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12 votes

Can a person still be an Orthodox Jew and believe that the Torah contains narratives that are not scientifically correct?

The Rambam believed that the Torah is not intended to be history or science, but ethical teachings: Those passages in the Bible, which, in their literal sense, contain statements that can be ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Does Yeshayahu 43:10b / 43:13a imply HaShem was created?

Your question has been asked before by traditional commentators (e.g., Radak). artscroll translates the end of 43:10 before Me nothing was created by a god, nor will there be after Me! and ...
mbloch's user avatar
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12 votes
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The Netziv on Evolution

I believe it is referring to Ha'amek Davar to Bereishit 7:23, although note that he ultimately rejects this view and believes that the fossils are of antediluvian creatures belonging to our "world", ...
Joel K's user avatar
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10 votes

When Did Hashem Create Angels

In the Medrash Rabbah there are two opinions. Rebbe Yochanan says that the angels were created on the second day, along with the firmament since we find in Tehillim a connection between the firmament ...
HaLeiVi's user avatar
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10 votes
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Could someone tell me where this comes from?

This is from Mishne Torah, Laws of Foundations of the Torah (1:1-3): .יסוד היסודות ועמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון והוא ממציא כל נמצא וכל הנמצאים משמים וארץ ומה שביניהם לא נמצאו אלא מאמתת ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
10 votes
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When was water created?

Pirkê D'Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 3) states that water was created on the first day: שמונה דברים נבראו ביום ראשון, ואלו הן: .... ורוח ומים, שנאמר ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים Trans.: Eight things were ...
Oliver's user avatar
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9 votes

When did G-d create darkness?

The Ohr hachaim on the beginning of bereshit quotes the Talmud Chagigah 12a. There it lists 10 things were created in the first day, and one of them is Choshech. ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב עשרה דברים נבראו ...
Menachem's user avatar
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9 votes
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What does Judaism teach about Eve's addition to divine commandment that she not touch the fruit?

The biblical commentator Rashi references the talmud when he writes: and you shall not touch it: She added to the command; therefore, she came to diminish it. That is what is stated (Prov. 30:6): “...
rosends's user avatar
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8 votes

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

Creation "ex nihilo" is a [mis] translation of the Jewish idea of "ברא יש מאין" where אין here does not mean "nothing, it just means "לית ביה תפיסא" - we don't have ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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8 votes

Can a person still be an Orthodox Jew and believe that the Torah contains narratives that are not scientifically correct?

The Torah, the Talmud and Chazal do not use the artificial label "Orthodox" or recognize subcategories of Judaism, it is just one religion. And you remain as Jewish as the rest of us even if you ...
dan's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is prior to creation called holy?

The same text appears in Chagigah 18a. Rashi there commments: ששת ימי בראשית - ימי כל שבוע ושבוע בין שתי שבתות הן יושבין הרי קדושה לפניהן ולאחריהן:‏ The six days of creation - Every set ...
Joel K's user avatar
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8 votes

No Torah = Revert to Nothingness?

Pesachim 68b: אמר רבי אלעזר אילמלא תורה לא נתקיימו שמים וארץ שנאמר אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי Rabbi Elazar said: If not for the Torah, heaven and earth would not be ...
DonielF's user avatar
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8 votes

No Torah = Revert to Nothingness?

The source that explicitly states this concept is the Nefesh Hachaim written by Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner, who sees it as being expressed by earlier sources. See for example Shaar 4:25: אבל אם היה ח''...
Jay's user avatar
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8 votes

How can constant creation of new stars explained theologically?

They are not created, they are formed by means of the natural laws from preexisting matter. This has nothing to do with yesh mai-ayin (creation from nothing) which occurred at the very beginning. ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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8 votes

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

Maharsha in Makkot 23b explains as follows: There are positive commandments and there are negative commandments. If you aren’t born than you can’t fulfill the positive commandments, but you also can’...
Alex's user avatar
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7 votes

Universe has no foundation- Iyov

Job 26:7: נוטה צפון על-תוהו; תולה ארץ, על-בלי-מה. Trans.: He stretches out the north over chaos; He suspends the earth on nothing
Oliver's user avatar
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7 votes

What does Judaism teach about Eve's addition to divine commandment that she not touch the fruit?

