Category: Machashavah

Maimonidian Qabbalah 0

Maimonidian Qabbalah

First, some quotes from the Rambam: ג: וְאִם יַעֲלֶה עַל הַדַּעַת שְׁאֵין כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִלְּבַדּוֹ מְצוּיִים, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יִהְיֶה מָצוּי וְלֹא יִבָּטֵל הוּא לְבִטּוּלָם:  שֶׁכָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים צְרִיכִין לוֹ; וְהוּא בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינוּ צָרִיךְ לָהֶם,...

Allegory and Literalism 0

Allegory and Literalism

In an earlier essay, I wrote about mandatory beliefs in Judaism. What about the less central claims? There is a specific mitzvah obligating us to believe the events of yetzi’as Mitzrayim, the exodus from...

A Sukkah in the Sun 0

A Sukkah in the Sun

R. Hanina b. Papa, and according to others, R. Simlai, lectured: In the future to come, HaQadosh barukh Hu (HQBH) will take the seifer Torah and rest it on His “Chest” and say, “Whomever...

Modern Consciousness and Mesorah 0

Modern Consciousness and Mesorah

The Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks wrote the following in an article included in the 1992 book, Rabbinic Authority and Personal Autonomy (Dr. Moshe Sokol ed.), pp. 165-167: [S]urely we are sociologically and philosophically...

Postmodernism and Mesorah 0

Postmodernism and Mesorah

I I don’t think I can touch this topic without first defining what I mean by Postmodernism. The old way of doing things, from the Enlightenment until the middle of the 20th century, was...

Divine Command Theory 0

Divine Command Theory

Divine Command Theory (DCT) is a model of ethics in which “good” is defined by “that which Hashem wants. To quote my presentation of the Euthyphro Dilemma from an earlier blog entry: In his...

תשעה באב 0

תשעה באב

אמא! אמא! Memories of a more recent churban… Last year, Nariman House was a way-station in Mumbai for lost Israelis searching India for spirituality, and a place where a Jew in a strange place...

Tanakh and Allegory 0

Tanakh and Allegory

Someone on scjm asked the following question: Mainly for those who think some of the tanach is parable Tanach parable or historical? How much is parable & how much is historical? all parable? parable...

TiDE and Slabodka

TiDE and Slabodka

(The previous post was off topic, but on the blog. This post is on topic, but posted elsewhere.) Rabbi Rich Wolpoe posted to the Nishma blog an exchange we had by email. Here are...

Natural Morality and Halakhah 0

Natural Morality and Halakhah

What’s the relationship between a human’s intuitive sense of what’s moral and halachic mandate? There is a tendency in some circles to describe the Torah as though halakhah was the sum total of the...