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7

The Rambam addresses the reason for the first 4 chapters at the end of chapter 4: וְעִנְיְנֵי אַרְבָּעָה פְּרָקִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁבְּחָמֵשׁ מִצְוֹת הָאֵלּוּ הֵם שֶׁחֲכָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים קוֹרְאִין אוֹתוֹ פַּרְדֵּס כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ אַרְבָּעָה נִכְנְסוּ לַפַּרְדֵּס. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁגְּדוֹלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיוּ וַחֲכָמִים גְּדוֹלִים הָיוּ לֹא כֻּלָּם הָיָה בָּהֶן ...


3

The Ramban (Nachmanides) writes in his commentary on the Torah as follows At the briefest instant following creation, all the matter of the universe was concentrated in a very small place, no larger than a grain of mustard…. From the initial concentration of this intangible substance in its minute location, the substance expanded, expanding the universe as ...


3

Bereishis Rabba 14:11 רַבִּי לֵוִי בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר, עַל כָּל נְשִׁימָה וּנְשִׁימָה שֶׁאָדָם נוֹשֵׁם צָרִיךְ לְקַלֵּס לַבּוֹרֵא, מַה טַּעַם (תהלים קנ, ו): כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ, כָּל הַנְּשִׁימָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ. Breathing is required so that we have a constant reminder to thank Hashem for our lives. (I once heard that is the reason a ...


3

According to Mamionides, one of the basic fundamentals of Jewish belief is belief in prophecy, especially the prophecy of Moses. The concept of prophecy is difficult to relate to, because according to tradition it has not been around since the time of the second Temple. However, part of the experience of true prophecy is the clarity that this is real ...


3

As time has gone on, Jews have tended to believe in miracles and hallucinations less and less. Jews originally believed in exorcisms, and discussed how to perform them in the Talmud and other ancient texts. But thanks to the modern psychology movement almost no Jews believe in exorcism anymore. I would argue that for a modern Jew to believe his spiritual ...


3

After looking around in the classical commentators, I found the Abarbanel seems to say this about the Rambam. It is in two places in the Abarbanel: At the end of the classic Lvov edition of the Guide (5626), there is a piece from the Abarbanel where he disputes the Rambam's interpretation of Ezekiel's vision. It is also in the Abarbanel's commentary on ...


2

Very much like the OP's answer, I suggest that the thickness of and distance to the plow handle is standard. First of all, the thickness of a standard plow handle is stated in the Mishna (Kelim 17:8): כָּל הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין מְבִיאִין אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה בָּעֳבִי הַמַּרְדֵּעַ, לֹא גָדוֹל וְלֹא קָטָן אֶלָּא בֵינוֹנִי. אֵיזֶה הוּא בֵינוֹנִי, כֹּל שֶׁהֶקֵּפוֹ טָפַח: &...


2

R. Saadia Gaon in Emunot V'Deiot writes: Thus, for example, certain monotheists shunned the view that God was unable to bring back yesterday in order not to ascribe to him impotence. They thereby, however, let themselves into something worse by ascribing to God an absurdity, as we shall note in part of the second treatise of this book, if God, exalted be He,...


2

Indeed in the US and Canada adding whey cream to butter is now being done, as such commercially produced butter needs kosher supervision to ensure it doesn't contain forbidden ingredients (since whey is a byproduct of cheese production). As R Yehuda Spitz writes in his excellent book Food, a halachic analysis Butter has of late been increasingly produced ...


1

Not sure what you mean about death by poison because that isn't one of the four ways Beis Din carries out capital punishment so I'm assuming you mean burning the throat and the trachea (Serafa) which is done by a drop of poison rather than the use of actual fire. The Rambam Sahedrin 15:3 describes it as follows וּמַתִּיכִים אֶת הַבְּדִיל וְאֶת הָעוֹפֶרֶת ...


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Perhaps you are referring to the following? Ralbag in his commentary to Genesis 15:4 writes that Ezekiel in his prophecy experienced the spheres as making noise, in accordance with his mistaken belief that they do in fact make noise. Ralbag attributes this to Rambam. והנה מספר הכוכבים לא היה נודע בימי אברם ולזה הראהו המדמה בעת הנבואה ענין ריבוי הכוכבים למשל ...


1

Looks like the Zohar says something similar "Let there be (Heb. יְהִי) light," means that everything that comes forth and emanates in the world proceeds according to the secret of the words: (...) When the first point, which is Yud, proceeded from Arich Anpin, its light shone upon it according to the sense of 'reaching yet not reaching'. Once the ...


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Yes, there are many Jewish legends that say other worlds ended and were followed. Rabbi Kaplan felt that there were other worlds before Adam and Eve.[1] As it turns out, there are many midrashim with these imaginative tales such as G-d creating other cultures before the present one and destroying them, almost a kind of science fiction. However, Maimonides ...


1

The meaning of סוד העיבור in the Talmud is "Council of Intercalation". Sacha Stern, Calendar and Community, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 190. It refers to the calendrical court. The meaning "secret of intercalation" arose later.


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