View Questions by Category

Brachos (Laws of Blessings)
60
Chinuch (Educating/Raising Children)
49
End of Days/Messiah
44
Eretz Yisrael (Israel Topics)
64
Halacha (General Jewish Law)
473
Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
277
Kashrus (Kosher Laws)
99
Marriage Law/Philosophy
119
Miscellaneous
207
Moadim (Times of Year/Holidays)
78
Shabbos (Sabbath Laws)
96
Tanach (Bible Topics)
71
Tefillah (Prayer Laws/Customs)
138
The Nations
40
Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
27
Understanding Judaism
37
Women in Judaism (Laws/Customs)
102

Search Options

most recent questions
Keyword search:
Show question number:

Information

Last question received: 17 Aug 2017

Questions answered to date: 1989

Submit your own question here

Listen to Rabbi Leff's disclaimer

Go to Rabbi Leff's Home Page

Download/upgrade Windows Media Player

Email the Webmaster

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

Pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 

Show Previous 20 Questions    |  Show Next 20 Questions 

Question No. 1506
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 3 Jul 2008
The Question Thanks so much for this fantastic opportunity. What is our obligation with regards to forgiving Nazis and others who have done such immensely terrible deeds? Do we have the capacity to forgive for the suffering of others? And if we should forgive them, does that include even if they are unrepentant? Many thanks —Jonny, London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1498
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 29 Jun 2008
The Question Lechvod HaRav, What is the Gedolim's view on the Bible Codes? —Naftali, Yerushalayim
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1483
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 20 May 2008
The Question I recently left a Chabad yeshiva to go to a litvishe yeshiva. In Chabad the bochrim have uncut beards, but in my new yeshiva I've been told that because I am a bochur I should shave. Ive been told this is because of Rav Aharon Kotler zt"l who said that a bochur with a beard is like wearing pjyamas with a tie. Does this statement still apply nowadays? Thank you in advance and yasher koach for this web site. —Anonymous, Manchester, UK
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1482
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 19 May 2008
The Question How can I understand G-d's perspective, even a little, when He gives once bright, learned people a sickness like Alzheimers, where everything they stood for falls to the wayside? Chizuk in this topic is sorely needed. —Anonymous, Jeusalem, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1461
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 28 Apr 2008
The Question I’m a concerned Jew who is worried about what I see as foreign concepts that have infiltrated Judaism. I've noticed that in Part III of his introduction to Moreh Nebuchim, Rambam writes that although the Chachamim had a mystical tradition, it became lost through time and was never written down. How does he reconcile this with the shaky belief that the Zohar was written by Rabbi Shim'on bar Yohai? In the interest of brevity, I won't list the many refutations that I find of the Zohar's supposed Tannaic origin. I will say, though, that this business of "LeShem Yichud," unifying the Holy One with His Shechina (G-d forbid) sounds completely idolatrous. I've even heard stories that the Shechina is in exile with the Jewish people. This coupled with the Ten Sephiroth does damage to the unquestionable and indescribable unity of G-d, and even suggests that G-d is made up of multiple entities and/or that the Shechina is a goddess. Furthermore, Zoharic concepts of things such as gilgul neshamoth have been directly refuted by Sa'adhia Gaon and indirectly (according to my past readings) by the Rambam, two direct purveyors of the Mesora. I realize (and fear) that the inevitable conclusion I can draw from realizing the Zohar to be a fabrication is that any rabbi who bases his Torah on it has in fact expounded on fabrication. I am not a rebellious or arrogant person. I desire emeth and would like to understand what a more educated rabbi’s take is on this issue. —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1455
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 16 Apr 2008
The Question What is the Jewish perspective on cord banking (stem cells). Would this constitute a chisaron in emunah, or is it considered hishtadlus? Thank you, Anonymous, London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1442
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 20 Dec 2007
The Question I understood from the Rav's response to question 1386, that the Rav is against our putting ourselves in situations where we will not be able to pay off our debts. What does the Rav hold from a halachic and hashkafa perspective on the custom in the Haredi world of parents taking out all sorts of loans and gemachim to marry off their children, without any current, or probable future means of being able to pay back these loans? I am referring particularly to the custom of paying for all or part of an aparment. I hope perhaps the Rav might feel this subject important enough for a full length shiur one day. —Anonymous, Beit Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1441
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 19 Dec 2007
The Question I've been told that the Rambam says that ultimately the role of all mitzvot is to teach us to love and get along with one another. Is that in fact true? And if it is, where does he say this and how does one learn this from the mitzvot we do, for example keeping kosher or Shabbos or other mitzvot? —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1430
