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Showing Questions in 'Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)'

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Question No. 557
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 28 Nov 2004
The Question I am currently reading a book that is based on real-life accounts of what happened in a certain area in Poland, during the Holocaust. We know that the Nazis (may their names and memories be blotted out) were cruel, sadistic monsters. I am sick to the stomach from the accounts of things that took place on a day to day basis. My question is this: We know that the real perpetrator of these heinous crimes was actually Hashem Elokeynu and that the Nazis were just instruments of his will. 1) How can I believe that our G-d is a G-d of absolute love and kindness when we know that he has caused these horrendous things to happen to His beloved people for thousands of years? And how can I truly love Him when I know for that to be the case? 2) Rebbe Akiva died by having his skin combed off his flesh with hot combs. Is that the kind of end we have to look forward to if we devote most of our life to trying to serve Hashem on the highest level? 3) I’m reading accounts that many people allowed themselves to be shot rather than do the Nazis' work on the Sabbath. Is that the correct thing to do, in such a situation, Lo aleynu? - Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 556
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 28 Nov 2004
The Question Is a TV a source of a klallah (curse)? What if you use it for good? What if you just watch kosher videos like weddings and frum concerts, etc.? Finally maybe you don't have a choice as you live in a home where you can do what you want? (This question is asked in regards to a certain Rebbe saying that the TV is a klallah and that you need to throw it out in the garbage and that it causes klallah challilah to the enemies of Am Yisroel and you can't even sell it to a goy and it is very very bad!) —Anonymous, Golus
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 555
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 28 Nov 2004
The Question Is it true that it is assur to use the internet? If so how else can we communicate and ask you questions and use it for the good things? If someone wants to do bad he can or he can use it for good like a knife for surgery to save or to kill? Anonymous, Golus
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 548
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 28 Nov 2004
The Question I recently received an email from Machon Daniel which had divrei Torah written by the Rav called "The Miracle of Teshuva". The Rav states that "The Rambam does not list teshuvah as a separate mitzvah". I had been of the understanding that the one positive mitzvah listed in hilchos teshuva, for the sinner to do teshuva before Hashem and confess, was a positive commandment to do teshuva and that the method of doing teshuva was through confession (Viduy). I feel that I may be misunderstanding the relationship between confession and teshuva. If the Rav can please clarify this for me, I would be very grateful. Gmar Chatima Tova. Anonymous, Har Nof, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 530
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 23 Nov 2004
The Question I saw the Meshech Chochmah's intro to Shmot in which he explains that Moshe was at the level of a malach without normal bechira. Is this something that Moshe strenuously developed over decades of personal growth, or do we view Moshe as having been born into this role, as he was born mahul, and the home was filled with ohr, etc. Is it possible, hypothetically speaking, for one to achieve his level? I teach a high school class and would be very grateful if with the answer the Rav could give me sources to look up. I am very grateful, Roi Zadok, Baltimore, MD
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 521
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Nov 2004
The Question Shalom! What is your belief in Kabbalah & who can learn it? Are you familiar with Rav Michael Laitman of Yeshivat Bnei Baruch? Ilan, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 520
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Nov 2004
The Question I have two very separate questions and would be grateful for your insight and guidance. (1) I heard an idea that Hashem doesn't help someone if they put themselves in into a bad environment or situation. I made a decision about 1 and 1/2 yrs ago to put myself into a MUCH less than ideal environment for the upcoming year. I have grown a lot since then but have not had the courage to abandon this decision. Will Hashem still help me with the tests I'll come up against? (2) My second question is regarding kashrus at home. All the food is kosher but there are some major questions on the dishes (being cooked in an oven that is not designated for milk or meat....things not being tovelled)My parents are aware there are issues and bringing things up doesn't go down so well. Are there ANY heters I can rely on. It's really a problem. Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 518
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Nov 2004
The Question What are the spiritual implications of "foreskin restoration" for a Jewish man? Anonymous, Portland, OR, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 507
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 11 Nov 2004
The Question Rebbi, I learned that the nails on our fingertips, which testifies to the chet of Adam and Chava, remind us when we used to be clothed in the protective shell. My father taught me this a while back, and I was wondering... why do animals have nails? Thanks, Yehuda, Toronto
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 504
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 11 Nov 2004
The Question Some shuls in the New York area say each shabbos a misabarach for IDF and some do not. Is this based on a halachic or hashkofa viewpoint? Shouldn’t it be said to show hakatovas hatov? tziporah may, new york
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 496
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 11 Nov 2004
