From The Hashkafah Files

What is the Shekhinah?

by R. Gil Student I. Divine Presence The Bible and Talmud refer frequently to the Shekhinah, God’s presence, without explaining the term. This leaves students relying on their intuition. When informed by years of study, this intuitive understanding usually fares well. However, historically, some people have reached theologically dangerous conclusions on these matters, leading important thinkers to explain this term ...

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A BT and his Father

by R. Gil Student Before leading bentching, the grace after meals, the leader typically requests permission from others more worthy to lead. The standard formula is: “With permission of our masters, our teachers and my teachers.“ Many add specifics depending on with whom they are eating. If kohanim (priests) are present, they may ask permission of “the priests.” If they ...

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Thinking About God and Natural Disasters

Religious philosophy is replete with vibrant, sometimes desperate, reconciliations of divine justice and mortal experience. Explanations abound for why bad things happen to good people and good things to bad. But why bother? Why should so many great minds apply so much effort to this intractable problem? Put differently, since ultimately we must utilize faith somewhere in the answer, what ...

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