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Basics of Emunah #1: Is Judaism Afraid of Questions?

Three Paths in Jewish History: Reason, Tradition & Emunah

1 hr 50 min

Class Summary:

4 week series of classes at 20 Forshay Road, Monsey. Thursdays at 8:30pm, followed by Q A. March 16, March 23, March 30 and April 6. For Men, Women and Teenagers (separate seating). You can send questions in advance by email to [email protected] or submit written questions before or during the presentation. Anonymity of the questioners will be respected. Hot food will be served. No registration of fee required.

Please leave your comment below!

  • BP

    BNH Properties -4 years ago

                               

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  • Y

    Yochanan -5 years ago

    I'm listening now for several years all different sorts of lectures on Judaism, and B"H I have grown a lot. the funny thing is, that I recently came across your Emuna Shiurim and I'm amazed how you address it all in such a creative manner. I'm truly inspired by your lectures... I would like to Thank you for everything I have gained from you and for everything you have done for Klal Yisroel.
    I'm very curious, did you give out any books on Judaism?

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  • H

    Hershy -5 years ago

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

    I'm a bochur learning in a chasidishe yeshive in yerushalayim
    I recently started listening to your emunah series and you mamesh gave be a clarity in the whole inyan and Its easy to see the truth in every word you say Thank you!!
    Just 2 points i wanted to make, if you could give me a moment of your important time
    Your explanation of emunah that emunah is an experience of the soul feeling Hashem
     
    I saw from a few of your shiurim that you have 2 sources for this concept 1. the Tanya where he writes that we all have a cheilek eloikai MAMESH and your second source how also from chabad On the meaning of the Tfilah we say every morning- Eloikai neshomoh shenosatoh be tehoiroh hi
    I thought you might of been interested I saw a much earlier source of the concept from the Zohar (im sure you know of it but you just didn't mention it in the shuirim that I heard, but if you didn't here it is)
     
    The Zohar Chodosh writes in parshas beraishis 14b אמר ר' יצחק אמר ר' אבא מאי דכתיב ונשמת שקי תבינם אלא הנשמה מלמדת את האדם להכיר את קונו
    I don't think we need a stronger source then that.
     
    Another thing I wanted to understand you explained that this level of emunah is only shayech to someone whose neshomo isn't dirty and covered up- Its shayech to someone who recognizes his father and doesn't need to do DNA testing to figure out who his father is.
     
    My question is how would I explain emunah to someone whose neshomo is covered (is adopted) or to a non jew who can't understand it like a jew?
     
    I'm also a bit unclear according to the explanation that emunah is not plane belief which is basically  stupidity-only an experience of the neshomo, but at the end of the day you do have to come to plane belief- belief that you actually have a neshomo?
     
    If you can please give me some clarity on the subject.
    thank you.

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    • RY

      Rabbi YY -5 years ago

      ידידי האברך היקר מכל יקר הרצ"ה יחיה
       
      במענה ליקרת מכתבו. הנה ת"ח ת"ח על המראה מקום לזוהר, וכמדומה כדבר הזה נמצא גם בכמה ראשונים, כמו בשערי תשובה לרבינו יונה, ועוד. וצריך לחפש. ובכל אופן תודה חמה.
       
      איני זוכר למה ציינתי לתניא, וכמדומני, כי שמה נתבאר באריכות ובאר היטב במאד, ועוד זאת, כי בזוהר ובראשונים ההדגשה היא שהנשמה יודעת על הבורא, ובתורת החסידות מודגש עוד יותר, שהכוונה היא לא רק הבנה והשגה אלא כביכול חוויית הבורא, להיותה חלק אלוקה ממעל ממש, היינו שהיא רואה את הבורא ועוד יותר שהיא ממש חלק מהבורא עצמו כביכול. והיא יודעת הבורא כמו שיודעת את עצמה, היינו שזהו הרגש הכי קרוב בחיים.
       
