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9 votes

Do we really have free choice?

Note: My answer ended up vastly exceeding the maximum character limit for a post, so I have split it into two parts. The first part follows here, while the second part can be found in a separate post. ...
Alex's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is it possible to pray to Hashem for a specific person as your prospective spouse?

The gemara in Moed Kattan 18b would seem to advise against it: כי הא דרבא שמעיה לההוא גברא דבעי רחמי ואמר תזדמן לי פלניתא א"ל לא תיבעי רחמי הכי אי חזיא לך לא אזלא מינך ואי לא כפרת בה' בתר הכי ...
alicht's user avatar
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5 votes

Can Angels "fall"?

Yehuda Shirpin points out multiple sources where angels did indeed make a mistake - Chagigah 15a where Metatron was whipped Rashi (Bereishis 19:22) where the Angels destroying Sedom are handicapped ...
NJM's user avatar
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5 votes

Egalitarian references in Chazal

מעיד אני עלי את השמים ואת הארץ, בין ישראל בין עכו״ם, בין איש בין אשה, בין עבד ובין שפחה הכל לפי מעשה שהוא עושה - כך רוח הקודש שורה עליו. (Seder Eliyahu Raba 9). And Avoda Zara 3a (Rabbi Meir). See ...
wfb's user avatar
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4 votes

Free choice versus the Will of G-d

Rabbe'inu Baḥya (Ḥovot HaLevavot, Sha'ar HaBitaḥon, Chapter 4, s.v. וכן כשיבקש) states, based on the Talmud Bavli (Bava Bathra 119B among others), that HaShem arranges for good deeds to be fulfilled ...
Lee's user avatar
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4 votes
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Will people have the capacity to act out of free will in the next world?

Free will is premised on the existence of a domain which need not submit to Hashem's will. As the Ramchal writes in the Daas Tevunos, the existence of this domain, while requisite for receiving reward ...
Ester Lin's user avatar
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4 votes

Freewill and rewarding dogs

Rabbi Shafier of The Shmuz asks this question in one of the pieces from Parshas Mishpatim. The gist of his answer (although I'd recommend reading it directly, it's not too long of an article) is a ...
Salmononius2's user avatar
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4 votes

Do insane people have free choice?

When a person did lose his free choice, we say that he became Shote, loosely linked to the inaccurate term of "crazy" or insane. He is categorized as a child regarding responsibility and this state is ...
kouty's user avatar
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4 votes

Egalitarian references in Chazal

הוריות יג. כהן קודם ללוי לוי לישראל ישראל לממזר וממזר לנתין ונתין לגר וגר לעבד משוחרר אימתי בזמן שכולם שוים אבל אם היה ממזר תלמיד חכם וכהן גדול עם הארץ ממזר תלמיד חכם קודם לכהן גדול עם הארץ Horiyos ...
BigJohn's user avatar
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4 votes

Egalitarian references in Chazal

Bava Kama 38a ולא והתניא ר"מ אומר מנין שאפילו נכרי ועוסק בתורה שהוא ככהן גדול ת"ל (ויקרא יח, ה) אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם כהנים ולוים וישראלים לא נאמר אלא אדם הא למדת שאפילו נכרי ועוסק ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
4 votes

Can God do bad?

G-d can do bad, but does not. As Ramchal explains in Derech Hashem, G-d is the ultimate source of good, and created the world to bestow goodness on others. Doing bad would be against G-d's purpose. G-...
N.T.'s user avatar
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4 votes

Can God do bad?

Of course. God says through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Oseh shalom uvoreh ra’ [I make peace and create evil]; Ani HaShem ‘oseh chol elleh [I am the Lord who does all these things] [Isaiah 45:5,7] Our ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
4 votes

Can God influence man to sin?

