nerdy-cyan-saola commented: You beautifully consolidated many things I have been thinking of. Exploring the purpose of creation is the journey of a lifetime! Thank you on Saadia Gaon - Being on 01/26/21 at 00:30:32

skanky-silver-fish commented: Thsnks for your explanation it has help me to understand the breath of God on The Neshama – Breath or Soul? on 09/07/20 at 16:54:19

randy-blue-mayfly commented: This might help you get started. on The Neshama Breath or Soul? on 07/22/20 at 14:59:26

flimsy-lavender-chicken commented: This absolutely fascinating! I a a Gentile Christian. Todah rabah. James Forrestal (Could you please refer me to a Hebrew root word study for nephesh and nishamah?) I would like to see the relation on The Neshama – Breath or Soul? on 02/13/20 at 18:41:36

thirsty-magenta-uguisu commented: No! We are more sick than ever before in history. This is a direct reflection of the true condition of our souls. Trading spiritual understanding for physical knowledge is killing us. on The Neshama – Breath or Soul? on 07/28/19 at 05:51:43

foggy-magnolia-stingray commented: Thank you for your thoughts. I once heard that God gives us breath at birth and at death he stops it. Is this a concept in Jewish thought? on The Neshama – Breath or Soul? on 07/16/19 at 18:55:14

greasy-flax-hyena commented: This piece is so well thought-out and so well put-together. Rabbi, it is clear that this is something you have come to appreciate after years of contemplation. Thank you for writing so thoughtfully. We see God changing even throughout Tanak"h itself. Like any good parent, God slowly allows his children to take the reins of destiny in the cosmic drama that is the world stage. on The Evolution of God ‎ on 03/08/19 at 05:13:47

jped commented: Well my friend, that is part of the whole struggle. If there was an easy answer this question would not be such a big one. Personally, I believe the answer can only come from within you. This platform is to start your mind going. on The Questions and the Answers on 01/16/18 at 02:06:54

wheezy-cinnamon-lobster commented: I am confused, as I don't see any answers, only more questions. on The Questions and the Answers on 01/15/18 at 15:52:58

scanty-sepia-owl commented: thank you for such a succinct explanation, truly inspiring. on The Talmud: The Soul of the World ‎ on 10/30/17 at 00:27:13

shabby-blue-orangutan commented: Very excited to read more on How This Whole Thing Came to Be on 10/27/17 at 12:15:02

gedalia1 commented: It's a very good question you are asking. However, we must take into account that some of the fundamental ideas of Judaism were not necessarily there all the time. The basic ideas of the oneness of God is possibly one of these, despite the fact that it is so important for Judaism of the past at least 1000 years. Torah Judaism always believed in one God but not necessarily in that one God having complete control over everything in creation. It is clear from many midrashim and aggadot that the idea of angels having a will of their own was not anathema to early rabbinic Judaism. The Satan would fit right in there with the semi-independent will attributed to him. The only relic of this independence from God that has remained in Judaism is the freedom of the human will, an issue that has never been fully explained in Torah sources, to the best of my knowledge. If we have this power now, why is it so heretical if the Satan had/has a similar power? on Job: The Satan on 08/04/17 at 13:54:13

woozy-lime-lizard commented: This article seems to imply that the satan is a partial separate entity from God and that while he executes under his supervision he is free to act on his own accord. Although we do know that angels are tasked with doing Gods will and nothing more because if they had there own free choice and will then it would be as though God is not in fact one, which is a core basis of our belief. My question is how can this being act on his own accord and have the choice to do what he wishes woth humans, and not infringe on the oness and all powerfulness of God? on Job: The Satan ‎ on 07/23/17 at 13:47:32

breezy-lemon-chinook commented: I'm slightly confused as to why the fact that people not having interest in something should affect it's validity in being the meaning of life? Regardless to what one postulates the meaning of life to be another could simply respond "that doesn't interest me". If we are speaking of ultimate meaning then by definition we are not constrained to subjective viewpoints. Beautiful essay, thanks on Contemporary Answers to the Big Question ‎ on 05/09/17 at 15:28:31

scanty-corn-dogfish commented: There are streams of non-orthodoxy that believe in the Torah being given by God so I'm not sure that would be enough to classify him as orthodox. I do agree though that he as a private person was definitely orthodox but I think she to how he is perceived by a lot of the orthodox world, it might be hard to put him in any other category than this one. on Classifying Heschel on 03/09/17 at 10:46:40

AaronKastel commented: See link below for a story where the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad, explains G-d's question of Adam in much the same way. Source is Likkutei Sichos Vol. I, pg. 73-75. on Adam and Eve - Where are You? on 02/01/17 at 21:22:51

AaronKastel commented: They are fulfilling the will of G-d at that particular moment, to exist at that stage of their story. But it is only one stage of that story, for many objects the story then progresses towards a commandment, which is then equally His will. In addition there's the concept discussed in other entries on this topic, that part of the purpose of creation is that His will should be revealed. This is the purpose of His commandments, to reveal His will as the intrinsic essence of each thing. on Maimonides - Everything for it's own Sake on 02/01/17 at 05:02:20

AaronKastel commented: Another supporting quote for the equivalence of all creation: "In what way is the ‘I’ of this leaf inferior to yours?" -The Rebbe Rashab, Likkutei Diburim Vol. 1, Pg. 170. on Maimonides - Everything for it's own Sake on 02/01/17 at 04:57:08