      ובמענה על שאלתו היקרה, הנה זה פשוט, שאם הנשמה מכוסה, הנה צריך להיות גם השכל וההבנה והשגה להסביר יסודי היהדות בצורה שכלית ומובנת, דהיינו על פי טעם ודעת, שהרי הידיעה שיש בורא אינה אמונה עיוורת, כי אם דבר שאפשר להכיר ולדעת על פי שכל. ואין צריך לזה אמונה עיוורת, כי אם התבוננות בעומק השכל, בטעם ודעת, שאז יבוא לידי הכרה שיש בעה"ב לבירה זו, ובשלב שני, הנה כשיראה שכל העולם מתנהל בסדר מכוון, צריך לומר שגם להאדם יש תכלית וסדר מכוון, אלא שאינו יודע אותו בלי התורה, ומזה מבין שבורא העולם העניק לעולם מורה דרך והיא התורה, שעל ידו האדם מוצא את עצמו בסדר ותוכנית הנפלאה והמדוייקת של הבריאה, הן היהודי באופן שלו, והן הגוי להבדיל ע"פ המצוות והחוקים שלו שגם הם נמסרו בתורה. וכ"ז נוסף על העדות שבמ"ת, כמבואר ברמב"ם יסודי התורה והקדמת ספר החינוך ובס' הכוזרי ועוד.
       
      והנה גם לזה קראו הראשונים בשם אמונה, והסיבה פשוטה, לא כי זה בלי שכל, אלא כי סו"ס הרי אינו רואה בעיניו מציאות השם, וגם לא ראה בעיניו מ"ת, ולכן צריך להאמין בכך. שהרי זהו דבר שאינו נראה ונרגש במוחש כל כך. ועוד זאת, שיש גם ספיקות ומבוכות מצד היסורים בחיים רח"ל והקושיות של צדיק ורע לו וכו', ולכן גם מצד זה צריך "אמונה". והנקודה היא, שאמונה קוראים לכל דבר שלא רואים ומרגישים בחמשת החושים, ולכן צריך להאמין שכן הוא. אבל אין הכוונה שהאמונה היא מצד שטות וטיפשות, דא"כ הרי אין יסוד כלל בשכל לאמונת היהדות. וק"ל.
       
      האם מובן?

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  • C

    Cheskel -5 years ago

    I grew up in williamsburg, now in my early 30's, i am the thinking type, i always felt like an apikores when i questioned stuff, although i believed and felt intuitively that the way of "knowing" yiddishkeit vs "believing" is much more beautiful, i never understood the idea of defending something because u believe it blindly.

    I'm in the middle of listening to "Basics of Emunah 1 Is Judaism Afraid of Questions", and i'm crying, because its the 1st time in my life that i hear somebody addresses and sums up most of my questions in such a beautiful way.

    Here is a thought that i always said about this: Avraham Avinu, the father of Judaism found god on his own, (although this doesn't address "Torah" only "god/spirituality"), despite what his parent sold him!

    Anyway

    You're a gift for this generation!

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  • C

    Cheskel -5 years ago

    I am in my early 30's, i am the thinking type, i always felt like an apikores when i questioned stuff, although i believed and felt intuitively that the way of "knowing" yiddishkeit vs "believing" is much more beautiful, i never understood the idea of defending something because you believe it blindly.

    I'm in the middle of listening to "Basics of Emunah 1 Is Judaism Afraid of Questions", and i'm crying, because its the 1st time in my life that i hear somebody addresses and sums up most of my questions in such a beautiful way.

    Here is a thought that i always said about this: Avraham Avinu, the father of Judaism found god on his own, (although this doesn't address "torah" only "god/spirituality"), despite what his parent sold him!

    Anyway

    You're a gift for this generation!


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  • S

    shmuel -5 years ago

    קודם כל אין לי מילים איך להודות לך על השיעורים הנפלאים בענין אמונה. וכמה שנהנתי שאתם לא מפחדים לענות ולהתעסק בענינים כ"כ חשובים אשר רוב אנשים, לדעתי, ואני בתוכם, מפחדים לשאול שאלות כאלו, ובפרט שאני אברך חסידי ומה לי ולשאלות כאלה?!

     

    וכל זה מטעמים שאתם כבר היסברתם ואין לכם מושג כמה האמונה שלי התחזקה דרך השיעורים הנפלאים והעמוקים שלכם.

     

    וזה עוזר לי גם בחבורות שאני נותן לאברכים בעלי בתים ולמטה אשר שאלות כאלו מציק להם כ"כ הרבה.

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  • DS

    david starik -5 years ago

    אני מאוד רוצה לקבל את השיעורים על אמונה קשה לי להוריד מהאתר הכתובת שלי 

    david starik

    24 satmer dr #102

    10950

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    Amazing shiur!!!!
    But the problem is my shool does not agree with you!