We know Hashem can influence man to sin. Omnipotence. The question is: Would He? There are different approaches to what happened with Par'oh. The Rambam says that yes, Hashem will take away the ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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4 votes
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Free will of people with mental disorders

Great question! The Machneh Yisrael 2:1 says something stunning about those who are handicapped (or have mental disorders). He says that those who are handicapped (or have mental disorders) are people ...
Avishai Tebeka's user avatar
4 votes

Can malochim be human?

"Angels" per se are not humans, but the Ramban in fact says exactly your point -- G-d can put the right person in the right place at the right time. Ramban, Genesis 37:15 You can read the ...
Shalom's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What makes the choice to do good or evil?

Not so much an answer as much as why I think it's impossible to give you one: Free Will lives in a region between algorithm and randomness. (See Metahalakhah, by R/Dr Moshe Koppel, ch. 2-3, for an ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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3 votes

Will people have the capacity to act out of free will in the next world?

The Mishna in Avot (4:17) states: יפה שעה אחת בתשובה ומעשים טובים בעולם הזה מכל חיי העולם הבא One minute of correcting one's ways and performing good deeds in this era, is better than all of ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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3 votes

Do we really have free choice?

Note: This is a continuation of this answer which needed to be split into a separate post due to exceeding the maximum character length for a post. R. Isaac Ben Shehet R. Isaac Ben Sheshet was asked ...
Alex's user avatar
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3 votes

Why were the plagues necessary if God hardened Pharaoh's heart?

The point was that Hashem sent the plagues so that Pharoah would see that Hashem wanted to indicate to him that he was supposed to send them out. The Egyptians could have rebelled and appointed a new ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Can malochim be human?

A malach in general can mean anything that acts on behalf of השם by carrying out His command or will. A standard מלאך השם without other qualifying context is typically viewed to be some supernatural/...
EraserX's user avatar
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3 votes

Let's Kill Hitler

As the question says this isn't a definitive answer but other than the case of a direct rodef there are other Torah sources indicating that the correct thing is to kill a baby Hitler. Sanhedrin 71b ...
Schmerel's user avatar
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3 votes

Let's Kill Hitler

I have some thoughts, but I'm no theologian, so take my conclusion with a grain of salt. Menashe ben Chizkiya is an interesting corollary which suggests that it would not be permitted. I'll review the ...
Ethan Leonard's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

How is the hardening of pharaoh’s heart reconciled with the fact you can always repent

This was discussed in this question, and my answer there. Rashi on Shemos 7:3 writes: וְגָלוּי לְפָנַי שֶׁאֵין נַחַת רוּחַ בָּאֻמּוֹת לָתֵת לֵב שָׁלֵם לָשׁוּב - and it is manifest to Me that the ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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2 votes

Free choice versus the Will of G-d

The Baal HaTanya writes regarding someone who hits another. I'll apply it to you: she must see it as her own free choice that she divorced you; but, you need to see it as if HaShem wanted this to ...
menachem's user avatar
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2 votes

Did The Snake In The Garden Of Eden Have Free Will?

According to the Zohar (Beraishis 35b), the snake in the garden was Satan (aka the Yetzer Harah) who is one of the angels. This angel's mission is to be an opposing force to humankind which gives ...
Jon's user avatar
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2 votes

Understanding the servants' hard/soft hearts

1, 2) Or Hachayim to 10:7 explains that their hearts were still hard, and they wanted to just allow the Jews to take a short trip for a few days to serve their God in a way that they would certainly ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
2 votes

What makes the choice to do good or evil?

We are what make the final choice.
Loewian's user avatar
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2 votes

Was Adam HaRishon's eating from the Tree of Knowledge really a sin

Of course it was a sin. G-d commanded Adam (Bereishis 2.17) NOT to eat from the Tree; eating was in direct defiance to G-ds Will. With all the rationalisations in the world (some including your list ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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2 votes

Life choices how to know if one made the good choice

At the end of each day, make a cheshbon hanefesh (an accounting of the soul). Go through the day, looking at the decisions and emotional responses you had that day. Look at which middos (emotional ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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