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Free Will & “Grains of rice”

Young handsome caucasian man feeling free spreading arms outdoor in the city sunset - freedom, free, serene concept

Yes, we’re all familiar with the movie, Mulan. It starts with the Mongolian Huns Who invaded the kingdom of the Chinese emperor. The soldiers immediately run to tell the emperor about the invasion And want to protect the emperor’s palace. Here, the emperor displays his greatness. First, the emperor seeks to protect the whole kingdom And not just his own ... Read More »

Biblical criticism

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Biblical criticism is an allegedly scientific approach to the study the holy writings. However, it can never be considered truly scientific because the approach is founded on a fundamental axiom that has never been proven: ie. The impossibility of prophecy. It is claimed that because the text includes contradictions, there must have been five different sources for the Torah which ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Reward and Punishment

Moses and the Tablets / Wikipedia

Can our relationship with the Creator be compared to a grocery accounts list connected to a mechanism for collecting debts? The entire system of reward and punishment in the Torah, which Rabbi Yosef Elbo sees as one of the three principle foundations of Judaism (see his book “Ikarim”), is a source of difficulty for any person who truly wants to ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Torah from Heaven

Torah at Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction),                                                                                        Cologne - Horsch, Willy in Wikipedia

Two proofs are given to show that there is a Divine source for the Torah. But they must be understood in depth and not simply in accord with the folk approach – that millions of people would not lie about the description of an event, especially not to their children. This approach will not withstand objective criticism, and the only ... Read More »

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Курс 1. “Разделы Палестины”: законность, справедливость, прагматизм Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Mystic Secrets

Books by Rav Kook (Wikipedia)

“The work of creation should not be taught in the presence of two, or the work of the heavenly Chariot in the presence of one.” [Mishna Chagiga 2:1]. The terminology used by the sages to refer to the mystic parts of the Torah was explained in different ways in the study halls. The approach of the Rambam is well-known: The ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Statehood

King Solomon (Wikipedia)

Aristotle (in his essay “Politics”) defines mankind as a political animal (see the Kuzari, by Yehuda Halevi, 1:35). The need to live in a community is so essential to man that no serious philosopher ever proposed returning to the primordial state where man was completely alone without any links to some kind of society and therefore to its highest form ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Periods of Exile

Bird Nest by Dakota Lynch, from Wikipedia

Exile is an integral part of the history of the nation of Israel. More than half of the time that the nation has existed was spent in exile. This is clearly a very important fact. This reality sometimes leads people to make a mistake and attempt to idealize the exile, or at the very least to generate a feeling of ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Faith in the Sages

Rabbi Akiva - from  Mantua Haggadah

One of the forty-eight traits by which the Torah is acquired is “faith in the sages” [Avot 6:6]. This is usually taken to mean that one of our basic elements of faith is that the Jewish sages do not make mistakes. But it is eminently clear that this interpretation cannot be right, for there is no person on earth who ... Read More »