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    • P

      Pesach -6 years ago

      That's only because your rabbi or so is clueless in what he believes, would he of been born into an Islamic family he would of lived his life happily as a muslim.

      We Jews are not afraid of any religion or non-religion, we know them all and we have the answer to their questions.

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  • JF

    Jacob F -6 years ago

    Emunah is the sixth sense, do I have to believe that? Isn't that something that needs Emunah as well? 

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    • Y

      Yosef -11 months ago

      No figure out if their is such a thing or not, or you can believe it because you understand why torah is true and torah says you have a sixth sence

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  • Anonymous -6 years ago

    Amina peshita is from the soul, it's in every jew,

    How do we have to answer someone that has questions that they have to get in touch with their soul and find Amina there? How do you prove to them that there is a soul at all,  if they are not beileving that we taken out from Egypt and there was Matan Torah, why believe in soul? You think they are in touch with their soul?

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  • S

    Sara -6 years ago

    Emunah

    Thank you so much for the story about Csanad Szegedi.  I get what you are saying about every Jew having Emunah. It is a beautiful thing. I know this is  the focus of the lesson because we are talking about Emunah, but the things you said about the two ways to have Emunah, through our ancestors as well as through questioning and looking for answers was also something I appreciated hearing as I've heard others (rabbis, other Jews) say it's ALL about belief because that is the way it is and don't ask any questions.  Thank you.

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  • C

    Chaim -6 years ago

    It seems to work

    My question to you is as follows: you say that when a kid, a bucher asks something about emunah we should answer him that "We don't ask such questions" etc... Because that will make him think that there is 100% answer. But, I don't know about that, I walk around in beis hamidrish and in yeshivos in which they give this answer, and no one seems to have a problem, everybody is going on with their daily jewish lives with no problem. So how can you say that this is a problematic answer?

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    • Y

      yosef -6 years ago

      I think for many it might work, but for many it does not. Fact is, years later they say, "no one could answer us, because there are no answers." You are correct if the response comes from strength, not weakness; from knowledge, not ignorance. And by the way, how do you know what the other guys who are "fine" are thinking inside?

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  • SL

    Shmuel Lemon -6 years ago

    .

    I have heard the following aprox statement concerning Emunah Peshuto, said in the name of Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l, a famous Baal Mussar.

    “Emunah Peshuto is a madraigo (a level). It’s not an automatic achievement, just to say, “I believe.” It needs to be acquired.

    What I understand He means to say is based on what He writes in his sefer (Alai Shur Chelek beis P. 288).

    The Emunah that a person lives according to needs to enable him (1) to stand up to and overcome any false philosophy and (2) be prepared to give up ones life for it. It needs a 100% certainty. Otherwise its useless / meaningless.

    How does one achieve this? Does this mean that one has to become a philosopher and delve deeply into the matter? No says Rabbi Wolbe. All one needs to do is to use one’s healthy simple plain mind that is the every human has been endowed with (peshuto) and one will very easily find intellectual straight forward proofs for oneself as He demonstrates in his sefer. One doesn’t need complicated or sophisticated deep investigated ideas. But, He adds on, without any thought and intellectual input what so ever ones Emunah is shaky and is considered “masei avoisov beyosdov” the works of his ancestors but not his own belief. In all levels of Emunah, one needs to own it.

    He has stated in a shiur “every yeshiva student needs to have five reasons why he knows that HaShem created the world, and five reasons why he knows that HaShem gave us the Torah.”

    This will enable such a person who has ALREADY WORKED on his Emunah and has established it as a solid belief, not be shaken when faced with sudden difficult events that befall him, that for an ordinary person may cause him to question if c”v
    G-d exists

    So the original understanding of Peshuto still stands.

    How does this sound?

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  • SL

    Shmuel Lemon -7 years ago

    Excellent shiur

    We need to tell people who answer those people who have questions on Emuna / Yiddishkeit; “No questions / that’s an apikorsishe question,” what Rav S Wolbe zt”l famously said. “There are NO apikorsishe questions, ONLY apikorsishe answers!!

