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What an excellent question! They were many rabbis who supported and opposed the Rambam's 13 principles of faith. In his The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised, Rabbi Marc B. Shapiro examines the principals. In his Commentary on the Mishnah, Introduction to Perek Chelek, Maimonides calls this dogma; whoever rejects ...


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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’t violate the negative commandments. Thus, the dispute was whether it is better to definitely not violate the negative commandments and give up the opportunity ...


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Avot 4:17 הוא היה אומר יפה שעה אחת בתשובה ומעשים טובים בעולם הזה מכל חיי העולם הבא He used to say: "One moment of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than all of the life in the world to come". This is presumably because while in this world you can arrange for the world to come to be better.


4

Babel, a New Society? The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–8) was an attempt to reach heaven by the Babylonians. The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 109a explains as follows: “Let us go up to the heavens and dwell there,” and Let us ascend and wage war against G-d.” They also said, “Let us ascend to heaven and worship our idols.” Talmud (Sandhedrin 109a) says ...


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It's like the story of the wise man of Chelm who is hungry so he buys a bagel, but he's still hungry, so he buys another bagel; but then he's still hungry and they're out of bagels, so he buys a knish and then he's full. Oh silly me, had I just bought a knish to begin with I could have saved some money. Sometimes processes need to add up. Avraham doesn't ...


2

It is perfectly acceptable to struggle with these issues. Indeed, it is the exact fulfillment of the Yerushalmi Haggigah (1:7) which states, "Said R. Chiyah the son of Aba, “[God said:] ‘Had they abandoned Me,’ I could forgive it, had only they kept My Torah, for had they abandoned Me and kept My Torah, the yeast [or ‘the light’] in it would have brought ...


2

The Ramchal writes in his introduction to Sefer HaHigaion (the Book of Logic): ובראותי הצורך הגדול אשר לנו באמת בדבר הזה, שבלעדיו אי אפשר לכנס אל חדרי החכמות ולהשתשע בתענוגיהם כראוי, בחרתי לסדר זה הלימוד בקיצור כפי שראיתי מוכרח לתשלום הענין, רובו העתקתיו מספרים שקדמוני בלשונות אחרות. And when I saw the great need that we truly have for [formal ...


2

Eruvin 13b says נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא. I believe the fact that it says "noach" (better), and not "tov" (good), is significant. The creation of man was clearly "tov" (good). But the life of the soul in the World to Come before birth and after death is clearly "noach" (better).


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Ralbag offers an interesting perspective on this topic: The people wanted to build the tower for two reasons. To make a name for themselves by building a great tower, and to leave a memory of themselves. To help them not stray too far away. With a big tower they could always see it and calibrate their location, and be able to remain all together in the ...


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Your premise The נהמא דכיסופא is a possible explanation for why should we suffer in this world to receive the reward in the afterworld is potentially without merit. The Magid Meisharim writes (Bereishis, 14 Tevet) that this is a spiritual shame: אבל רזא דמילתא במה דאת מתרץ דנשמתין עד לא אתו לעלמא דמו למאן דאכיל נהמא דמלכא בלא פולחנא ומשום דא אמרו נוח לו ...


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Obviously, if Adam was the only one informed about a commandment that others were obligated in, he would have an oblgation to share it with others who needed to follow the commandment. And indeed, that is what he did. While this is obvious and logical, there is at least one source that explicitly describes Adam's teaching of the commandment to Chavah. It is ...


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A beraita quoted on Rosh HaShanah 16a: הכל נידונים בר"ה וגזר דין שלהם נחתם ביוה"כ דברי ר"מ ר' יהודה אומר הכל נידונין בר"ה וגזר דין שלהם נחתם כל אחד ואחד בזמנו בפסח על התבואה בעצרת על פירות האילן בחג נידונין על המים ואדם נידון בר"ה וגזר דין שלו נחתם ביוה"כ ר' יוסי אומר אדם נידון בכל יום שנאמר (איוב ז, יח) ותפקדנו לבקרים רבי נתן אומר אדם נידון בכל שעה שנא' (...


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To quote Rav Shimon Shkop's take on that gemara (Chagigah 15b; translation mine, taken from "Widen Your Tent: Thoughts on Life, Integrity & Joy", ch. 1, available here, pp 71-73): But to my mind it is worth knowing and contemplating what our Sages said on Chagigah 15b. How could Rabbi Meir receive Torah from the mouth of Acheir [the former ...


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