27 votes

How can we be sure that Judaism is true/the truth?

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 ...
  • 1,414
24 votes
Accepted

Does the fact that "Elohim" is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

The reason this is confusing is that in Biblical Hebrew, the plural can be used to denote a position of authority. For example, in Exodus 22 the Bible refers to a property owner in the plural even ...
  • 6,421
21 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 ...
  • 4,711
20 votes

Native American Traditions and Mass Revelations

The Aztecs were following white eagles, and do not seem to claim any sort of supernatural entity speaking to them. As the question notes, it is also very unclear from the source provided if they ...
15 votes
Accepted

Lubavitch and Geocentricism

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 ...
14 votes
Accepted

Source of Ramban's famous debate

The best (English language) source, in my opinion, is Hyam Maccoby's Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1982; later adapted as ...
  • 18.6k
13 votes

How do we know that God exists?

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 ...
  • 848
13 votes

What should our response be to ancient scripts that mirror the Torah?

It's perfectly plausible that God commanded, for instance, to use designs similar to existing idolatrous ones, and instead turn them on their head by modifying them to build the Tabernacle. Similarly,...
  • 127k
13 votes
Accepted

Is calling The LORD as "Father" common during Jesus time?

The expression "Our father in heaven" (אבינו שבשמים) is a relatively common name for God in rabbinic literature (as far as I am aware, this formulation does not appear in the Bible). For example, see ...
  • 24.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Is Hashem only God of the Jews?

Jeremiah 32:27 'Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is there any thing too hard for Me?
  • 48.2k
12 votes

Am I supposed to Ignore Most Non-Religious Jews?

No, you are not supposed to ignore most non-religious Jews. Rambam Hilchos Mamrim 3:3: אבל בני אותן הטועים ובני בניהם, שהדיחו אותם אבותם ונולדו במינות, וגידלו אותן עליו--הרי הן כתינוק שנשבה לבין ...
  • 31.4k
12 votes

Proofs from scripture that God could not be a man

Two explicit verses come to mind: לא איש אל ויכזב -- "God is not a man that he would lie" Numbers 23:19 כי לא אדם הוא להנחם -- "For he is not a man that he would change is mind" 1 ...
  • 5,221
12 votes

G-d doesn't have emotions? Why?

The Rambam referenced in the question actually deals with the many times in Tanach in which we ascribe emotions to Hashem. In chapter 55 in Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam discusses Hashem's "emotion" as ...
12 votes

If I knew Him I would be Him

One of the sources for this statement is in Ma'amar 2, towards the end of Chapter 30 of Rabbi Yosef Albo's Sefer Ha'ikrim. It is brought in the name of the "chacham" - "wise person." אי אפשר שישיג ...
12 votes
Accepted

What does it mean that God "remembers" something?

Rav Sa'adya Gaon writes in Emunot V'deot (Ma'amar 2 s.v. v'hinei ani) that in reference to God, remembrance refers to salvation: ובהצלת הברואים מענין שמצער אותם קוראים אותו זכירה, שאמרו (בראשית ח' ...
  • 34.9k
12 votes

What is a summary of basic Jewish metaphysics or theology?

Over a period of about five hundred years, various medieval Jewish scholars wrote books attempting to systematically address many issues of Jewish theology and metaphysics. Saadia Gaon (882-942) ...
  • 48.2k
12 votes
Accepted

Does Yeshayahu 43:10b / 43:13a imply HaShem was created?

Your question has been asked before by traditional commentators (e.g., Radak). artscroll translates the end of 43:10 before Me nothing was created by a god, nor will there be after Me! and ...
  • 43.9k
11 votes

Does God love non-Jews?

There is a mishnah that explicitly addresses this question (Although @ray's quote of Chovos haLavavos makes the point pretty directly. Avos 3:14: הוא היה אומר, חביב אדם שנברא בצלם .חבה יתרה נודעת לו ...
  • 8,975
11 votes
Accepted

What if someone is unable to believe in God?

I'm going to assume that this 'inability to believe in God' comes from a conviction that God doesn't exist. The question is, should a person be faulted for disbelieving, if he thinks that believing in ...
11 votes
Accepted

What should our response be to ancient scripts that mirror the Torah?

You make a mistake in assuming that in order for something to be Divine it must be completely original. To understand the Torah and G-d's intentions and its applicability to modern times does not ...
11 votes
Accepted

In what sense did G-d live in the Temple, in the understanding of Jews prior to the Temple's destruction?

I have also thought about the same question and have come up with what seems most logical to me. I too think that talking about "God living" in the Beit HaMikdash causes many unnecessary ...
  • 254
11 votes

What did Hashem sound like?

See the Medrash Raba on Shemos (Exodus) פרשה ג that states that (at least initially, at the burning bush) Hashem sounded just like Moshe's father Amrom when He spoke to him. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ...
11 votes
Accepted

Are there any references from the schools of Shammai and Hillel that support belief in the soul separating from the body at death?

First source: "...Another thing: "A kindly man benefits himself", this refers to Hillel the Elder, that when he departed from his students, he would walk and they would walk with him. ...
  • 21.2k
10 votes

Does the fact that "Elohim" is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

R. Judah Halevi addresses this in Part IV of the Kuzari: The word has a plural form, because it was so used by gentile idolaters, who believed that every deity was invested with astral and other ...
  • 48.2k
9 votes

From the Jewish perspective, if a prophet had the power to bring people back from the dead, what would that make him?

He would be a prophet through whom God worked a miracle. In fact, this happened with the prophet Elisha, as recorded in Melachim II 4. Elisha had told a Shunammite woman who had treated him very ...
9 votes

What did Hashem sound like?

Midrash Tehilim 18:29 (in the name of R. Luliani) says that Hashem spoke with Moshe with the voice of Moshe himself: רבי לוליאני בשם רבי ישמעאל אמר בנוהג שבעולם הרב אומר והתלמיד עונה. אבל הקב"ה ...
9 votes

Does the fact that "Elohim" is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

Often I see ignorant skeptics of the Torah as using this argument to "prove" that Judaism adopted terms from polytheism, but this not at all the case. The reason why Elohim ends with "-...
  • 292
8 votes

Do we really have free choice?

Note: My answer ended up vastly exceeding the maximum character limit for a post, so I have split it into two parts. The first part follows here, while the second part can be found in a separate post. ...
  • 48.2k
8 votes

How do we know that God exists?

Since Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, there has been little faith in any philosophical proof of theological and metaphysical claims. But then, despite the misnamed "Kuzari Principle", this is R' ...
  • 8,975
8 votes
Accepted

Can Hashem see under our covers?

A friend of mine asked R' Tzvi Berkowitz this question. The response was that Hashem can see through your clothes also. The point is to be tzanua from the perspective of Man, in which being covered ...

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