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  • Y

    yoel -7 years ago

    Since motzei shabbos I'm listening every day together with my wife to the Emunah Shiurim by Rabbi Jacobson, we found a new rabbi teaching us so clear how to strengthen ourselves in every situation living a life of true faith in Hashem even it may look in our eyes like a hard bitter struggle, I'm amazed of Rabbi Jacobsons powerful delivery I feel as he is talking direct to my heart & soul, I'm swallowing his words, I'm monitoring the way he is talking with so much creativity, many times I had to stop finding my self stunned and numb of his remarkable points, he has so much to offer for the world, tnx again for sharing with me about the Shiurim on Emunah!

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  • D

    david -7 years ago

    Thank you and everyone else involved very much for taking the initiative and starting your new class "Basics of Emunah". I just finished listening to the first installment of the series.
    My name is David Shabat, I emigrated here to the USA in 1992 from former USSR, where the only 'religion' (or should I call it, cult) was communism/atheism and we all were supposed to live our lives being happy communists. You may find it shocking, but while in college we had to take two subjects regardless of what our major was. Those subjects were "History of the Communist Party of USSR" and "Scientific Atheism". Both courses were supposed to be taken and passed with good grades in order to receive the diploma after the graduation.
    As many others, I grew up being disliked and/or hated and/or taunted by my non-Jewish peers. I could never understand why so as I grew up I decided I would read the Torah and other books, considered holy by other religions, and see what it is that we are hated for so much. So, I did, and sort of got myself into the situation of the main character of the famous book Kuzari written by Yehuda HaLevi. Being a fairly rational and open minded young person (I was in my young 20s) I opened the books to see if I can find the truth. I've read all 3 and even though I quickly realized that the beliefs of Christians and Muslims not only base but depend of Judaism, one thing didn't sit well with me. The Torah ends with the famous book "Ha'azinu", in which Moshe Rabbeinu tells Jewish people all of their future until the time of End of Days and he adjures them to open the scroll and see that all he said is true after it has actually happened. At that moment, being fair but inquisitive, I asked a question, "How is it possible that Moses knew it all, yet, we are told to perform Mitzvohs?" What is the point of doing or not doing if he already knew then what we do today? I started asking 'religious' people but received a treatment you described in your first class. Thank G-d, I kept asking many more times (maybe out of spite) but one day I met someone, who was able to take me seriously and actually answer me. That started a long journey of learning. You and your work had become a big part of this journey and for that I am forever thankful.
    So, now days when I meet Russian Jews, who tell me they don't believe, I tell them I don't believe either, I know.
    Let me tell you how I discovered my truth.
    We got engaged into the discussion of predestination and free will coexisting in the physical world. It was a very long discussion, which, of course, created more questions. The only difference was that I was challenged to either find the truth or prove the other side lying. We discussed the time and the space being created beings. We studied the famous stories of all Avos, and particularly Ya'akov Avinu knowing that the Jewish people will be slaves in the land that is not theirs and him becoming the first falling domino, so to say, by buying the shirt for Josef and thus staring the chain of events; as well as the story of Micha stealing the idols on the way out of Egypt and the golden plate with HaShem's name being used to mold golden calf were discussed among other topics. It definitely was not an hour or two conversation. That was also the time when I learned about Rabbi Tvzi Freeman and his life story and started reading his writings. All of this gave me a secure feeling of knowing that I am not becoming a drone but a person who can, as you eloquently put it, lean on the history and the tradition of the previous generations while engaging my mind into a search that leads to discovery of the truth, not blind obedience to the dogmas. Since then I got very close with Rabbi Pinchas Winston, he is one of the teachers on www.torah.org and he has his own site www.thirtysix.org I never asked him directly, but I have a feeling that he, too, was not born into the observant household. In one of his books he writes that the word 'emunah' should be translated as 'trust' instead of 'faith' and he bases it on writings that bring together First Commandment and the word 'amen', which we say after any Brocha. We say Amen because we trust, not because we believe. All other Commandments are basically calls for action to either DO, or DO NOT. The First one is a statement more than it is anything else. So, he explains that as HaShem says,- "I am Lord, your G-d, who took you out of land of Egypt, house of bondage to be your G-d..." - He thus commands us to trust Him to bring Mashiach; for as HaShem has promised the Avos to free us from Egypt, He also promised to bring Keitz Yomim and Mashiach. So, in a way, it is a statement, which is also a commandment, that says, see I promised and did and you should trust the second promise.
    As it pertains to belief vs knowledge. If you ask a foster kids whether they believe they have a mother they'd answer you that they know they have a mother even though they may have never seen her. The fact that they have been born is a testament to a mother being there even if they never saw her. If I ask the same group of kids whether they believe that I have a candy in my pocket, they may either say yes or no for there is no definite way of finding it out until I emptied my pockets. With ability to lean on the tradition and blazing the trail of my own discovery I reached the point in life of knowing and trusting G-d instead of simply believing that there is a god.
    Now days, when someone asks me to explain free will vs predestination paradox to them in simple terms I use the analogy of the game burned on the CD ROM. The whole game with all wins and loses, levels, treasure troves and bonus points exists beyond space and time on a CD ROM at any given time. Yet, it is up to a player to load the game into the hardware (console) and play it, thus taking time and space, winning or losing the game and/or climbing up the levels of the game.

