26

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 make us feel good, that we're really right, but in reality it's not so easy to show why Judaism is true, let alone prove it with certainty to "be sure" Judaism is ...


19

Yes. Belief in God is axiomatic to Judaism. Jewish prayer features, at least twice a day, every day, the Shema, a compact assertion of this belief from Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Jews traditionally teach this prayer to our children almost starting at birth. I strongly suspect that almost any Jew with any ...


19

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 believe that Huitzilopochtli spoke to all the people. Marmuda is a human and described as a human. the fact that he is afterward identified as a god does not change ...


19

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 though from context there is only one person. See specifically Exodus 22:10 שְׁבֻעַ֣ת יְהוָ֗ה תִּהְיֶה֙ בֵּ֣ין שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם אִם־לֹ֥א שָׁלַ֛ח יָד֖וֹ בִּמְלֶ֣אכֶת ...


18

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 like we can understand that ה' ממית ומחיה is not reminiscent of trinity, since it is simply a reflection of what Hashem will do about different circumstances, ...


18

In general, don't try to obtain your knowledge of Judaism from episodes of Arthur or from fiction stories. People make things up in the interest of the story. There are much better, and more accurate, sources for learning about Judaism. Yes, in general, it is considered not a good thing for a Jewish person to practice another religion. But in terms of the ...


15

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 and in discussion with professors specializing in this field of science. He also explains why he believed this way based on the Theory of Relativity.


14

Here is a way to read this Rashi other that advancing corporealism: Usually, when we see Yad, it means to signify strength. So one might understand that Hashem will apply his strength against the Egyptians. However, Rashi here is saying that there is a metaphor here, of someone striking another. And that is an actual hand performing an act of hitting. To ...


14

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 a play viewable here). In it you will find a translation of the Ramban's Vikuach, and of the official church account of that disputation, together with an ...


13

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 not be explained - you will feel it, if you are keeping the mitzvos properly. This experience is an experience of G-dliness, and is the best "proof" of His ...


13

there is no water-tight proof for Judaism (or God) since we believe the purpose of creation is free will (see Derech Hashem ch.1). But there are many indications of its truth, which although each one by itself may not be so convincing but the sheer number of these indications is enough to be considered sufficient proof. The first thing a person needs to do ...


13

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 Mishnah Sotah 9:5. Typically in rabbinic literature, the description of God as a father uses this particular formulation exactly and certainly seems more ...


12

From the standpoint of Jewish tradition, which accepts that the Pentateuch was transmitted to Moses in its entirety around 3,300 years ago, it is clear that the Jewish religion was always monotheistic rather than monolatristic. See Deuteronomy (4:35): Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the LORD, He is God; there is none else beside Him. ...


12

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 הגויים וגידלוהו הגויים על דתם, שהוא אנוס; ואף על פי ששמע אחר כך שהיה יהודי, וראה היהודיים ודתם--הרי הוא כאנוס, שהרי גידלוהו על טעותם. כך אלו האוחזים בדרכי אבותיהם ...


12

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 Samuel 15:29 (My somewhat loose translations)


12

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 a literary device used to convey meaning to us an audience. Emotions and moods are transient in nature, and are impossible for the unchanging perfection of ...


12

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, the Torah quotes the curses that were written by professionals before Sichon went to battle against Moab. They were written by someone else, but for whatever ...


12

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 עצמותו שום נמצא זולתו. כמו שאמר החכם כששאלו אותו אם היה יודע מהות האל, והשיב: אילו ידעתיו הייתיו. כלומר כי אין מי שישיג עצמותו אלא הוא יתברך, עם היות מציאותו ...


12

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' א') ויזכר אלהים את נח. (שם ל' כ"ב) ויזכר אלהים את רחל והדומה לזה And saving creatures from something that afflicts them, this is called "remembrance". As ...


12

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) wrote Kitāb al-Amānāt wa l-Iʿtiqādāt (Emunot V’deiot). The only complete English translation of the original Arabic is The Book of Beliefs and Opinions by Samuel ...


12

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 comments based on Radak and Mahari Kara This is addressed to idolaters, who believed that there was another divine being. Isaiah repudiates the notion that there ...


11

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 misconceptions, So I think a better way of explaining it is like this: The Temple was not a house but rather a meeting place, like an office where the "CEO sitting on the ...


11

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 הַכֹּהֵן בַּר נְחֶמְיָה בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁנִּגְלָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל משֶׁה טִירוֹן הָיָה משֶׁה לַנְּבוּאָה, ‏אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא "אִם ...


10

It is forbidden. I have included relevant snippets, but it's best if you read the whole thing. Rambam Avodah Kochavim Chapter 2 Halacha 3 The worship of false gods is not the only subject to which we are forbidden to pay attention; rather, we are warned not to consider any thought which will cause us to uproot one of the fundamentals of the Torah. We should ...


10

There is only one God. God has no body and thus no gender. We attribute various roles and qualities to God; some of which, if applied to a human being, we would normally associate with a human male, and others with a human female. Thus when Biblical Hebrew has to choose a gender (every word in Hebrew is gendered, there's no gender-neutral option!) to ...


9

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 שנברא בצלם, שנאמר (בראשית ט), כי בצלם אלקים עשה את האדם. חביבין ישראל שנקראו בנים למקום.חבה יתרה נודעת להם שנקראו בנים למקום, שנאמר (דברים יד), בנים אתם לה' ...


9

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 God is philosophically unjustified? First off, I should mention the Rashash to Shabbos 31a, who writes that a person is only considered a heretic after fully ...


9

Please learn chapters 4 and 23 of Likutei Amarim Tanya for deeper understanding. However on the simple level it means that they are connected very strongly with each other -through a Jew learning Torah and doing Mitzvos (which are the Rotzon/will of Hashem Yisborach, which is how Torah is very connected to Him) the Jew becomes connected to Hashem. When a ...


9

See Rashi there, which renders it as Onkelos does: "They sacrificed to demons, which have no power." The name for god there has to do with power/rulership. On the essential question of their existence, see here. Theologically, demons are no more problematic than angels or Satan the Adversary vis-a-vis monotheism. And someone worshiping them is no different ...


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