38 votes

Is belief in Midrashim optional?

There is dispute among the commentators as to whether or not Ramban meant that seriously or just said it for the debate. R. Yaakov Kamanetzky z"l writes (Emet L'yaakov Genesis 44:18) that Ramban just ...
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  • 34.9k
17 votes

How can the Rambam's Eighth Principle of Jewish Faith be believed in light of Hazal?

R' Yaakov Weinberg, in an audio recording, addressed this issue (as an issue with the ani maamin, which R' Weinberg, like you, rejected), and he explained that the point of the Rambam is not to say ...
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12 votes

Is this true that Elijah and Elisha didn't perform any miracle to help Jews?

Well, Eliyahu's most-famous, grandest miracle, the battle with the priests of Ba'al on Mount Carmel, was for the benefit of the Israelites who were straying from God's path. I think that counts for ...
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10 votes

Is belief in Midrashim optional?

R' Tzvi Berkowitz told me that R' Yaakov Kaminetzky told him that the Ramban was only saying that for the purposes of the debate, in order to avoid addressing a question to which they would not accept ...
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9 votes

Is this true that Elijah and Elisha didn't perform any miracle to help Jews?

[OP]: Is this true that Elijah and Elisha didn't perform any miracle to help Jews? Of course not. See the previous answer for a few details. [OP]: Christians claim that Elijah and Elisha helped ...
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  • 350
9 votes
Accepted

Am I Supposed to Believe that the Messiah is coming today, or that he is coming generally

There is a question asked, to which I have heard two answers: Chazal teach us that there are many times when Moshiach will not come, such as on Shabbos or Yom Tov (Eruvin 43b). So how can one expect ...
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7 votes

Is belief in Midrashim optional?

Early Rabbinic Views on Understanding Aggadah/Midrash Rav Sherira Gaon 906-1006, head of the Pumbedita Academy Sefer Haeshcol, Hilkhot Sefer Torah, p. 60a Those points brought out from scriptural ...
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7 votes

Clarifications on Faith

Q. Judaism consists of many people blindly following what they are told, A. While we have faith and a normative set of rules, there is constant learning, study and questioning. In some ways, ...
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  • 36.8k
7 votes

How can the Rambam's Eighth Principle of Jewish Faith be believed in light of Hazal?

I've asked this question to several talmidei chachamim, and all of them have given me the same general response: the Rambam shouldn't be taken too literally, as after all, he certainly knew the ...
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7 votes

If we cannot be absolutely certain that Judaism is true/the truth, how can we impose on others in its name?

People cannot be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN they love their children. Ask a psychologist about things lurking in unconscious parts of our minds because we won't admit ugly truths to ourselves. We certainly ...
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  • 8,740
6 votes
Accepted

Please explain the meaning of the word "Be'emunah" in the last paragraph of "Yekum Purkan"

Be'emunah means faithfully, like (Shabbos 31a) נשאת ונתת באמונה - Did you do business faithfully? In other words honestly, without taking undue personal benefit from the work. See also Melachim II 12:...
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  • 31.4k
5 votes

What is the Reform view of the origin of the Torah?

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) is the Reform Rabbinic leadership organization. They came up with a number of "platforms" that are "documents capturing the state of Reform Jewish ...
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  • 43.7k
5 votes

The Chazon Ish's definition of bitachon

The Chazon Ish himself says that this is the common view among Chassidim. Indeed the Baal Shem Tov is well known to have defined it in the way the Chazon Ish says not to. It should be pointed out that ...
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  • 31.4k
5 votes
Accepted

What’s worse: Apikorsus or Avoda Zara?

See the Gemara Shabbos 116a Rebbe Tarfon says that in a case where a Rodef is running to kill you, or a snake is chasing to bite you, and in order to escape you could either run and enter into a ...
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5 votes

What is the difference between the roots א-מ-ן and ב-ט-ח? Between Emunah and Bitachon?