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  • Y

    Yoni -7 years ago

    An email exchange with Rabbi YY Jacobson:

    Rav Jacobson שליט"א,
    First of all, thank you for your deep and insightful Shiurim, I appreciate them a lot.

    Regarding the definition of Emunah: The Sefer Ha'Ikkarim 1:19 writes that it is when someone knows something as true, even if one cannot explain it. For instance, says the Sefer Ha'Ikkarim, one knows that Hashem spoke to all of בנ"י at Har Sinai, even though they did not all have the natural prerequisites for נבואה. This is a phenomena that we cannot explain-but we know is true. This seems to fall beyond the Rav's definition of Emunah. If I understood correctly, the Rav stated that Emunah comes after the intellect. [Unless that is exactly the point here?]
    Rabbi Jacobson replied:
    He is referring to seeing something in real life, even if you can’t explain it. But you must believe it because you saw it.

    Emunah, in this definition, is certainty. It is not “faith” which may or may not be true. It is absolute unwavering “knowledge” that this is true.

    For example, Jews seeing Matan Torah even if they could not fully understand it, is called Emunah. Not Yediah, because they do not fully understand the phenomenon, but they still know it is true.

    This is of course not blind, it makes a lot of sense. If we all saw something, or we heard it from those who saw it in the millions, it makes sense to believe it is true. If 1000 people tell me it is snowing outside, it is not “blind” to accept their words as truth.

    At the end of Shuir 1 and during Shuir 2, we were addressing the emuna that comes after and is higher than sechel. This is not addressed in Eikarim which is a philosophical work, meaning discussing things according to sechel. Our final definition was from the world of Chassidus.

    Yoni Welcher wrote:

    Rav Jacobson שליט"א
    Thank you for your reply.
    The point I wanted from the Ikkarim was that the Rav's definition of the term "אמונה" seemed to be against his. According to the Rav, אמונה is metaphysical, spiritual experience once one understands the concept at hand. According to the Ikkarim, one can have something called אמונה even before one understands the thing itself. The practical נפקא מינה is whether one can define the belief [or should I say knowledge] one has in the fact that Hashem spoke even to those who where not prepared for prophecy at Har Sinai as אמונה or not. According to the Rav no, according to the Ikkarim yes.

    Rabbi Jacobson replied:
    The eikarim is saying that emunah means you know for sure it happened, even if you can't fully get it. Emunah is not belief. But rather certainty. I was not arguing with that. I was just adding another dimension and interpretation of emunah as being higher and beyond daas. Completely no contradiction here.

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  • EE

    Eliezer Ekstein -7 years ago

    Rabbi Jacobson,

    I thought i will share;

    from the HAGUDA we see how welcome questions is; Chaza"l felt that it should be one of the commands of the Seder,

    and as i heard from rabbi Avigdur Miller zt"l that the reason is because when someone asks, his mind is open to hear, VS when you just teach him with out he should be interested in understanding its not really going in to his mind.

    maybe that's why people struggle so much because their mind was never really open to understand (questions is not allowed..) so they don't really understand why/what they are doing.

    Thank you

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  • UL

    Ungarisher Litvak -7 years ago

    It would have been nice had the esteemed lecturer quoted his source to his cheat sheet and information. Someone worked hard on this, and the least you can do is credit him. The author's name is known and a quick search would have found it.
    For more information see here:
    http://www.kaveshtiebel.com...

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    • Anonymous -5 years ago

      Link is dead

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  • JY

    Jeanette Youhanna -7 years ago

    i want to understand you but i don.t know your language .could you please make it a bit more easy.

