16 votes
Accepted

Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

There is a certain amount of ambiguity here. On the one hand, we see that our Sages praise the daughters of Lot, and especially the elder daughter who took the initiative. Nazir 23a: אלא משל ללוט ...
Joel K's user avatar
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10 votes

Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

There was an element of good in the naming as brought out in this story of Rav Moshe Feinstein zatzal. I have edited the story which appears in full at the link. The original is in Igros Moshe vol. 8,...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
7 votes
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Responsa/Rabbinic Thought on Israeli Reprisal Operations

Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli wrote a lengthy essay on the subject shortly after Qibiya, published in his book עמוד הימיני, pp. 113-139. He first noted: "מאז נסתיימה המלחמה ה"רשמית" של מדינות ...
Harel13's user avatar
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5 votes
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What defines a person who is circumcised "of the heart"?

This is the subject of the fourth discourse of the the Alter Rebbe in the fourth section of the Tanya called Igeret HaKodesh. He explains that process of circumcising the heart is to remove ones ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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5 votes

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

That's exactly the difference between our human judgment and Heavenly knowledge. Those girls (and many more examples in the Tanach) were not judged by Moses and his earthly court, they were judged ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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5 votes

Could this passage have any relevance to artificial intelligence?

The Talmudic tractate called Bava Kamma, in many places, discusses the meaning of the various "damagers" mentioned in the Torah for various liabilities. The first page of Bava Kamma, explains that the ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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4 votes

What defines a person who is circumcised "of the heart"?

Circumcising the heart is the example given by Ibn Ezra in his commentary to Exodus 20:1 of a commandment that doesn't seem to make sense: וחלילה חלילה שתהיה מצוה אחת מהן מכחשת שקול הדעת רק אנחנו ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

NAZIR 23a: אלא משל ללוט ושתי בנותיו עמו הן שנתכוונו לשם מצוה וצדיקים ילכו בם הוא שנתכוין לשם עבירה ופושעים יכשלו בם We speak [in the verse] of one path, whereas here [in the example ...
kouty's user avatar
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4 votes

Does Pirkei Avot establish we can find morality separately from the law?

Who says Pirkei Avos isn"t halacha? 1) Major parts are codified by the rambam, tur and Shulchan aruch (see rambam hilchos Talmud torah which quote numerous mishnayos from P.A. dealing with Talmud ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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3 votes

Does someone get punished for unknowingly committing a sin or unknowingly hurting a person?

We have a LOT of laws about this, depending on the situation, so I'd call this far beyond "ethics" or "philosophy." If someone doesn't maintain their equipment properly and it ...
Shalom's user avatar
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3 votes

What seforim or books were written on the Torah approach to modern-day philosophy such as humanism or classical liberalism?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and his teachings seems to have had what to say about this. Also, check out Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy
Geltman's user avatar
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2 votes

Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

Ralbag in his commentary to this incident writes as follows: התועלת הכ"ד הוא במדות והוא שראוי שנשפוט בעניני הפעולות האנושיות לפי הכונה בהם לא לפי ענינם בעצמם הלא תראה שבנות לוט מפני שהיתה כונתם ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.2k
2 votes
Accepted

What's the deal with moral relativism?

Without quoting exactly what you've heard from these speakers it's hard to defend or disprove them. However I will still guess at what is bothering you and offer this. The laws of Judaism given by ...
user6591's user avatar
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2 votes

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

In general these types of questions about things of this nature are difficult to answer because there is so much missing information. The Mitzvah is not in practice today, it's practical application ...
Schmerel's user avatar
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2 votes

Does Pirkei Avot establish we can find morality separately from the law?

The Talmud in Rosh Hashanah (4a) cites the following beraita: האומר סלע זו לצדקה בשביל שיחיו בני ובשביל שאזכה בה לחיי העולם הבא הרי זה צדיק גמור ‘If a man says, I offer this sela’ for charity ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.2k
2 votes

When one is diagnosed with a terminal disease, is refusing treatment a form of suicide or acceptable considering the circumstances?

Conclusion from one such analysis: In theory, therefore, a patient may not refuse treatment, and treatment may even be forced upon him against his will. At the same time, we’ve seen that there are ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
2 votes

How has our attitude changed toward the relationship of morality to Torah observance?

In order to address your question, an underlying question must be addressed. Who or what defines what is and isn't moral? I believe that G-d, as the Creator of all existence, ultimately defines that. ...
N.T.'s user avatar
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2 votes

May one choose the recipient of his/her organ donation?

The Mishnah in Horiyos (13a) sets out an order of priorities for different situations. One of the situations presented, is regarding saving a person's life. Let's say, that I can save only ONE person ...
IsraelReader's user avatar
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1 vote

Explanation of this verse in Psalm 137

NOTE: This answer is tentative until someone double-checks that I didn't misunderstand any of the Hebrew and the text in the commentaries. I will edit/delete as appropriate, but I want it fact-checked ...
setszu's user avatar
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1 vote

Torah Laws to fit Ancient Societal Values?

In a different context, the Rambam has a famous theory regarding sacrifices. In the words of Reuven Chaim Klein Maimonides explains that the Torah’s main objective is to eradicate the viewpoint of ...
mbloch's user avatar
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1 vote

Where does "animal morality" come from?

Note: The following is my opinion and is based primarily from the written Torah. The Bible seems to take it for granted that animals naturally have some form of morality, wisdom/understanding, and ...
Aaron's user avatar
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1 vote

Where does "animal morality" come from?

Rav Hutner (Mamarei Pachad Yitzchak, Pesach) implies that that which animals display good traits is a true reflection of a godly nobleness that is inherent in the nature of that animal. On a similar ...
pcoz's user avatar
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1 vote

Source for non-immorality in Egypt

There may be a Gemara about this, but the clearest source - referring to both the Jewish men and women - is in the Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 4:12 and Vayikra Rabbah 32:5): אָמַר רַבִּי פִּנְחָס ...
Meir's user avatar
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1 vote

Source for non-immorality in Egypt

תהלים פרק קכב פסוק ד in Rashi. I don't know the Talmudic source offhand. If all the women were moral, then there would be no one for the men to be immoral with. Egyptian women would not lower ...
Naftali Tzvi's user avatar
  • 1,738
1 vote

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

Similar to the Hitler question, if you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a cute baby, would you / could you? Perhaps all these children would have turned out destructive later in life,...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 5,986
1 vote

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

This question will be unsourced as it's my personal opinion. I have yet to find a moral answer to your question that I find satisfactory. Every answer written here hasn't satisfied me. This act ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 10.7k
1 vote

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

Im too new to comment, what i have is largely additions to what people said. so I'm kind of bringing other peoples answers and adding to them, dont mean to plagiarize. You seem to be focusing on two ...
Saon's user avatar
  • 149
1 vote

Can Morality Exist Without Divine Basis?

The Gemara (Eruvin 100b) states: אמר רבי יוחנן אילמלא לא ניתנה תורה היינו למידין צניעות מחתול וגזל מנמלה ועריות מיונה דרך ארץ מתרנגול R Yochanan said: Even if the Torah were not given, we would have ...
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 8,130
1 vote

Morality before Sinai

Apart from the Noachide laws mentioned already, there are a few references in the Torah itself to a shared moral code. Avimelech says: וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֲבִימֶ֜לֶךְ לְאַבְרָהָ֗ם וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ל֜וֹ מֶֽה־...
Josh's user avatar
  • 219

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