The Question How does one make Teshuva for machshava ra’a - ie. bad thought? Is it at all possible and what are some practical tips to keep them from coming back? Thank you very much. Anonymous, Switzerland
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 488
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 15 Oct 2004
The Question At the time of a bris the custom is to give the name to a child and to wish him "Keshem shenichnas lebris ken jikones lechupa ulemasim tovim...." I heard once that what we are in fact wishing the child is that he should be able to "develop his potential that lies in his name so that his name in this world (earthly name) should match his "heavenly name". But how does somebody know what lies in his name. And is this wish "realistic"? Otherwise how would the rabbi explain this brocho? What is it that we are wishing the child (in terms of "Potential") according to the Rabbi? Thank you very much for your response. Anonymous, Zurich, CH
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 480
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 27 Aug 2004
The Question Concerning the book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", I've heard many people say that it's epicursus, and that the "Rabbi" who wrote it is an apikorus. Is this so, and if so, what is it about the book (and it's author) that is objectionable? Does it mean that all of his books are apikoursus, and shouldn't be read? I've heard that they have been very helpful and comforting to millions of people around the world who have lost love ones, or have had to deal with other tragedies. Does that account for anything? If it is against the Torah, shouldn't someone try to mekarav the author, and teach him the error of his ways, and get him to use his talents for good? Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 472
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 27 Jun 2004
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, shlita, I believe that there is a G-d... boruch Hashem. BUT I just don't understand how to relate to this G-d. What is He, Who is He, how do I relate to Him? In my davening I don't have much kavana, because as much as I try, I just DON'T UNDERSTAND WHO I'M DAVENING TO. Please could you help me? Also, I don't understand how it helps to daven for someone else. BECAUSE, I know that davening changes a person, BUT if you're davening for someone else, then how exactly are they changing? And if they didn't deserve what you are davening for then, then after you've davened for them, why should Hashem suddenly decide to grant it to them now? Surely they still don't deserve it? Thank you so much for your time and devotion in answering all these questions - I really appreciate it. Anonymous, London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 457
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 27 Jun 2004
The Question Can you please tell me advice on how to keep a high spiritual profile while in galus? I get very inspired from time to time, sometimes enough that I can almost cry. At certain points of the week I feel a physical down. I get grinded and turn into a zombie-ish state of unclarity and lack of fear from the Hashem. After it my yeser hara passes, I can see clarity to no extent, as if Hashem turned on a foglight. Can you please tell me what's wrong and how to break free from what this stealth attacking yetzer hara? Thank you very much in advance. Anonymous, Toronto
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 446
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 6 Jun 2004
The Question I have heard from several rabbonim that a frum Jew who lives in America must vote Republican and not Democrat since Republicans are anti-abortion and anti-gay, which is consistent with the halacha. But just because the Torah is against abortion and gays, does that obligate one to vote for a president who coincidentally happens to share those views? Besides, that opinion seems somewhat absurd, since Jews lived for thousands of years under governments which worshipped idols and committed acts of immorality and no one had any problem with that. What is the Rav's opinion in this matter? Moshe Peretz Mann, Eretz Yisrael
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 422
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted Early 2004
The Question Does the Torah tell us anything about ghosts, aliens, and something like the Lochness monster? Anonymous, Toronto
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 417
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted Early 2004
The Question I've heard that the Chazon Ish Z"YA said that Lincoln was wrong for freeing the slaves, if this is true what was his reasoning? Does the Torah law to treat slaves well because we were slaves still apply to African Americans? Also I have unfortunately noticed a high amount of prejudice toward blacks in the Jewish community, how does the Rav feel about this, and how should one react to examples of prejudice? Dovid B. Long Island
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 403
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted Early 2004
The Question What is the Rav's opinion on buying German made products like car and other things? Should I go out of my way not to buy them? Zevi, New Jersey
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 398
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted Early 2004
The Question It has become more and more common these days to see men learning all day while the wives work. I am a little confused about this. I was under the impression that the man is supposed to work while the mother is supposed to stay home and teach the kids the proper way. Rambam also says that a man should not learn without working because it is a disgrace to Hashem's name. I was listening to parshas Yisro in shul a few weeks back and when the baal korei read the commandment about shabbos, I noticed it says that six days a week you shall work. That sort of language sounds like its mandatory not optional. I am not knocking people that learn all day; I am just trying to understand. Thank you very much for this service and the great website. Much Hatzlacha. Zev, Lakewood, NJ
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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