35

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-...


33

Ralbag held of a number of views which might be considered problematic, or against normative theology. The first three listed below, are more deviant than the subsequent two. The former would be considered a theological anomaly (and perhaps even heretical) even in Ralbag's own milieu. The latter would probably not have caused a stir for many of the rishonim, ...


32

This is a fair question. You are far from the only person who feels this way. As an Orthodox woman who respects the traditional prohibition on Talmud study for women, as well as the many other Jewish laws which appear to limit women, I see it like this. Deuteronomy 33:18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoyce, Zebulun, in thy going out; and Issachar, in thy tents. ...


31

Either what was posted on that forum is about half-correct, or your understanding of what was said was about half-correct. Traditional Judaism does believe that "[H]oly texts are the revealed word of the divine and thus cannot ever be contradicted by modern research, philosophy or belief systems." It is not true "[t]hat it is understood that the scripture ...


30

In addition, women are exempt and even discouraged from a large number of mitzvas that are central to Jewish practice, such as praying three times a day and laying tefillin. This is close to completely false and at least dramatically overstated. Women are obligated in the vast, vast majority of Mitzvot (somewhere around 585/613=95% of the biblical ones), ...


26

This is really the most fundamental and important question on this site. But in my opinion, the other answers here have not done this justice by any stretch. They make it seem simple, and they may make us feel good, that we're really right, but in reality it's not so easy to show why Judaism is true, let alone prove it with certainty to "be sure" Judaism is ...


26

Tosefos addresses a similar line of thought in Bava Kamma 85a: שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל דה"א ה"מ מכה בידי אדם אבל חולי הבא בידי שמים כשמרפא נראה כסותר גזירת המלך קמ"ל דשרי (Rough translation) - One may have thought that there is no right to seek healing from a sickness that comes from Heaven, as it ...


25

The fact that conversion exists as part of halachah means that it is within the framework of options that G-d is giving you. If you felt that really you were supposed to be a woman, then the correct response is to say "If G-d had wanted me to be a woman he would have made me one," because sex change operations etc. are not halachik options. We can't know ...


25

I agree with the answer Daniel gave, but I would clarify things slightly differently. 1) Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah is the literal Word of G-d. This is one of the Thirteen Principles of Faith as brought down by Maimonides: "We do not know exactly how the Torah was transmitted to Moses. But when it was transmitted, Moses merely wrote it ...


20

You might just be asking the wrong Rabbis. However, to give you a sort-of answer to why this is the case regarding specific details of the religion (such as the food question, and similar questions), belief that the Torah in all its details as it's been passed down to us as the will of God is a rational belief. Therefore, even if certain aspects of it (...


19

In an apparently-open letter dated October 3, 1984, R' Moshe Feinstein urged Jews in the United States to vote as a means of expressing hakaras hatov (appreciation) for the democratic system in the United States, which allows for a safe haven in which Jews can live and practice Judaism. The letter did not say anything about influencing government policy.


18

Let's take your question a step farther: why get married at all? Why not just live with, and have relations with, whomever you like? No marriage means no difficulties in ending it. If you're hesitating at that -- if you think that the concept of "marriage" has some meaning and you're just questioning which type (civil or religious) -- then the first part ...


17

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 ...


16

Yes, according to the Torah, it is unequivocally wrong to be racist. The Torah forbids racism. Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky in his book on Chumash - Emes L'Yaakov (Parshas Noach 9:25) where he repeats emphatically that the Torah and Judaism is not nor promotes racism. Basing himself off the Gemara in Sanhedrin (37a) which states: לפיכך נברא אדם יחידי ללמדך ... ...


16

Kiddushin 57a כדתניא שמעון העמסוני ואמרי לה נחמיה העמסוני היה דורש כל אתין שבתורה כיון שהגיע לאת ה' אלהיך תירא פירש אמרו לו תלמידיו רבי כל אתין שדרשת מה תהא עליהם אמר להם כשם שקבלתי שכר על הדרישה כך קבלתי על הפרישה עד שבא רבי עקיבא ולימד את ה' אלהיך תירא לרבות תלמידי חכמים As it was taught: Simeon the Imsonite — others state, Nehemiah the Imsonite, ...


15

Converts are a way that Gd rewards us for doing His Will. He selects a righteous individual from the nations and attaches them to Israel, like a King who rewards his well-behaved son by planting a beautiful plant in his garden, (Yerush. Berahot 2:8). We'd be sorely lacking without these beautiful plants: Obadia, was an Edomite convert, praised even more ...