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  • SS

    Sammy Schwimmer -7 years ago

    A young man has asked an important question during this shiur (Basic Emunah #1) how is it that in our generation we font see miraclres in previous generations? When did it stop? And most important if we don't experience it in our generation how do we believe that yesteryear there were tzadikim that md miracles?
    The answer to this is a clear gemurah in masecta Brochous daf 20.
    In the generations that we had a tremendous mesiras nefesh for hashem & the torah , hashem gave us the koach of miracles vs in our generation were the majority of ehrlica yidden are more on a default mode and if it becomes a bit to complicted or burdening we seek the easy way out , we therefore dont merit miracles , at least "beguli" .
    Case in point one of the known last tzadikim of our generation by whom miracles was a daily and standard appearance was the heiliga Ribnitzer Rebbe Ztz"l & as it's known to all this heiliga yid had tremendous mesiras nefesh for hashem 24/7.

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  • S

    Shumel -7 years ago

    See Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...
    zegedi has since become a religious Jew[ and moved to Israel in 2016.
    Following his profession of Judaism, Szegedi obtained thousands of copies of his own book, and burned them. He now feels that Jobbik offers only the euphoria of hatred to people who are in despair.
    This we call "EMUNAH PESHUTAH "
    Thanks and looking forward to the next class!

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  • P

    p5uwtCq -7 years ago

    Below are some of the (far too many) questions I have concerning various concepts and principles in יהדות. These queries have been raised at various times over the past several years. No offense or disrespect is intended and hopefully what is written will not be deemed unseemly and unworthy of any consideration.

    Any response, even to just one of the following קשיות, would be very much appreciated. יישר כחך for taking time to review my questions.

    Thank you kindly.

    בהצלחה ובתודה

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    I fail to understand why אברהם is considered praiseworthy for being willing to slaughter his own child because he heard voices in his head that told him to do so.

    I don't understand why G-d would be considered in any way moral or good by requesting that such an obviously immoral and heinous act be performed. Slaughtering one's child because G-d says so doesn't make one righteous or holy. Standing up to and defying such blatant evil is the obvious and only moral choice.

    The story of the עקידה would have been much more meaningful had אברהם defied G-d's abhorrent request to kill his own son and instead told Him that even to suggest such a thing is an affront to all that is good and moral.

    אברהם stood up to G-d when He wanted to destroy סדום and עמורה. Why didn't he show the same moral fortitude when challenged to שעכט another innocent human being, viz. his own son יצחק, just to make some deity happy?

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    1.) How can an omnipotent and omniscient god get angry and jealous of man made deities? Is He/It that insecure?
    2.) Why didn't Hashem protect חור when the rabble attacked him for trying to dissuade them from עבודה זרה?
    3>) Why didn't אהרן, who had many times in the past been directly addressed by Hashem, not tell the people to wait while he inquired of Hashem concerning the whereabouts of משה?
    4.) "G‑d guided them into sinning so that a precedent would be set for future penitents" - So a god deliberately causes people to sin, then orders them to be decapitated or struck by plague. Is that not the height of immorality? Were those slaughtered given a chance to repent?
    5.) Why is murder the first recourse when a god has a problem with how people behave?
    6.) If the Torah was given at Har Sinai, wouldn't the Jews have been able to read it and see what would happen in a few days?
    7.) Is the Torah documenting its own revelation and transmission to the Jewish people? Doesn't seem logical or rational at all to me.
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    The term "10 commandments" is incorrect, since there is no equivalent expression in Judaism, as far as I know. עשרת הדיברות means "the 10 utterances", not "the 10 commandments." So why is this misleading term used in English language Jewish literature?

    Why is there no commandment not to enslave, rape or commit genocide? All of those actions, in one way or another, are sanctioned by God, yet as 21st century human beings, we all know that they are immoral, reprehensible and subject to severe punishment.

    Just exactly what is alleged to have transpired at הר סיני? What is meant by "receiving the Torah"? Did the Jewish people receive a hand written, complete ספר תורה? If the תורה שבעל פה was given there also, why, throughout the משנה and גמרא, are all statements made in the name of rabbi so and so? If God gave us the Oral Tradition, should not all statements of הלכה be prefaced with "God said at Sinai"? If God didn't provide the rules, then who did?

