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39. The False Prophet
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Yesodei HaTorah 8:3 If a prophet arises and tries to countermand the prophecy of Moses by giving signs and performing wonders, we may not listen to him. We know for sure that he is just performing tricks because the prophecy of Moses does not rely on wonders. Therefore, there’s no point in comparing wonders in […]
38. Accepting a Prophet
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Yesodei HaTorah 8:1 It wasn’t the fact that Moses performed wonders that caused the Jews to believe in him. If a person’s belief is based on wonders, he is not fully invested because it is possible to perform wonders through other means. All the wonders that Moses performed in the wilderness were not designed to […]
37. Moses and Other Prophets
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Yesodei HaTorah 7:5 Those who aspire to achieve prophecy are called “disciples of the prophets.” They may focus their attention but there’s no guarantee that God’s Spirit will rest upon them; one might or might not ever receive a prophecy. Yesodei HaTorah 7:6 All the things we have said about prophecy do not apply to […]
36. Symbolic Imagery
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Yesodei HaTorah 7:3 When a prophet receives a message in a vision, he receives it in metaphoric images. He instantly receives the interpretation of the images so that he understands the prophecy. For example, our Forefather Jacob saw a ladder with angels ascending and descending; this was a symbol for the way various empires would […]
35. Prophecy
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Yesodei HaTorah 7:1 One of the basic principles of Judaism is that God communicates with us through prophecy. Prophecy is granted only to a wise scholar of strong character, who never yields to his natural urges in any way. Rather, he always uses his mind to overcomes his urges. He must also possess very keen […]
34. Holy and Secular Names
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Yesodei HaTorah 6:8 Holy writings and their commentaries may not be actively burned or destroyed. If a person actively did so, he would receive stripes for being rebellious. This rule only applies to texts that written by a Jew with the intention that they should be holy; if a Jewish heretic writes a Torah scroll, […]
33. Names Not Written on Paper
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Yesodei HaTorah 6:6 If a Name of God is written on a utensil, it should be cut off and buried. If God’s Name were engraved on a utensil of metal or glass and a person melted the utensil, he would still be liable for the penalty of lashes. Therefore, one should cut off the Name […]
32. Writing Partial Names of God
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Yesodei HaTorah 6:4 If one writes the letters alef and lamed of the Name “Elohim” or the letters yud and hei of the Name YHVH, they may not be erased because they are Names of God on their own. If one writes the letters shin and daled of the Name “Shaddai,” or the letters tzaddi […]
31. The Seven Names of God
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Yesodei HaTorah 6:2 There are seven Names for which these rules apply: 1) The Name that is spelled yud-hei-vav-hei (YHVH). This is called the explicit Name of God; it is also written as alef-daled-nun-yud (Adonai). 2) Eil; 3) Elo’ah; 4) Elohim; 5) Elohai; 6) Shaddai; 7) Tz’vaos; Anyone who erases even a single letter from […]
30. Erasing God’s Name
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:11 Other things can also be considered a chillul Hashem (a desecration of God’s Name) if done by a person recognized as a pious Torah scholar. There are things that, while not actually sins, will cause people to speak badly of him. Examples include: if a person buys merchandise and doesn’t pay for […]