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

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Question No. 1706
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 Feb 2010
The Question i wear a black hat by davening. one time when i was about to bentch, i put it on and someone asked me why i wear a black hat. i didnt know what to answer him. all i told him was that my rosh hayeshiva does and asks us to wear one. but i couldnt answer him well. and then i wondered what the inyan at all of a hat is in general . and why its specifacally by davening or bentching? is there an inyan of a double covering? or is it an inyan of kavod? and why do some yeshiva guys wear them all the time, even in the street? someone also commented that nowadays hats arent needed for kavod, as the president of u.s. doesnt wear one when he leaves his house. however rabbis still wear them. please explain why and when we wear hats. thank you harav —binyomin, jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1701
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 30 Sep 2009
The Question Is it possible that a person who after 120 years is judged by hashem as a tzaddik would have been judged otherwise had he been born in a different era, or even in the same era to different parents (frum vs non-frum)or born in a different environment (Brooklyn,NY vs. Hawaii)etc? Or do we say that if a person ultimately succeeded he would have succeeded under any circumstances? Does hashem always place us in the absolute best situation for us to succeed? —yehoshua, brooklyn
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1691
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 22 Sep 2009
The Question If we are supposed to emulate the ways of Hashem, why is there a mitzva not to put a stumbling block in front of the "blind", if Hashem is constantly doing so? I'm referring to all of the difficulties that come up throughout the day that seem insurmountable, and especially for all those people in the world who are "blind" and haven't been zoche to see the Emes of the Torah? —Anonymous, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1687
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Sep 2009
The Question Intellectual honesty requires that one look at all possible sides of an issue. The Torah prohibits one from reading words of apikorsus, so isn't someone who follows the Torah being intellectually dishonest? —Anonymous, New York, N.Y.
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1686
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Sep 2009
The Question The impression I get is that even if having more children would cause a family to live in poverty, that the Torah says they still have to have more. Is this true? Does it make a difference if the couple has already had both a boy and girl? —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1679
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 7 Jul 2009
The Question L'kavod HaRav, how can one understand the statement made by Rav Dovid Cohen shlita, that a person may cheat on his taxes? I've heard that this statement was taken out of context? —Anonymous, Philadelphia
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1669
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 30 Jun 2009
The Question Firstly thank you for this incredible website and for taking your time to answer these questions. How would the Rov explain the fact that non-Jews seem to have far less rights (e.g. in the case of damages) than Jews to a liberal-minded person you are being mekarev? —Anonymous, UK
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1663
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 23 Jun 2009
The Question B'Kavod Ha'Rav, If we want to daven for something, then the best way is to ask Hashem to do what is best for that particular situation. That being the case, how can we ever ask for a refuah shleimah specific to one person? Why isn't the entire Shemonah Esrei just one short bracha that Hashem please do what is best for me and klal yisroel? If we say be careful what you ask for, you might just get it, then we should shy away from bakashos? If the Rav could shed some light on this dilemma, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. —Anonymous, United States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1653
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 May 2009
The Question Is churban beis hamikdosh related to chet hameraglim only or to chet haegel as well? On shiva aser betamuz -huvka hair (referring to yerushalyim); the walls of yerushalayim got broken,yet it was the same day that the luches got broken after chet haegel - is the event of huvka hair a consequence of chet haegel or not? —Anonymous, Belgium
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1624
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 4 Mar 2009
The Question B'Kavod Ha'Rav With the economic crises world wide, a difficult reality has led me to the following Hashkafic dilemma. I am a Klei Kodesh working in a non-frum community educating them. It would seem I am doing ratzon Hashem. With the economic crises, I may lose my job. What is Hashem "saying" if He is putting out of work, the klei kodesh? —Anonymous, United States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1621
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 4 Mar 2009
The Question How do we recognize the 'Hand of Hashem' in world events even where free will and organized conspiracy is involved? It would seem that the foundations for this are in Megilas Esther. —Anonymous, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1615
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 9 Feb 2009
The Question I understand that one can receive from Hashem a degree of "automatic kapara", even without doing teshuva, from certain involuntary things (such as yisurim and death), but that simply asking Hashem for forgiveness without the other integral steps of teshuva (i.e., feeling regret, committing not to repeat the sin) provides no kapara at all. Is this correct? If so, then why do our teffilot include stam requests for forgiveness which, most likely, most of the time, for most people, do not include the other steps of teshuva? (For example, in Kriyat Shema al HaMita, we ask, "...and that which I sinned before you should be erased in your abundant mercy.") And if so, doesn't this limit Hashem's abundant rachamim, i.e., that he will never grant partial or complete forgiveness to someone, just for turning to Him and asking, even when the other aspects of teshuva are not included? —Anonymous, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1600
