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29. Chillul Hashem
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:9 If a man becomes so attracted to a woman that he becomes sick and is in danger of dying, and the doctors say that the only thing that can save him is to have intimate relations with this woman, he should be permitted to die, even if the woman is not married. […]
28. The Three Cardinal Sins
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:7 What is the source that idolatry, sexual immorality and murder should not be committed even to save a life? Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us, “You shall love Hashem, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” “Your soul” means even at the cost of one’s soul. […]
27. Handing Over One Person
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:5 If a gang of non-Jews tells a group of Jewish women, “Give us one of you to violate, otherwise we will violate all of you,” they should allow themselves to be violated rather than hand over one of them. Similarly, if they told a group of Jews, “Give us one of you […]
26. Government Oppression
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:3 Everything we’ve said so far about giving up one’s life vs. violating a commandment applies only when there is no government decree against the Jews. When there is such a decree, like when Nebuchadnezzar or a similar dictator tries to get the Jews to abandon their faith or one of the mitzvos […]
25. Kiddush Hashem
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Yesodei HaTorah 5:1 All Jews are commanded to sanctify God’s great Name, as per Leviticus 22:32, “I shall be sanctified among the children of Israel.” They are likewise warned not to desecrate His Name, as the verse continues, “And they shall not desecrate My holy Name.” The implication is that if a non-Jew should try […]
24. The Pardes
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Yesodei HaTorah 4:12 When a person contemplates these matters and comes to recognize the creations, the angels, the spheres, man, etc., causing him to appreciate God’s wisdom, it will increase his love for God. This will cause both his soul and his flesh to long for God with love. He will then stand in awe […]
22. Nefesh and Neshama
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Yesodei HaTorah 4:8 The soul (nefesh) of a living creature is the form it was given by God. The extra intelligence in the soul of a human being is the form of man. Regarding this form, the Torah says, “Let us make man in our image and our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This means that God […]
21. Form and Matter
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Yesodei HaTorah 4:6 The cycle in which the basic elements change is caused by the revolution of the sphere. This revolution causes the elements to combine, forming the matter from which both animate and inanimate things are made. God gives each thing its appropriate form through the lowest level of angel, the Ishim. Yesodei HaTorah […]
20. The Elements in Transition
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Yesodei HaTorah 4:4 Since everything will decompose back into the four basic elements, why was Adam told that he would return to dust rather than to all four elements? This is because the major part of man’s make-up comes from the element of earth. Things that decompose do not turn directly back into the four […]