This is a big question. One could write a book on the topic! (wait, the Chazon Ish actually did, and so did R Avigdor Miller). But in a simple way (taken from Ben Tzion Shafier here) emunah is the ...
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  • 43.7k
5 votes
Accepted

What are the 35 cardinal principles enumerated by Jedaiah Penini in the last chapter of his Behinat ha-Dat?

Jedaiah of Bedersi, AFAIK, did not author a book titled “Behinat ha-Dat”. One of his books with a similar name is his famous Behinat Olam.* Furthermore, at the end of the aforementioned book he ...
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  • 11.8k
5 votes

Was Yaakov lacking Bitachon?

Rambam in Chapter Seven of Shemoneh Perakim writes: It is not necessary for a prophet to have mastered all the ethical virtues to the point that he does not possess any shortcomings at all. (Touger ...
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  • 48.1k
4 votes

What is the practical ramifications of Emunah being a mitzvah or not?

First of all, the question of which mitzvos make up the 613 quota might not have any practical ramification. The Rambam writes in his introduction that his motivation for setting down the 613 ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Torah and Non-Believers, a/k/a, Scientists and Atheists

On the whole, even the wicked people (or idolators) of the Bible do believe in some form of theism, even if not monotheism or the God of Israel, יקוה. To quote the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its ...
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4 votes

The Chazon Ish's definition of bitachon

There is a seffer called Bitachon Ish who brings proofs to the Chazzon Ish's opinion from earlier sources. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/51363
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  • 32.3k
4 votes

What can one do to see clearer that God is really in charge of everything?

The Shulchan Aruch rules that one should always be in the habit of saying, "Everything the Merciful One does is for the best." (Orach Chaim 230:5; Berachos 60b). So we should say that throughout the ...
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  • 4,131
4 votes

How does "everything is from heaven aside from fear of heaven" apply when others are doing the wrong action?

The Ohr HaChaim writes that one with free will can kill someone even if he does not deserve to die, as opposed to dangerous animals which will only kill someone if they deserve to die. Thus, the ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Are Jews who live and died in diaspora non-believers?

The gemara doesn't end there ... it clarifies the baraita you cite and continues Whoever lives outside of the Land of Israel, it is as if he is an idolater. artscroll elucidates this ...
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  • 43.7k
4 votes

Flaws in the Kuzari Argument

I think that the aspect of directly refuting the leprechauns has been properly dealt with by a previous answer; and I do believe it has been refuted. My answer would like to address an equally ...
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  • 10.4k
3 votes

What is the Reform view of the origin of the Torah?

To me, I don't think you can really quantify "Reform Jewish theology". It's really dependent on the individual Reform Jew. Unlike in traditional Judaism, there really isn't a "creed" per se (I'm ...
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  • 17.7k
3 votes

What is the Reform view of the origin of the Torah?

The reform movement accepts all modern critical scholarship about the Bible at face value. As such, they do not feel halacha is binding but have only two imperatives: monotheism and morality. There ...
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  • 5,221
3 votes

Is there a source where Emuna and Bitachon are described as separate ideas?

See this translation of a talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe about the difference between Emunah and Bitachon: An excerpt from there about Bitachon: Trust, by contrast, implies not only that a person ...
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  • 42.9k
3 votes

What’s worse: Apikorsus or Avoda Zara?

Rambam discusses this question in the Guide for the Perplexed 1:30 and clearly states that heretics are worse than idol-worshippers (and not for the reason mentioned by the Gemara quoted in the answer ...
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  • 48.1k
3 votes

How does "everything is from heaven aside from fear of heaven" apply when others are doing the wrong action?

Tosafos in Nida 16b writes that this Gemara (that all is in the hands of heaven besides for Yiras Shamayim) is not referring to what happens to the person. It is referring to his character traits. ...
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  • 4,691
3 votes

Sources for seeing the Exodus as metaphorical rather than historical

In K'tav Hitnatzlut, an apologetic letter Rabbi Yeda'ayah Ha'pnini wrote as a reply to a cherem from the Rashbah on his philosophical views, he only makes a passing mention of Yetziat Mitzrayim, but ...
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  • 20.8k

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