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16

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 ושתי בנותיו עמו הן שנתכוונו לשם מצוה וצדיקים ילכו בם הוא שנתכוין לשם עבירה ופושעים יכשלו בם Rather, it is comparable to Lot and his two daughters, who ...


10

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, introduction p15. In November 1921, when Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the chief rabbi of the town Luban, a Torah scholar fell seriously ill: his tongue ...


5

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 "ox" as a damager, by Torah Law, is something that must be described as containing "Ru-ach Chaim" (a living soul). An animal which has a living soul of its ...


4

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 given] there are two paths. Rather is it illustrated by Lot when his two daughters were with him. To these [the daughters], whose intention it was to do right, [...


4

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 חייבים לשמור כל אשר צונו השם בין שנגלה לנו הסוד בין שלא נגלה ואם מצאנו אחת מהן מכחשת שקול הדעת אינו נכון שנאמין בו כי הוא כמשמעו רק בספרי חכמינו ז"ל נבקש מה ...


4

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 material desires through the process of teshuvah to the extent that it reveals the true nature of the innermost essence of ones heart. That at the core of ones ...


4

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 by the Heavenly court and found guilty and sentenced to death. Only Moses and his army were asked to execute the sentence. Just look around - innocent children ...


4

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 torah; and hilchos deos, especially perek 5 which quote many more sayings. Tur starts off Orach Chaim by quoting the Mishna of "R' Yehduda ben Teima omer havei ...


3

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


2

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 Hashem do not change based on moral relativism. The punishment meted out by Beis Din do not change based on moral relativism. Their judgment is supposed to be ...


2

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 טובה בזה הפעל המגונה נמצאו נעזרות בו מהשם יתעלה וזכו אל שיצאו מהן השתי אומות שמלאו הארץ בעת מתן תורה The twenty-fourth lesson is in character traits. And it is ...


2

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 in order that my children may live and in order that through it I may merit the future world, he may still be a wholly righteous man?’ (Soncino ...


2

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 in a group of people, whose lives are ALL in danger, which one should I choose to save? Since a kidney donation is a life saving act, I suggest that the order ...


2

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 certain scenarios where we need not force the patient to accept treatment, such as if the patient has legitimate misgivings about the efficacy of the therapy; if ...


2

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. I also believe that He revealed his will in the Torah. So if I have a question as to morality, I will consult an expert in the Torah. Some parts of the Torah ...


1

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 holiness. In the story of Gan Eden the serpent is called the "most wise" of the animals, as if other animals are wise and the serpent simply happens to ...


1

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 note, Rb Wolbe (Alei Shur chelek beis, on frumkeit) says that animals pray to Hashem.


1

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 גַּן נָעוּל, אֵלּוּ הַבְּתוּלוֹת. גַּל נָעוּל, אֵלוּ הַבְּעוּלוֹת. מַעְיָן חָתוּם, אֵלּוּ הַזְּכָרִים... אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא, שָׂרָה יָרְדָה ...


1

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 themselves be with slaves. Also any children by a man and some other woman would not be a member of the husband's tribe. Thus the certification of Hashem applies to ...


1

R' Yosef Alcastille, in a responsum quoted in Beis Hashem of the Shela"h, says that there is not, and cannot be, an answer to this question. כי אם אתה נותן סיבה וטעם למה שרצה האדם בזה הדבר יותר מבזה, א"כ סיבה הניעה לרצונו שיבחר בזה יוזר מבזה. As if you attribute a cause and a reason as to why a person has a will for this thing over that, if so the ...


1

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 learnt modesty from a cat, [that it is wrong to] steal from a ant, forbidden relations from a dove, and regular relations from a rooster The Gemara is clear ...


1

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־עָשִׂ֤יתָ לָּ֙נוּ֙ וּמֶֽה־חָטָ֣אתִי לָ֔ךְ כִּֽי־הֵבֵ֧אתָ עָלַ֛י וְעַל־מַמְלַכְתִּ֖י חֲטָאָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה מַעֲשִׂים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־יֵֽעָשׂ֔וּ עָשִׂ֖יתָ עִמָּדִֽי׃ ...


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