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    למה מתו כל תלמידי רבי עקיבא בדוקא בין פסח לשבועות? האם לא נהגו כבוד זה בזה אך ורק בתקופה הזאת? למה מחדל בכבוד הדדי מחייב עונש מיתה? למה הם לא נהגו כבוד זה בזה כשידעו כל התורה כולה? אם ה' לא רצה שחכמים הללו מתנהגים ככה למה לא הודיע אותם בבת קול או נבואה? למה הוא התרגז עליהם והרג אותם ללא התראה?

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    Why doesn't God Himself give lectures to address our questions and satisfy our curiosity? Why is all alleged knowledge of Him available only through rabbis and their ספרים? Surely an omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent deity could speak for himself/itself without human agency. Why can't/won't God speak for Himself?

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    I do not understand how the Torah can be thought of as valuing every human life. If every life is precious then why did Hashem Himself murder almost every human on the planet: men, women, youngsters, toddlers and newborn infants? And all of the animals that died a horrific death, if the story of the מבול is to be taken literally? And despite the near annihilation of the human race in response to its corruption, the problems of moral corruption and ethical shortcomings still remain to this day. Therefore nothing was accomplished.Why do we think this narrative has moral teachings for humanity? Wasn't there a better way to address humanity's failings besides extirpation?

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    Why do certain streams of Judaism deify their rabbinical leaders? Why are they not subject to criticism and challenged for their statements and actions? How can various rebbes be considered holy when they fight among themselves over property and wealth and כבוד and כח פוליטי?
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    Isn't ironic, if not hypocritical, that the Torah begins discussing the laws of slavery immediately after concluding the story of יציאת מצריים? How is slavery justifiable and considered moral? Why does the Torah allow a father (or a mother and brothers) to sell a minor child as a sex slave to a man for money? Why is betrothal to 3 year old girls permitted?
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    Why does God concern Himself more with whom one sleeps than with disease, famine, terror, injustice, natural disasters, etc? It seems that God is obsessed with sex and control of the personal lives of every person on the planet. Yet He does nothing to prevent all the evil in the world.
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    Why is God so insecure, demanding our full attention and servility, constant worship and praise?
    Does God have anger management issues?
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    Why does the Master Of The Universe need to smell the burnt flesh of cattle and sheep and see their blood splashed at the base of an altar in order to grant expiation to humans for alleged transgressions?
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    In your wonderful and amazing video lecture on אמונה, you quote the רמב"ם from ספר המדע that it is a מצוה to know of the existence of Hashem, שנאמר: אנוכי ה' אלוקיך. So, בדרך צחות we can see that there's a hint as to what the miztvah is in the English transliteration: "I KNOW HE". which sounds a lot (but not quite) like "anokhi". It's a bad bilingual pun but I couldn't resist! LOL

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    • SS

      Sammy Schwimmer -7 years ago

      Sorry for jumping in "bmokoim gedoilim al tamoid" i know ur expecting an answer from the Rebbe
      But if i may share my thoughts i think i hv "some" answers
      First question :
      As we know it is forbidden to read the torah as a story book everything in the torah is direction or halacha , if u learn midrash u will see that much much more transpired in those times and the reason why hashem chose to record only these particular happenings is as above mentioned to teach us our calling in life or halacha
      In the case u mentioned where Avraham was commanded to slaughter his only long awaited son only to hv this command retracted at the last minute is because, us being the "am hanivchar" hashems loving children and that time was the birth of our wonderful nation . As we know a tree grows the way its planted if someone would just throw seeds into a pit a pour some water chances are the tree will not hv the same results as if it was planted with utmost care and planning and therefore hadhem knew all that we will be chalanged and hv to endure thru out all generations and if our core being is solid we stand a chance to survive and flourish. So right at the birth of our nation hashem demanded the ultimate sacrafice from our father Avraham , and that sacrafice became engrained in us to moshiachs day , if had Avraham failed we would not b corresponding today as a nation ( why we were destained to bear all these goulus and chalanges is a long response initself).
      In conclusion to this question if u think deep u will acknowledge that this is precisly the reason we are tbe "only ORIGINAL nation to survive and be whole for all these thousands of years , so hashem did us the biggest favor for commanding "akeidas yitzchok"

      In ref to ur other questions 2 &4
      From the time the world was created and the sin of eitz hadas , evil got great powers and has a grip on e/t in our world , a person has to work to better themselves because he is born with an evil heart (e/b to a diff degree) some people just stay evil or get even worse they never repent and therefore after they die thier souls enter thus world again some to correct previous sins &some who were evil beyond any imagination hashem put them here to to use them to punish or challange the righteous among us ,as chaz"l say "megalgelin chov al yedie chayav". To understand this better please see the commentaries on parshas mishpotim chap.21 pusig 13 vhueloikim inu leyodoi.

