoke at Mount Sinai to millions of Jews.
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109 views

G-d is formless even if we have divine spark

If G-d is formless, how then did He take a piece of Himself and put it in Adom? And the L-rd G-d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man ...
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113 views

Hashem's inconsistent responses about Sedom

In parshas Vayeira there is a whole back-and-forth between Hashem and Avraham. Each time Avraham pleaded to save everyone if a certain number of righteous individuals would be found. Each time Hashem ...
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186 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 ...
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164 views

If we can't understand G-d at all, why do our sources try?

I have for a long time been been confused and dismayed that, although our sources -- including kabbalistic ones -- acknowledge frequently, emphatically, and without limitation that לית מחשבה תפיסא בך ...
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2answers
109 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
577 views

Is there a Jewish theology equivalent to Calvinism?

I have a question that may seem odd, but bear with me. Basically, I'm wondering whether there's any Jewish theology analogous to Calvinist Christianity. I am NOT wondering about the salvation/...
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2answers
90 views

Learning from stories that are impossible to negate

The Talmud is full of Musar stories in the following pattern: a Rabbi did X and G-d made him Y, therefore we all should do X so G-d will make us Y. In many cases, G-d's reaction can be the opposite of ...
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1answer
125 views

Who said that before Rambam's 13 principles it was allowed to have different opinions about the Messiah?

I don't exactly remember the name of the rabbi who said this (Not sure if it was Chasam Sofer?) and I don't exactly remember what he said but from what I understood and remember was that before Rambam ...
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2answers
237 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
129 views

Hashem's infinite power

I've heard many times that Hashem is infinitely powerful. But how do we know this? Perhaps he's just very powerful or even all powerful (possessing all power there is, which is possibly finite). Is ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
3
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1answer
173 views

Does God need to find out what happened? – Ralbag's seemingly contradictory comments

(Quick summary if you don't want to read the whole question: In Parshas Noach Ralbag seems to claim that God already knew what happened, while in Parshas Vayeira he seems to claim that God did not ...
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1answer
173 views

Has God appeared in human form in Genesis 18? [closed]

As the title says, has God appeared in human form in Genesis 18?

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