AaronKastel commented: It is interesting to note that he was actually somewhat religious, putting on tefillin daily. See on Victor Frankl – The Search for Meaning on 02/01/17 at 04:34:37

ugly-lime-cattle commented: If everything has intrinsic value because they fulfill the will of God by being what they are then why do people need commandments? Shouldn't the fact that they are be enough? on Maimonides - Everything for it's own Sake on 11/17/16 at 11:57:07

homey-aquamarine-starfish commented: Someone once told me you are a fool if you believe the Midrash and a fool if you don't believe the Midrash...thanks for contextualising the time line when they came into use as a buffering against the Christian thought etc. Do we have any reference to the Midrash being revealed at Har Sinai, with the rest of the oral and written Torah? on Midrash on 10/10/16 at 00:16:15

AaronKastel commented: Perhaps if we understood the purpose of suffering we could come to terms with it and it would no longer be suffering- unable to fulfil its purpose. Perhaps to be human is not to accept suffering, despite our faith that it has a purpose, to cry out to G-d for it to end and keenly appreciate the inherent injustice. Perhaps one of the explanations, which we cannot accept (as sufficient), which we may not accept, is the tremendous growth that blossoms specifically as a result of suffering. on The Book of Job - Riding the Storm on 08/29/16 at 05:21:07

AaronKastel commented: To see the hebrew characters in this comment (including references at the end), see my user page. on Psalms - Holiness on 08/29/16 at 05:05:57

AaronKastel commented: Holiness (in hebrew: קדושה) means separation. This is both a definition and an instruction. G-d or G-dliness is removed from us, beyond our comprehension and experience, outside our limited and lacking reality. The way to get there is through restraining ourselves (separating ourselves) from our baser instincts and the mundane etc. and focusing on our higher selves. Holiness is also expressed in the same way, a holy object such as a Torah scroll has laws and restrictions regarding its use and treatment, ie. it may not be used for mundane purposes like an ordinary object. Thus, the holy is set aside for something higher. Ultimately, the same root is used (in hebrew) to denote mariage, where the couple separate themselves from the world, devoting themselves solely to one and other. Similarly the holy person, ie. one who acts holy as described, reaches a unity with G-d. .ראה תו"כ ופרש"י ר"פ קדושים. פרש"י משפטים כב, ל. קדושים כ, ז. ועוד. תניא פמ"ו (סו, א). אגה"ת פ"י (צט, סע"א). ועוד .וע"ע דברי הימים א כג,יג. קידושין ב,ב ובתוס' שם. קהלת יעקב מענה לשון לשון תורה בערכו on Psalms - Holiness on 08/29/16 at 05:03:23

jped commented: What does the author mean that "The world has its own destiny. "? on The Flood – Hashem and Elohim: Destiny and the Individual on 08/18/16 at 13:38:29

jped commented: Great read. I have heard the concept of "the creation connecting with the Creator" being named as one of the main purposes of our life, like mentioned in the essay. However, I don't understand why this is true and also how is this connected to the story of adam and eve. on Creation II – YHWH Elohim: The Guide of Destiny on 08/10/16 at 14:11:21

Pinchaspearlstein commented: I think you just have to try to always keep G-d and Torah in your mind, especially when making any sort of decision... on Simon the Righteous - Three Pillars on 08/04/16 at 18:20:18

cloudy-lime-chinook commented: You mention the collective glue that keeps Jews bound together. We all suffer the same fate as a group, whether we are religious God fearing or business people, politicians etc... Most of us don't follow the 3 pillars, our Torah is something else, world affairs, our Avodah is working to pursue material benefits and our Acts of kindness are for ourselves and our families, mostly ourselves.(largely self indulgent) Question:How do we change our focus in this competitive fast paced world where we run at 100 miles an hour to follow the words of Simon the righteous? on Simon the Righteous - Three Pillars on 08/01/16 at 22:06:51

jped commented: Than it has no meaning in it. Say the feeling that I have that there is something greater in this world or that there is meaning is just an evolutionary trait to keep us reproducing (somehow). Than the actual feeling is just a side-effect. Nothing more. It has always been hard for me to trust my feelings. Are they real or is it just all a facade? What I am trying to see if there is a way to actually dig into these feelings. on <main.topics object at 0x10936370> on 07/22/16 at 01:01:55

flaky-bronze-armadillo commented: So what if it's an evolutionary trait? on Awe being an evolutionary trait on 07/21/16 at 16:22:27

flaky-bronze-armadillo commented: They don't answer completely how something came out of nothing... Where did the matter come from? on Science on 07/21/16 at 16:09:09

stinky-firebrick-skunk commented: Excellent piece. Kol HaKavod. on Isaiah - Messiah on 07/21/16 at 04:09:53

mkMK commented: What's a "cheap knock-off of true free will"? on Choose Life - Free Will on 07/12/16 at 13:24:21

mkMK commented: RE: Food for Thought: I think that the Torah itself provides us with a way to get both trees to work together. It says later on that God placed a "cherub" and a "fiery, revolving sword" to guard the path to the tree of life. Cherubs are always used in reference to the Torah (the ark of the covenant, the mishkan, etc) so it seems to me that it represents the Torah and everything that comes along with it (mitzvot). The fiery, revolving sword seems to me to represent something constant (since it's constantly revolving around) and dangerous at the same time. To me, this represents like the sun and by extension, all of nature. So the way to merge these two trees or at least to find our way back to the tree of life is to live with the cherub - Torah - as well as within the natural world - fiery, revolving sword. Only that way can we attempt to reach the tree of life. on Adam and Eve - Where are You? on 07/07/16 at 15:38:37