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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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14
votes
7answers
564 views

Why did Yonah run away?

If Yonah understood that he was being commanded by God, then how could he have possibly thought that he could run away? Did he believe that God was tied to a particular land, the way pagan gods were ...
10
votes
4answers
393 views

What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
22
votes
1answer
597 views

Can a Noachide continue to believe in religious tenets that are against the Torah?

Say you have a Christian* or a Muslim (or a member of any other monotheistic religion) who accepts the Seven Noachide Laws, and (as per Mishneh Torah, Hil. Melachim 8:11) does so because he believes ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Is there sufficient evidence to support the theory that ancient Israel practiced monolatry?

I just came across this Wikipedia article on monolatrism that says some people believe ancient Israel practiced monolatry. The highest claim to be made for Moses is that he was, rather than a ...
-8
votes
1answer
680 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? ...
17
votes
5answers
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
519 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
14
votes
11answers
916 views

Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d

One of the foundations of modern quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is not an assumption, but rather is derived from assumptions made with regard to the structure of nature....
1
vote
3answers
6k views

What does Psalm 82 mean? [closed]

6 I -- I have said, 'Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High -- all of you, http://yltbible.com/psalms/82.htm So how many gods are there? Who are "you" here? Are we all gods? Here is the context. ...
19
votes
2answers
12k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Garden of Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
2
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6answers
960 views

Can G-d ever take on a physical form?

There are 3 religions that says so. The obvious one is Christianity with that being it's central term. The second one is Hindu. Khrisna is said to be a God incarnate. But in torah I often see stories ...
20
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4answers
2k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
7
votes
4answers
633 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?
2
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3answers
734 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?
10
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3answers
322 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
173 views

Why are several Biblical characters called “man of the Lord” (Ish HaElokim), but no one in the Bible is ever “man of God” (Ish Hashem)?

Ramban makes this observation (Deut. 33:1), and says "anyone with a good intellect" can figure out the reason. Okay I'm stumped ... help me out here please?
2
votes
2answers
230 views

What should a chazan do if he has theological problems with the congregation's text?

There are several places in the selichot where there are controversial phrases, e.g. addressing prayer to angels not G-d. I'm not asking for opinions on this, but I've heard some people just skip ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

What's the best rewording of “midas harachamim aleinu hisgalgli” for those uncomfortable with it?

In the Selichot (fifth day of Aseret Yimei Teshuvah, HaPizmon shel Yud Gimel Middot HaRahamim) and in Ne'ila of Yom Kippur, there's the stanza that reads: The concern is the few middle lines: מדת ...
7
votes
4answers
207 views

If the odds are against you in life (Bais Shammai's opinion), why did G-d bother?

I'm asking this question only because I recall hearing an answer, but unfortunately I don't remember the answer, or from which rabbi. Help me please? Mesilas Yesharim says G-d made creation out of ...
4
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1answer
90 views

Why does the Rambam require repentance, and not just more good deeds, before Yom Kippur?

The Rambam says if someone's virtues-vs-sins balance is even as of Rosh Hashanah, their verdict happens on yom kippur. If they did teshuva in those ten days, they get a pass; if not, they don't. ...
3
votes
2answers
581 views

How do you understand the Rambam on Free choice in Teshuvah 5:5?

What is the Rambam really bothered by in Teshuvah 5:5? רמב"ם הלכות תשובה פרק ה הלכה ה שמא תאמר והלא הקב"ה יודע כל מה שיהיה וקודם שיהיה ידע שזה יהיה צדיק או רשע או לא ידע, אם ידע שהוא יהיה צדיק אי ...
3
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4answers
736 views

Hashem is here, Hashem is there…REALLY?

The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this ...
14
votes
3answers
298 views

Yearning for Moshiach while the Temples stood

Did we (the Jewish people) yearn for the complete Redemption (with the Techias HaMasim, etc) like we do today, at the time the either Temple was standing? It can't be that we just assumed "This is it"...
6
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3answers
772 views

Getting benefit from a church

I recently heard that one is forbidden to get any benefit from a church (or any other place of worship other then a shul). They went on to say that the prohibation included while giving directions "...
1
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4answers
686 views

Who owns Gehenem (Hell)? [closed]

Who owns Gehenem (also known as Hell)?
1
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2answers
179 views

Number of days of Creation

How many days of "Creation" where there? If the answer is 7, then why is shabbos considered a day of Creation?
-3
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2answers
320 views

Why say Hashem wrote the torah? [closed]

Why do people say Hashem wrote the torah, shouldn't it be He created it, made it, edited it, etc?
5
votes
5answers
363 views

Why is learning Torah today harder than 1000 years ago? [closed]

Why did Hashem make it harder for this generation to learn Torah, rather than making it equal for every generation? We have all these distractions like tv or games.
2
votes
3answers
200 views

Is Hashem in time? [closed]

Is Hashem in time?
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Hashem and time [closed]

If hashem is beyond time, then how could he talk about it? Is it because he created time?
10
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6answers
376 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.
9
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5answers
667 views

Hashem is here and there and everywhere?

Is Hashem really in front of us, behind us, next to us, etc?
14
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9answers
996 views

do we really have free choice?

I was told Hashem created us with free will; so we can make a choice to do good or evil, right? Well, Hashem knows what we are going to do in 10 minutes. So do we really have free will? Hashem can see ...
5
votes
3answers
214 views

What does Hashem see right now? [closed]

I know Hashem looks down at us and watches everything we do. The question I am trying to ask is, what does he see right now? I don't think Hashem exists in time, as he is not in the past or the future....
1
vote
4answers
348 views

Is Hashem spiritual? [closed]

I know that Hashem is not physical but is He spiritual? Also does He exist in time?
9
votes
4answers
320 views

Does HaShem need rest?

Why did HaShem create Shabbos? He doesn't need rest!
11
votes
8answers
781 views

Sources for Hashem being corporeal/incorporeal?

I heard of a discussion over Peseach about whether Hashem is corporeal. Which classical Jewish sources (Talmud/Achronim/Rishonim) offer definitive opinions about this? (Please cite references!) I ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
35
votes
13answers
3k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?