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29 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 ...
Aaliyah's user avatar
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25 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 ...
N.T.'s user avatar
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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 ...
DanielEvalUlay's user avatar
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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
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13 votes
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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?
Alex's user avatar
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12 votes
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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' ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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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) ...
Alex's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.9k
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 ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
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. ...
Harel13's user avatar
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10 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 "-...
Adam's user avatar
  • 329
9 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. ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
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 ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
9 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Is the following Trinitarian conceptual understanding of the deity polytheistic according to Jewish theology?

During the 1263 Disputation of Barcelona between Nachmanides and the Church of Aragon, Nachmanides was asked about the trinity (translation from the Jewish Encyclopedia): "Fra Pablo asked me in ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
8 votes
Accepted

What is most commonly considered 'the devil' in Judaism (in the right sense of the word - the embodiment of evil)?

One of the fundamental results of belief that G-d is one (like is said when reciting the Shema twice a day, Hear Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is one. is that there is no such thing as ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is there a Jewish theology equivalent to Calvinism?

That philosophy violates some core tenets of Judaism: The concepts of teshuva and atonement are very important in Judaism, and say that we can repair a damaged relationship with God. The "you're ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
8 votes

Were there prophets who could “see” the past?

Note that the definition of prophecy that you quote is a prophet is an individual who receives a message from G‑d to transmit to the people. This means that if the message involves the past, the ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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8 votes

Hashem's will is not "nihilo", so why is it "creatio ex nihilo"?

Creation "ex nihilo" is a [mis] translation of the Jewish idea of "ברא יש מאין" where אין here does not mean "nothing, it just means "לית ביה תפיסא" - we don't have ...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 26k
8 votes

Sinning and G-d's will, what's wrong with this logic?

Very short answer: Hashem wants creative beings in His own "Image" more than He wants any particular event.* So far that's just a paraphrase of Loewian's answer. We can go one step closer to the ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,668
8 votes

How did Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel arrive at the conclusion that it would have been preferable had man not been created?

Maharsha in Makkot 23b explains as follows: There are positive commandments and there are negative commandments. If you aren’t born than you can’t fulfill the positive commandments, but you also can’...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes

Did Rambam reflect on non-Jewish sources that shaped his views?

In his introduction to Eight Chapters Rambam writes: וְדַע, שֶׁהַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר בִּפְרָקִים אֵלּוּ וּבְמַה שֶּׁיָּבֹא מִן הַפֵּרוּשׁ, אֵינָם דְּבָרִים שֶׁבְּדִיתִים מֵעַצְמִי, וְלֹא ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is the Trinity considered polytheistic in traditional Jewish thought?

Let's stop and think for a moment: "Aquinas goes to great lengths" - if the trinity was pure monotheism, why would one have to go to great lengths to prove it was so? And this is consistent ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
7 votes

Does God love non-Jews?

Paraphrasing Yonah 4:10-11: You Yonah are upset about the Kikayon which existed for a brief period and I [G-d] shouldn't care about the hundred's of thousands of people (non-Jews) that don't [yet] ...
Hanna's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
Accepted

Are there any specific laws and consequences for claiming to be God?

The great Torah scholar and codifier of Jewish law, the Rambam (R Moshe ben Maimon, 1135-1204) compiled what he calls the "Thirteen Fundamental Principles of the Jewish faith", as derived from the ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.9k
7 votes

How will the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc come to recognize the G-d of Israel when the Messiah comes

Rambam in Hilchos Melachim 11:4 writes: אך מחשבות בורא עולם אין כוח באדם להשיגם כי לא דרכינו דרכיו ולא מחשבותינו מחשבותיו וכל הדברים האלו של ישוע הנצרי ושל זה הישמעאלי שעמד אחריו אינן אלא לישר ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
7 votes
Accepted

On the interpretation of Genesis 1: 1

This was one of the hottest topics in medieval Jewish philosophy. Saadia Gaon devoted the first treatise of Emunot V'Deiot to proving creatio ex nihilo and refuting the opposing arguments. Here is ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
7 votes

Having a mystical or "religious experience"

Here are a few thoughts: Learning Torah deeply, teaches one to switch from seeing nature as natural, to seeing it as miraculous, e.g. the story of R' Chanina Ben Dosa and the vinegar. Once one sees ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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7 votes
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Saying God is Great in Arabic - is a Jew allowed?

The Pri Chadash (Yoreh Deah 19:6) discusses whether a Jew can say this after reciting the brachah on shechitah. He rules that it is prohibited to say this after the brachah because it is a hefsek ...
wfb's user avatar
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