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Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Philosophy and Prophecy

From the Analects of Confucius - Source wikimedia

  It is true that the nation-state which the Chashmona’im established was destroyed long ago, and this is very likely the reason that “Megillat Ta’anit” was removed from the holy books, but the holiday of Chanukah has not been cancelled. The inner spiritual reason for this, which appears in the statement in the Talmud that the basis of the holiday ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: Let the Temple be Rebuilt

Model of the Second Temple

There has been much discussion about the way the Temple will be rebuilt – let it come quickly, in our time. At first glance the approaches appear to be diametrically opposed to each other, with no possible way to reconcile them. However, let us see if this is really true. We start by listing various approaches to this question. (1) ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: What is the Purpose of Time and Space?

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Philosophers and scientists have expended large efforts on the question of defining the concepts of time and space. This matter has concerned many people, because after all time and space define the limits of man’s world. Some of the philosophers toyed with the idea of whether time and space are subjective (Kant) or objective (Descartes), or perhaps an illusion (Berkeley). ... Read More »

“Humanity Day” – special lesson

Hello and greetings To you and your family From the Land of Israel. First, let me we wish all members in the United States As they celebrate happily and peacefully with their families. Especially on this year, that we also celebrate the “Humanity Day” on this weekend And this is a great opportunity to invite you to a Special lesson ... Read More »

Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy: What is Redemption?

Scottish landscape from pixabay.com

In the first chapter of his book “Netzach Yisrael” the Maharal of Prague defines the concept of redemption based on his view of the exile. By doing this he makes use of a common theme in his way of looking at things: The Unity of Opposites. An idea can often best be defined by understanding its opposite. Thus, black is ... Read More »

Like Lebanon

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This week’s Haftarah begins with the call, “Return, Israel, to your G-d, for you have failed with your sin” [Hosea 14:2]. This is oriented towards the Kingdom of Israel, where Hosea prophesied. Therefore, he uses the names Israel and Ephraim which are pertinent for the tribes in the north. The main reason that it was difficult for the northern tribes ... Read More »

Darkness and Light

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The redemption of Israel has consequences not only for the nation of Israel, which returns to freedom and to its original identity, it is also important for all the nations of the world. And this is true not only in the political realm but also in the realm of theology. This is clear from this week’s Haftarah: “Rise up! Shine ... Read More »

“Not in Haste”

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The word “chipazon” – haste – appears only three times in the entire Bible. Two of the times are in the Torah: “Eat it in haste, it is Pesach for G-d” [Shemot 12:11], and “For you left Egypt in haste” [Deuteronomy 16:3]. The third time is in the Haftarah for this week’s Torah portion, “not in haste” [Isaiah 52:12]. The ... Read More »

“I am Their Deeds”

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(Written for those whose custom is to read the Haftarah of Rosh Chodesh even for the month of Elul.) The essence of Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of a new month) is renewal, based on returning to the beginning. We look back at the beginning of creation and its objectives. And that is why this Haftarah begins with the paradox that ... Read More »

G-d of All Gods

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The belief in “yichud” – G-d as something unique and special, with nothing else that can be compared to Him – raises a fair amount of difficulties when we try to understand the verses in the Bible. The straightforward language of the Bible implies that there are a number of deities, where G-d is directly related to the Children of ... Read More »