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 Dec 2007
The Question The Mishna that states that regarding a pregnant woman who is to be punished by death, we do not wait for the child to be born. How can we reconcile this with the Jewish law forbidding abortion? And on a tangent, why do we punish the as yet unborn child for the sins of its parent? Thank you for your time and assistance. —Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1428
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 9 Dec 2007
The Question I recently heard in a Hashkafa shiur regarding people wearing clothing that stands out (e.g., bochurim wearing fancy shirts and hats etc) that it is wrong because it draws attention to yourself in the incorrect manner, and also shows low self-worth. My question is: it could bring attention to someone, but why is this wrong? Even if it is true and a person is lacking self-worth, it may be the only way to be noticed and he/she may need that - is it still incorrect? Is it possible that when a person wears very smart/impressive clothing he is really doing it for himself and not for others, or is it naturally always for others (to draw attention to himself/herself)? I believe that the reason why we do dress at least smartly is to show that we value ourselves, but more than that is for others!? Also, could I ask the Rov: where does the Rov get his hashgafa from? (The particular Rov I often hear is from Rav Eliyohu Dessler ZT"L.) —Anonymous, London, England
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1421
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 Oct 2007
The Question Rabbi, I am 80 years old and my husband and I have always been available to our grandchildren and give them messages of love for them and try to leave only positive attitudes for them to receive and for them to give to others. They are good children and is it enough to just be available to them whenever they need me and my husband but we have no valuable material things to leave for them. Thank you. —Jeanette Helfgott, Solana Beach, CA, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1416
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 7 Oct 2007
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, Is it true that true nechama is when one can realize that anything bad in this world is in effect good. This will be proven in the future by Hashem. Perhaps this is why Yerushalayim will be built in the future from fire. The same fire that destroyed the beis hamikdosh will ultimately be the same fire that will rebuilt that beis hamikdosh. That's true nechama. Is the idea correct? —Anonymous, Zurich, Switzerland
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1415
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 7 Oct 2007
The Question Yemei bein hametzarim are the days between two days of sins: chet hameraglim and chet haegel. The Gra says that at Mamad Har Sinai, Klal Yisrael said 'naaseh venishma' -naaseh keneged Esav and nishma kened Yishmael. Naaseh is an act, Klal Yisrael said we will do but not like Esav who has their own koach haasiyah and we will listen which is a function of a heart - unlike Yishmael who has a distorted relationship with Hashem. With chet haegel we lost the protection of the naaseh as the chet was the act but not the heart - the act of getting close to Hashem by means of something which was not commanded - that was the chet. With the chet hameraglim we lost the protection of nishma as by this chet, the chet was belev, they projected an image that hashem hates them. Therefore with this chet, they lost the protection of nishma. Perhaps this is the reason why we are so vulnerable to our enemies in these days as we lost the the protection of naaseh venishma, thereby giving Esav and Yishmael more power in these days. That's perhaps another reason into the name yemei bein hametzarim - we became narrower and Esav and Yishmael are more powerful in these days. To regain today the naaseh is difficult as 1) we are not allowed to be mosif mitzvos and secondly most of the mitzvos can not be performed as we lost the beis hamikdosh. (see Musaf prayers - 'ein anachnu yecholim lasos chovosenu'). However, the nishma part is not restricted and in this domain a person can expand with no restrictions: as the Shulchan Oruch says, sheyiyu kol masov lechem shomayim. An example of this expansion is found in Gemara in Shabbos. The gemara says 'kol hameaneg es hashabos nosen lo nachal bli mezarim' - by expanding the nishma you get an expansion in propoerties mida keneged midah. But why is nishma specifically kened Yishmael? Isn't Yishmael getting close to Hashem like Esav through acts which they are not commanded? —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1409
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 3 Oct 2007
The Question If my name is Yosef, does it mean that I do have the qualities of Yosef Hatsadik or not? Today there are certain Jewish books that outline the characteristics of different names. I have not yet looked up what Yosef stands for, but if I look it up, does that mean that the qualities of Yosef are to be found in myself? —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1395
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 16 Aug 2007