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 29 Jan 2009
The Question My wife came to me with a hashkafa issue. She read a news article and wanted to know why Hashem allows this kind of thing: it was about a non-Jewish two-year-old girl who was punished all day by her step-father with beatings and holding her head under water. He then threw against a wall, cracking her skull and killing her. During the ordeal she said to her mother, who was present, that she loves her. Apparently it brought the jury to tears too. It bothered my wife a lot - she couldn't even finish reading the article and I could not answer sufficiently. I guess this is one of those "why do bad things happen to good people" type questions. Could the Rav provide some insight? —Anonymous, Baltimore, MD
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1599
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 29 Jan 2009
The Question Re Question #1577: let's say theoretically a gadol said something clearly against the Torah (and there was no way to be dan lkaf zchus), wouldn't we be forced to say: 1-He made a mistake, and/or 2-lost his mind, and/or 3-went of the derech (e.g. Acher)? So here, where saying "this person is not a ben torah" is completelty sheker (as any talmid of R"S can testify) and therefore "toeles" isn't applicable here aren't we forced to say that the LR was ms"r? The Rav said "for others to get involved...would be a tremendous chutzpah", doesn't the concept of "Ain l'dayan elah ma sh'ainav ro'os" apply here? The LR is clearly saying R"S is NOT a gadol (and we DO consider R"S a gadol), so aren't we OBLIGATED to say that the LR is wrong? —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1593
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 Jan 2009
The Question Is there any difficulty with a person who wants to be a Breslov chassid in part or in full? There are many groups within Breslov such as NaNach and others and some people I've met have spoken against them. Is there any problem for a person to connect to any and all aspects which help his avodas Hashem? If this is OK, is it loshon hara when people speak about different sects such as Breslov and/or Chabad and if so, should they be rebuked? Or is it their right to speak as they hold it is for toeles and it is the other persons right to connect to these groups if it is helpful in their avodas Hashem? Actually, I have the same question in regards to dati leumi. I would be grateful for the Rav's thoughts. —Anonymous, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1581
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 21 Dec 2008
The Question Dear Rabbi, I can understand that Hashem knows what choice we will make and even with that factor, the fact that we are still able to choose between doing something morally good or bad shows how we have free will. But if Hashem not only knows what choice we will make, but also willed that we make that choice, then surely we don't have free will in that sense. Even if you say we choose which option, that fact that Hashem preditermined which option we were going to pick and willed it to happen shows the choice was always going to go one way. Firstly, is all the above correct and if it is, do we still have Bechira and why? Thank you Rabbi for taking time to answer this question —JK, London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1577
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Dec 2008
The Question 1. In 1980, R' Shach (and the Steipler) protested the Lag BaOmer parade of Chabad. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (LR) said that the one who is protesting the parade is wearing unkosher tefillin 2. R' Shach writes that the reason Chabad gives for not sleeping in the sukkah is a pilpul of shtus. R' Tzvi Kahane asked the LR how to respond to those Bnei Torah who are critical of Chabad for not sleeping in the sukkah. The LR responds that these people are just trying to cause machlokes, it's stemming from sheker, this person is not a ben torah, his mitzius is the opposite of halacha, he's carrying out the war of the S"M against the halachah, they are mechutzafim, etc. How are we to deal with these statements of the LR, are they considered motzi shem rah? —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1574
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 9 Dec 2008
The Question I recently heard a shiur from a prominent Baal Teshuva yeshiva that appeared to advance a questionable view concerning the time span of the six days of creation. I have included the link so that you can hear it the same way I did. Foward the shiur to the 17 minute mark. Hatzlacha —Anonymous, Far Rockaway, NY USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1532
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 1 Nov 2008
The Question I was recently approached by an evangelical missionary who posed the following question to me: "Since there is no holy temple at this time and thus you cannot perform sacrifices to atone for your sins, how is it that you are forgiven for your transgressions?" I didn't want to discuss this too in depth with him, but I spoke about Teshuva, etc. However, I was not really sure what to answer. He then said that yushka is like the blood sacrifice etc. who atones for your sins. At this point I left however I am still perplexed to how I should have answered him, so that I wouldn't let it seem that his opinion could even be considered, chas veshalom. Thank you. -Reuven, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1516
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 25 Aug 2008
The Question If it is very important that you borrow an item immediately and the owner is not available to ask permission or to offer payment, may you borrow and return it promptly? And, if so returned, and if nothing of value is lost, nothing is damaged, and the item was never missed by the owner, what if any responsibility does one have to the owner? —Anonymous, Westlake Village, Califonria
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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