According to the explanation in Avot DeRav Natan 1:5, it was actually Adam, not Eve, that made this extra restriction as a "fence" סיג against Eve's violating G-d's commandment. It's hard to ...
DanF's user avatar
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7 votes
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On the interpretation of Genesis 1: 1

This was one of the hottest topics in medieval Jewish philosophy. Saadia Gaon devoted the first treatise of Emunot V'Deiot to proving creatio ex nihilo and refuting the opposing arguments. Here is ...
Alex's user avatar
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7 votes
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Lilit and Chavah

בראשית רבה כב ז יהודה בר אמי אמר: על חוה הראשונה היו מדיינין. אמר רבי איבו: חוה הראשונה חזרה לעפרה. Bereshit Raba 22:7 Yehuda Bar Ami said: (Kain and Able) were arguing about the Eve the first, Rabbi ...
Alaychem goes to Codidact's user avatar
7 votes

What’s the purpose of the celestial bodies?

Two points. First, we must realize, as was pointed out by Rav Saadya Gaon in his Emunos Vedeyos (end of first section), that the question is not as great as it seems at first since there is no toil ...
HaLeiVi's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why does אבות cite Gen. 9, not Gen. 1, for נברא בצלם?

It seems to me that the key is "חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לוֹ שֶׁנִּבְרָא בְצֶלֶם" In Bereishit 9, G-d is directly commanding mankind not to kill people, because they were created in the image of G-d. ...
Menachem's user avatar
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6 votes

Creating things with the Sefer Yetzira?

It is documented in the R' Aryeh Kaplan translation of the sefer yetzeira regarding forming a humanoid from earth/clay (Golem) and engraving the name of God on his forehead then there are specific ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Did Hashem originally intend to have a connection with everyone?

Yes - every child of Adam HaRishon was supposed to be equal. At the end of Paragraph #3 in Chap 4 of Part II in Luzzato's Derech Hashem, he says Hashem judged humanity at the Tower of Bavel - when ...
Osher S.'s user avatar
  • 160
6 votes

What time of day was the world first created?

Bereishit Rabbah 12:14: בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת ה' אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים מַחֲשָׁבָה בַּלַּיְלָה וּמַעֲשֶׂה בַּיּוֹם. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes

Why does the Torah not write about or mention the creation of the Angels/Melachim? When were they made?

Several commentators see an allusion to the creation of the malakhim in Genesis 2:1 ( וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל-צְבָאָם). For example, the Ramban on the word צְבָאָם writes: והנה בכאן ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
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6 votes

Why don't humans have the best version of organs?

Humans have the perfect version of organs and systems needed to complete their mission on earth. Each person and their mission. In the rare case where you need an improved version - you're a detective ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
6 votes

Was there a "before" to creation from a Kabbalistic perspective?

No, there is no cycle. Buddhist thought is incorrect. There is only one being without beginning (בְּלִי רֵאשִׁית), and that is Hashem Himself. Even His Infinite light is called אור אין סוף, "...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

If God took away light but didn't create darkness what would it be like?

Rav Saadya Gaon writes in Emunot V'deot (1:3) that darkness is merely the absence of light: החשך, אינו הפך האור, אבל הוא העדר האור. ואם יאמרו מאי זה טעם אתה אומר כי אין החשך הפך האור? אביא בזה ג' ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes

Noahide studying creation

According to Sefer Sheva Mitzvot Hashem on the subject, to study the two Torah parashios (bereshis and Noah) are basically related to Noahide Laws in general. See there on Yesodos ha-emunah, perek 5:3 ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
5 votes

When did G-d create darkness?

Rav Saadya Gaon writes in Emunot V'deot (1:3) that darkness is merely the absence of light: החשך, אינו הפך האור, אבל הוא העדר האור. ואם יאמרו מאי זה טעם אתה אומר כי אין החשך הפך האור? אביא בזה ג' ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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