15

Talmud / avoda zora 3A אין הקב"ה בא בטרוניא עם בריותיו the Holy One, blessed be He, does not deal imperiously(sovereignty, despotic rule.) with His creatures. midrash / shimois rabba 34 אין הקב"ה בא בטרחות עם בריותיו לא בא על האדם אלא לפי כחו "G-d does not make matters difficult for His creatures; He expects a person to perform according to his ...


15

See also this letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe on this subject, in which he states: It is my firm belief that the sun revolves around the earth, as I have also declared publicly on various occasions and in discussion with professors specializing in this field of science. He also explains why he believed this way based on the Theory of Relativity.


15

Rav Hirsch writes in his commentary to the Bible, on Gen. 4:4, the first time that animal sacrifice is mentioned: First, idolatry did not yet exist. It follows, then, that the offering are not a mere concession to polytheism. The offerings antedate polytheism. They are as old as mankind itself, and they are a natural expression of human thoughts and ...


15

Rambam repudiates astrology, writing that only fools believe in astrology (Hil. Avoda Zara 11:17-8): יז ודברים האלו--כולן, דברי שקר וכזב הן; והן שהטעו בהן עובדי עבודה זרה הקדמונים לגויי הארצות, כדי שיינהו אחריהן. ואין ראוי לישראל, שהן חכמים מחוכמים, להימשך בהבלים אלו, ולא להעלות על הלב שיש בהן תעלה: שנאמר "כי לא נחש ביעקוב, ולא קסם בישראל" (במדבר כג,כג)...


15

This is known in Talmudic literature as panim chadashot ba'u lekan (lit. "a new face has come here"), and is the topic of discussion in Eruvin 24a. The upshot of the discussion is that, at least as far as the rules of tumah vetaharah and mechitzot are concerned, once all the original components have been replaced, we view the object as something ...


14

This question really touches on what the purpose of the Tree of Knowledge was. Why would G-d not want them to eat from a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Isn't that the most important knowledge to have? In Moreh Nevuchim 1:1 Rambam develops an approach to understanding this (in which he alludes to your question). As I understand his answer, it is ...


14

God created within all animals an urge to procreate. Without it, we would just end. (Sanhedrin 64a)


14

The Zohar writes that the Patriarch Yitzchok had the soul of a female (Pikudei 257a). The Seder HaDoros (Elef HaRishon) says that it was the soul of Chava.


14

Avot 4:13 רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי זָהִיר בַּתַּלְמוּד, שֶׁשִּׁגְגַת תַּלְמוּד עוֹלָה זָדוֹן.‏ Rabbi Judah said: be careful in study, for an error in study counts as deliberate sin. Bartenura ad loc: אִם תִּטְעֶה בְּהוֹרָאָה מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁלֹּא דִּקְדַּקְתָּ בְּתַלְמוּדְךָ וְתָבֹא לְהַתִּיר אֶת הָאָסוּר, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַעֲלֶה עַל ...


13

Rabbi Hirsch says a "proof is in the pudding" type of argument, namely if you keep the mitzvos it will become clear to you through your experiences that you are involved in something higher. It need not be explained - you will feel it, if you are keeping the mitzvos properly. This experience is an experience of G-dliness, and is the best "proof" of His ...


13

Absolutely not. The Jewish messiah is a flesh-and-blood man descended from King David.


13

In Mishnah Makkot 1:10 there is a famous passage where, after discussing the laws of witnesses, the Rabbis debate how often the Sanhedrin should order the capital punishment. A Sanhedrin that would execute somebody once every seven years would be considered a violent Beit Din. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah says: "Once every 70 years." Rabbi Tarfon and ...


13

Proverbs 10:24 (translation following Rashi): מְגוֹרַ֣ת רָ֭שָׁע הִ֣יא תְבוֹאֶ֑נּוּ וְתַאֲוַ֖ת צַדִּיקִ֣ים יִתֵּֽן׃‏ The fear of the wicked person will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous is granted. Rashi also brings an example: מגורת רשע. מה שהוא ירא יבא לו דור הפלגה יראו ואמרו (בראשית י) פן נפוץ וסופן כתיב ויפץ ה' אותם משם (שם):‏ The people ...


13

The Gemara (Pesachim 110b) states in a discussion about the dangers of demons (that harm a person as a result of doing things in pairs of two): כללא דמילתא כל דקפיד קפדי בהדיה ודלא קפיד לא קפדי בהדיה The rule of the matter is that all who are particular about pairs, the demons are particular with him; and if one is not particular, they are not particular ...


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