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The Miracle Called Nature
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Imagine that I am running a Torah organization, and funds are tight. Things are so bad that it looks like we might have to close down. I decide to take action, and I’m not wasting time. I’m going straight to the top. I’m going to find myself the most famous, hidden Kabbalist in all of […]
49. The Purpose of the Torah
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The Torah actually has two purposes: our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being. (III, 27) The Torah regulates our spiritual well-being through its philosophies. These philosophies must be communicated to the people according to their ability to understand them. Some of these are beyond the average person’s capacity. For this reason, some things are stated […]
The Difference Between Emunah and Bitachon
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The Rambam defines emunah as the knowledge that Hashem created and continues to run all of Creation. In Shemoneh Perakima, he delineates the first of the Thirteen Principles of Faith: “The Creator, blessed be He, created and orchestrates all activities, and He alone did, does and will do all actions.” Simply put, nothing can exist […]
48. Do the Mitzvos Have Reasons?
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As discussed in the previous section, people debate whether God’s actions are based in His wisdom (and therefore directed towards some purpose) or if they are exclusively manifestations of His will, and they therefore require no particular purpose. We maintain that God’s actions are based in His wisdom and do, in fact, have purposes, whether […]
Tzarich Iyun: The Luchot
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“Common wisdom” of halachah and Jewish traditions often includes misconceptions. In this column, we will explore some of these fascinating common impressions, from the elementary to the esoteric. Are all “misconceptions” wrong? Not necessarily, but it’s surprising what research will reveal! Misconception: The Luchot [Tablets] on which the 10 Commandments were engraved were rounded at […]