The Question Hi, Just a quick follow up to a your beautiful answer to question 1378, and unassumingly, one more question for the Rov. First, regarding the freedom of choice of a drunk driver, and a person's ability to pray or live a pious life and "somewhat" deter a terrible fate, does the Rov have any understanding of how that intervention on the bechira actually works. One way or another, someone's--either the driver, another driver or the person themselves--bechira needs to be affected in some way. Second, does the Rov's account of the administration of the death penalty by the Bes Din, that the death penalty is not "optional", hold true for all crimes warranting the death penalty, i.e. breaking shobbos, homosexuality....? Lastly, excuse the length, but I have been struggling with the timelessness of Judaism, or, unfortunately, what seems to be a lack there of. Meaning, as one learns through the Torah and the Gemara (especially Sanhedrin) it seems that the teachings are stuck in time warp--and at times, a seemingly morally deprived one. This issues stems from things as benign as modern-day's ambivalence to sacrifices as a meaningful tool of self reflection, to some more potentially harmful teachings such as pedophilia being deemed not so bad if the child is below 9 or 3 (actually echoed in the Torah as well) or it is OK to burn some types of books that contain opposing opinion. While the list could go on, if you could respond to at least these three ideas, the pedophilia being most pertinent, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, any general sentiments you may have to understand the similar things found in our religion's jurisprudence (like the Jewish Kings having 1000s of wives/concubines) would be great as well. —Josh Kon, Miami
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1378
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 18 Jul 2007
The Question I have two questions for the Rav to answer at his convenience. First, does Hashem answer the prayers of an individual in this world? In other words, does Judaism believe that if a person davens hard enough, or keeps the mitzvos piously enough, he is somewhat immune to cancer or being hit by a drunk driver--or that if he was destined to get cancer, he doesn't get it? What does Hashem do, change the direction of the cancerous cell, or make the drunk driver not get drunk (notwithstanding the issue of bechira for the drunk)? It just seems to me odd that one would believe that leading a pious life, or praying to Hashem can lower their chances of being rear-ended by a semi-truck whose brakes gave out. Second, regarding the halachiclly condoned death penalty, does the Rov know whether the Bes Din used to jail an individual if they were caught breaking Shobbos with Hasraa and two Eidim? Meaning, were they given a choice like "you can either be put to death and thus atone for your discretion, or you can live your life and suffer the consequences in hell" or maybe just let him leave the community? Thanks —Josh Kon, Miami
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1361
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 14 Jun 2007
The Question An Orthodox Jew passes away. A good friend, who is Christian, and well-meaning, offers his condolences and says that he will pray for the soul of the nifter. Should anything be said to the friend to discourage his prayers or should we just assume that his prayers (to j.c.) are meaningless and not say anything that might be construed as offensive? thank you. —Anonymous, Toronto,Ontario, canada
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1343
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 31 May 2007
The Question Since Hashem does not allow anybody to hurt anyone that does not deserve to be hurt, why did He let Cain kill his brother? —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1330
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 10 Mar 2007
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, The rav discussed last year the topic of "clothing" and addressed that clothing merely protects the inner soul and engenders and accentuate the inner value. To masquerade al pi chazal doesn't mean that you can impersonate, be somebody else. But isn't this contradicting a vilna goan who states on the pasuk hakol kol yakov vehayodayim jedei esov. Bizman shehako yakov ein hayodayim yedei esov sholtos boi. The vilna gaon notices that the word kol in the pasuk is written without a vov. Therefore when yakov's kol is weak (without a vav) then hayodayim yedei esav sholtos bo. the Gro conties and says overe here yakov's kol was weak because he was wearing esav's clothing and therefore his kol became weak. Yakov kiveyochal was a bit on a lower level because he was wearing bigdei esav. Doesn't that seem to imply that clothing can have an influence on the person?? In addition didn't Yacov want to be literally esav by masqeurading when he stole the berochos? We see too that after the story of the berochas, Jacob turned out to be a different yakov for the more than two decades he spent with Laban . Over there we see him as an accomplished and aggressive businessman – herdsman, a materially successful cattleman who knew very well how to look out for “number one”. Apparently The outer garb of Esau quickly replaced the inner voice of Jacob and after the story of the berachos yakov appears as a different character?? —Anonymous, Zurich
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1318
Category Hashkafa (Jewish Thought/Philosophy)
Date Posted 25 Feb 2007
The Question What is the proper hashkafa in terms of owning a gun for protection? Is it a lack of bitachon? Is a gun something a ben torah should own to protect his familiy? —Anonymous, Long Island, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 

Show Previous 20 Questions    |  Show Next 20 Questions 

Back to top