30

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 said it for the sake of the debate. The Chattam Sofer (Orach Chaim 1:16) understands that Ramban was expressing a serious belief, but limited his view to extra-...


19

Yes. Belief in God is axiomatic to Judaism. Jewish prayer features, at least twice a day, every day, the Shema, a compact assertion of this belief from Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Jews traditionally teach this prayer to our children almost starting at birth. I strongly suspect that almost any Jew with any ...


15

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 that the specific texts which we have now are identical to the one transmitted to Moshe. Rather, the point of the Rambam is to say that Moshe was a faithful ...


11

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 something. Tradition accords many other miracles to Eliyahu, again for the benefit of Jews. Elisha performed other miracles than the ones you list. Here are ...


10

There is a midrash in Bereshit Rabbah 39 where Avraham deduces the existence of God who created the world, and only then did God call out to Avraham lech l'cha. A summary of the midrash from my notes after a class: Mashal: One day a man was traveling and he saw a tower (birah) "on fire" (doleket). He said, this tower has no owner? A man peeked out and ...


10

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 the answer. This was along the lines of the principle of being "דוחה בקש" (pushing off with straw) someone who asks from an illegitimate standpoint. However, ...


9

מחשבה JEWISH THOUGHT AND PHILOSOPHY אורות Orot This book presents the foundational issues in the Torah of Rav Kook: The land of Israel, the renewal of the nation its the land and its relationship to the nations of the world. עקבי Ikvei Tzon A collection of essays discussing contemporary issues. The essays include: 'HaDor-The Generation' which discusses how ...


9

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 that Moshiach will come at any time? I have heard quoted, but do not know the exact citation of, a teshuva of the Nodeh B'Yehuda (R' Yechezkel Landau) who was ...


8

[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 almost nobody. This is not a Christian claim, nor is it claimed in the text cited. The New Testament quote is quite clear that the point being made is that ...


7

There are records of Cyrus also restoring the gods of Babylon that Nabonidus, the last king of the Babylonian Empire, had moved from various Babylonian cities to the capital. That means that he promoted polytheism in that instance as a way to strengthen support from priests of Marduk in Babylon and the priests of Nabu in Sippar. This was undoing the work ...


7

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 passages in Chazal which you've quoted. What he means is that, for all intents and purposes, we have the same Torah. The very slight differences of a plene spelling ...


7

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, Americans who drive the speed limit are simply following what they are told. Q. ...are intolerable of others' lives, A. I don't know why you would think that. While ...


7

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 can't prove that love to others. And yet, we do not demand any kind of proof before making major sacrifices on their behalf. If the sun has come up every day of ...


6

the central prayer in the Jewish prayer order is the Amidah and yes it is addressing God. see more about it here. The God being addressed is the one spoken about in the torah, as the amidah starts "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob".


6

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein writes (OC2:111, "to a certain scholar") that it is entirely permissible to purchase life insurance and it indicates no shortage of faith, even for an exceedingly righteous person. (Faith, he writes, is "I will work hard and I believe that G-d will provide me with enough to pay the premiums.") He writes that is, in fact, davar tov ve-ra'...


6

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 12:16: וְלֹא יְחַשְּׁבוּ אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר יִתְּנוּ אֶת הַכֶּסֶף עַל יָדָם לָתֵת לְעֹשֵֹי הַמְּלָאכָה כִּי בֶאֱמֻנָה הֵם עֹשִֹים Moreover they ...


6

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 verses called Midrash and Aggadah are assumptions. Some are accurate such as Rabbi Judahs statement that Simeons portion was included in that of Judah, for we find ...


5

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 House of Idol Worship, or a House of Heretics, its better to run into the House of Idol Worship, for the Heretics know the truth and deny it, but the Idol ...


5

The solution is to learn Torah. See here. Often, people just don't trust the power of Torah to save them from the clutches of the Yetzer Hara. They try everything, the 12 steps, meditations, psychotherapy, etc... but they won't sit down and learn a blat of Gemara. My friends! Gemara is "sechel hayashar" - "straight thinking". When a person thinks ...


5

This is an unsourced logical argument that buying or selling such a policy does not imply a lack of faith in the coming of moshiach. Do we say that the writer of a life-insurance policy is betting that the buyer won't die, so he won't have to pay out? No; rather, the insurance company is making an actuarial/financial calculation by which they believe they ...


5

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 the Chazon Ish's characterization is an oversimplification of the view. In this article, R. Shlomo Brody discusses various sources brought by R. Daniel Stein. ...


5

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 thought at different key moments in our history". In terms of the origin of the Torah, the original “Pittsburgh Platform” from 1885 avoids the issue of the origin ...


5

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 knowledge that Hashem created and continues to run all of Creation and that he is involved in the minutiae of my daily life. Bitachon is acting on that knowledge ...


5

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 affirms Maimonides thirteen principles except, as one publisher notes, he recasts then and rearranges its collocation (Behinat Olam, ch. 17, here or ch. 18 in this ...


4

From the "Kehos Chumash", based on Derech Mitzvoshecha Mitzvas Ha'amanas Elokus: Generally, after seeing something, we no longer need to accept it on faith. If so, after seeing God's great hand, why did the Jewish people still need to believe in God and Moses? The answer is that once they had seen and validated what they had previously only believed ...


4

In my opinion, the arguments have not been disproven only that we do not understand the arguments. see the shaar yichud with commentaries (i.e. we don't study the arguments in enough depth to understand them, therefore we mistakenly think they have been disproven. hence study with the commentaries, and even then if something doesn't make sense, ask wise ...


4

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 commandments is just a means to keep the Torah's laws organized. However, most commentaries printed on the Sefer Hamitzvos believe otherwise, so I'll answer the ...


4

A non-Jew who keeps the seven Noahide laws because they were commanded by Moses has a share in the world to come. As a non-Jew, he is not commanded to keep the other mitzvot. Source: Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings (Hilkhot Melakhim) 8:11.


4

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 Reception on "Atheism": The theoretical objection to the idea of the existence of god(s) is beyond the intellectual world of ANE [Ancient Near East] and HB/OT [...


4

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 According to Rambam and Meiri a person who lives outside of Israel is considered to be engaged in idol worship because he is dwelling among and associating with ...


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