30 votes

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

Not only is it forbidden, but it's a prohibition of such great stringency that, according to most authorities, a Jew must give up his life instead of having intercourse with a non-Jew (see sources ...
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20 votes

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

The straightforward answer to this question is that whereas the Christians are discussing what Hashem is made up of, the Kabbalists are discussing the ways in which He chose to reveal Himself. Just ...
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  • 4,623
16 votes

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

My Rebbe Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a told me that his Rebbe ybcl'c Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l when serving as mesader kiddushin at a wedding, upon hearing that one of the witnesses under the ...
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13 votes

Sex in the world to come

The Talmud (Berachot 17a) states: העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ונהנים מזיו השכינה שנאמר ויחזו את ...
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  • 48k
12 votes

Did Rashi learn Kabbalah?

In his commentary on the Gemara, Rashi refers to Sefer Yetzirah several times. One example, on Menachos 29b: אחת בה"י ואחת ביו"ד - חלק את שמו והטיף מכל אות ג' טיפין ומאותן טיפין נעשו מים ואש ואויר ...
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  • 7,362
10 votes

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

The Bach in Siman 5 of Teshuvos Yeshanos writes this of someone who, among other problems, was כופר in תורת נסתר. וכל שכן המלעיג על דברי חכמים ומדבר דופי על חכמת הקבלה שהוא מקור התורה ועיקרה ...
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  • 4,623
10 votes
Accepted

Current Attitude Towards Sefer Raziel Hamalach

I saw that the Rosh Yeshiva of Kise Rachamim in Jerusalem Rabbi Meir Mazuz wrote that it is't considered a legitimate book and one who have it should put it in Gniza. (The book is ארים ניסי on ...
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10 votes

The Yiddish Language and its Sanctity

In a letter to the Tog–Morgn Zhurnal, February 24, 1961 (also printed in דרשות און כּתובֿים), Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik wrote that Yiddish can be considered as a tashmish kedusha. He says that ...
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  • 8,651
10 votes

Picture by R' Aryeh Kaplan on the front cover of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was among many things a painter. He mentioned this in his book Jewish Meditation (p. 29): I also remember a period during which I was painting. I had just learned how to use ...
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10 votes

According to Kabbalah is it okay to have a pet dove?

It's one of the stipulations of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassids ethical will: לא יגדל אדם תורים ובני יונה בתוך ביתו (ע' סי' תתרל"ח). לפי שהבית אשר יגדלו בה או ימותו בניו או לא יהיה לו זרע. One should ...
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  • 39.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Drawing the line between not judging and not being a fool

I don't know or care about the Kabbala or red string business. I will also add that Jews absolutely do honorably serve on jury duty in the United States, and believe that because all humans are ...
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  • 127k
9 votes

Dovid got lifespan from Adam and/or the Avos

Yes at first glance they are in conflict. Sefer Yosef Tehilos 42:9 (Chida) reconciles this with the explanation that David did not sleep and this the nights counted towards the 140 years. יומם יצוה ה׳...
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9 votes

Munn in the World to Come

Talmud Bavli (Hagigah 12b), from Sefaria: ר"ל אמר שבעה ואלו הן וילון רקיע שחקים זבול מעון מכון ערבות... שחקים שבו רחיים עומדות וטוחנות מן לצדיקים שנאמר (תהלים עח, כג) ויצו שחקים ממעל ודלתי שמים פתח ...
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  • 11.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Warnings of R. Chaim Vital

The list you are looking for seems to be towards the end of his introductions, in the paragraph beginning וצריך להתרחק (page 23 in this edition). He lists 10 things not to do and 10 things to do ...
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  • 23.8k
8 votes

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

R. Meir Mazuz Shlita was asked the following question: אני רוצה לשאול בפרט על ה"דורדעים" שאינם מאמינים בחכמת הקבלה כל עיקר, אלא בדברי הגמרא, רב סעדיה גאון, הרמב"ם, וכדומה. איך יש להתיחס להם? האם ...
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  • 34.8k
8 votes

Are Segulot a Prohibition of Nichush?

See Chochmas Adam (89:3) who writes that if the action is medically sound or is sugulah based it is not subject to the prohibition of nichush or darchei Emori. Using words of Torah and objects of ...
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  • 7,420
8 votes

Is there positive proof that the Rambam did not accept Kabbalah?

Menachem Kellner wrote a book on the topic, where he builds on work by Moshe Idel. Kellner takes for granted that Rambam rejected (what was taught as) kabbalah of his day, and his book 'shows' how ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Validity of Houston Kabbalah centers?

Is this place a genuine place to study Kabbalah? NO! Sources: http://culteducation.com/group/1008-kabbalah-centre/11830-kabbalah-center-visitor-comments.html https://freedomofmind.com/Info/...
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  • 1,412
8 votes
Accepted

Munn in the World to Come

One source for this is the Midrash Otiot D'Rabbi Akiva (Version A) (s.v. Uma Nishtana in Battei Midrashot Vol. II) which states: ומנין שהמן בשחקים והיה טחון ברחיים בשביל צדיקים ובשביל ישראל לעולם ...
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  • 34.8k
8 votes

Was Eliezer a tzaddik or a rasha?

In this medrash Talpiot written by Hamekubal Rav Eliyahu Hacohen of Izmir about 300 years ago he writes in entry "Eliezer" (the entries are written in alphabetical order) Eliezer did a kabalistic ...
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  • 11.2k
8 votes

Need help in deciphering a Litvish term regarding Yichud Hashem

It looks like the first is שליטתו - His control, and the second is מציאותו - His “Existence”.
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  • 38.4k
8 votes

Introductory seforim for learning Kabbalah

Inner Space from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (written by his students based on his teachings) is a great intro in English. He goes through the concept of ein sof, tzimtzum, the four worlds, the sefirot, ...
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  • 485
8 votes

Is the author of the Shu"t HaRidvaz the same one as the one known to be the rebbe of the Ariza"l?

Indeed, this is the same person. The entry for "David ben Solomon ibn Zimra (Radbaz)" in The Responsa Literature states: He conducted a large yeshiba and many famous scholars were his pupils. The ...
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  • 48k
8 votes

Black Raven bad luck?

In Sanhedrin 65b: תנו רבנן מנחש זה האומר פתו נפלה מפיו מקלו נפלה מידו בנו קורא לו מאחריו עורב קורא לו צבי הפסיקו בדרך נחש מימינו ושועל משמאלו The Sages taught: The enchanter mentioned in the verse (...
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7 votes

Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?

The Rambam, practically alone among the major commentators, has the almost unique view that sheidim do not exist, and the entire idea was a simple superstition, played upon by the Sages for use ...
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  • 451
7 votes

Do converts represent a "farblondzshet" neshama?

In a Teshuva of the Maharam MiRottenberg (#19) he writes that the angel in charge of conception chooses souls from a chamber (that needs to be emptied before Moshiach can come) to place in the womb. ...
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  • 31.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Is there a "peshat"-style commentary on Chaim Vital's Etz Chayim?

I think the commentary Beit Lehem Yehuda by Rabbi Yehudah Fetayah fits that description. The author says in the introduction that he wants to provide something like what Rashi provides for people ...
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  • 4,811
7 votes

What does this piece of jewelry say?

It means "cosmic match" and does not have any religious meaning (as the word "cosmic," as it is transliterated there, does not originate in hebrew).
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7 votes

What does this piece of jewelry say?

The 3 letters on the back are one of G-d's 72 names derived from Shemot 14:19-21. See here. You can find websites online that connect each of the 72 names to different things, but I have no idea if ...
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  • 42.7k

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