      In ref to your question #5
      Ill answer with a question
      When things in our lives are smooth sailing everything is in place health wealth etc.. do we ever stop & wonder how come ? Why do i deserve this? If we dig into ouself we barely deserve air, water etc. So why all this pleasantries .
      Now just as we dont understand the goods he bestows on us more then we deserve , so dont we comprehend the challenges and rough times he bestows on us
      And just as if u'd concentrate when times are great u'd be humbeled by all of his kindness so it is vice verse

      Again i opolgize if i jumped in with my thoughts

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    • AM

      Aryeh Motskin -7 years ago

      All these questions can be easily answered if you study and get basic understanding of Torah.

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      • P

        p5uwtCq -7 years ago

        I'd like to hear an answer to even one of my queries that is based in logic and rational thought, not faith, specious reasoning, sophistry or absurd premises. "God works in mysterious ways" is not an acceptable answer. Thank you kindly.

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        • PF

          P Fried -4 years ago

          It's hard to go through all and address all of your questions in this forum, but there are a few principles which you are forgetting, which may answer a big portion of your difficulties.

          You look at the world as if it's simply just there, all by itself, then along comes God, and interferes here and there. So you want to know, how can he "murder" this one, and why does he allow that, etc. 

          But the truth is quite the opposite. Hashem it the one who gives everyone and everything their existance. Hashem does not "murder" or "enslave" or maim. He merely takes back what is His, when he sees fit. And Hashem does not "allow" things to happen. He orchestrates everything.

          Another point. God, by definition, needs absolutely nothing from His creations. Not physically, emotionally, or in any way or dimension. Everything he demands of us, or forbids us, is for our good only. There is much to say on this topic, but it's beyond the scope of this forum.

          Third; all the hardships in this world are for our good. We have a very small view of existance. It's hard to see beyond our limited perspective. We only appreciate this world. But, even from a secular perspective, life is so short, and our sadness and happiness so insignificant, compared to eternity. Hashem sees the big and long picture, and we should be very grateful that he does. The problem is we cannot see out of our small vision to even appreciate that. But think for one second; is it worth it to be slightly deficient for eternity in Olam Habah, so that we can have a better life in Olam Hazeh?

          A fourth point, is slightly more philosophical: Hashem, by virtue of being the Creator, has the ultimate authority on his creations. He is not simply a parent, who operates within a system, he is the absolute creator of everything. It is by definition impossible to be morally wrong to obay God, or morally right to defy Him. Morality only exists in the context of doing Hashem's will. An athiest can have no morality (even if they may not realize it- their concept of morality is because deep inside it is ingrained in them). What makes something right or wrong? It's only because there is a Creator who created the world with a certain perpose. (This fourth point is a little deep, and 'extra credit')

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      • Anonymous -6 years ago

        i agree liken the aikeda gd didnt actually tell avrohom to slaughter his son.one must learn rashi to understand the pesukim

         

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    • Anonymous -6 years ago

      I will answer one question. The Physcial smell of a Korban does not matter. When the Torah says reich nochach rashi says because I asked and they fullfiled my will. A korban represents a level heigher then a mtzvah. Self sacrifice to Hashem. Korban comes from the word karev, get closer. When we bring a korban, it does not make any logical sense, the smell is also bad, but Hashem loves it becuase he sees our self sacrifce to a realtionship with him. This is the explantion of the Rebbe. I think you should ask chabad.org the other questions I don't really have the time to answer all of them. Good Luck :)

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      • Anonymous -6 years ago

        When Hashem sees how much we love him, he forgives us becuase after all, we are still his children

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      • Anonymous -6 years ago

        When Hashem sees how much we love him, he forgives us becuase after all, we are still his children

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  • S

    Shmuel -7 years ago

    You kinda just jumped into the Chelek Eloka and how its in our DNA, and sechel at times mixes folks up.

    And "accepting" that we have a chelek eloka is not blind faith? Who says that's not "stupidity"? Can it be proven? Is there a "DNA test"?

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The Emunah Series

Rabbi YY Jacobson

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