Mitzvah - commandment. This tag is for questions about the nature of commandments or the status of being a commandment. (However, many particular commandments have their own tags.)

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Why is the word “mitzvos” treated as grammatically masculine in certain prayers?

The prayer accompanying several mitzvos (such as putting on tallis and tefillin) expresses the desire that it be considered that the mitzvah is fulfilled as well as all the "613 mitzvos dependent on ...
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Maimonides' Responsum on Pre-Sinaic Mitzva Observance

The Maimonides Reader (p. 478) quotes Maimonides' responsum to Hasdai Ha-Levi where he states that our forefathers didn't keep the mitzvos at all. Where else can this responsum be found? ...
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140 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
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Being Mekayem a zecher

According to the gemara (Megilla 29b, S"A O"C 685) there is a mitzvah to read the special reading of Parshat Zachor on a particular Shabbat (before Purim). This mitzvah is listed as one of the 613. I ...
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Choosing a mitzvah that one has an inner connection with

I was reading The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months Volume 2. On page 327 it says: Shlomo HaMelech said that if a person comes to ask which area he should choose to specialize in, the answer is: he should ...
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What is the obligation of “Kedusha” (Holiness?)

The verse in Leviticus (19:2) says "you shall be holy" what is the parameter of this and to what degree is it binding. Rambam (Sefer Hamitzvos shoresh 4) writes that is is a general commandment to ...
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Minimum Requirement of Love your Neighbor

What is the minimum requirement to not be transgressing the mitzva of "ואהבת לריעך כמוך" "love your fellow as yourself" (Lev. 19:18)? For example, must one actively try to love others or it is enough ...
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Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

As answers to Why don't we thank God for making us men/women? say, men thank Hashem for not making them a woman because the obligations or mitzvot that a man has is greater in number than that of ...
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Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan

I heard there are 620 letters in the Aseres Hadibros which corresponds to the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and 7 Mitzvos D'Rabanan. What are the Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan - שבע מצוות דרבנן? Is there a easy ...
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Is there a term for doing a mitzvah the same way every time?

I read in a book (why can't I find it when I want it?) that among the reasons that a tallit gadol has an atarah on it is because there is value in doing a mitzvah the same way each time. If it did ...
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Is there a need to get nice Tefilin?

Mesechtas Shabbos 133b gives a list of items that one should do with nice things in order to beautify the Mitzva. Conspicuously absent is Tefilin. Is there a source to get nice Tefilin? If not, why is ...
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128 views

Zoroastrianism .v.s. Judaism [closed]

Does anybody think Zoroastrianism inflenuced Judaism, cause online people say Zoroastrianism was the first monotheistic religion http://avesta.org, and that Judaism copied it, also that Zoroastrianism ...
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1answer
89 views

are you obligated to give testimony if you know you are pasul l'eidus?

I remember learning that there is a mitzvah to give testimony if you know of something which it requires. My question is if you know about yourself, with certainty, that you are pasul l'eidus in ...
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Does a meis mitzvah acquire the land he's on even in the Temple?

I'd like to understand the concept of meis mitzvah a bit better. Specifically: there is a decree that a meis mitzvah acquires the place he or she is on to be buried there, even if it is private ...
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2answers
173 views

Are Noahides obligated in the commandment of Yibum?

Regarding the subject of Yibum (Levirate marriage), what is the source, if any, that this is also an obligation on a Noahide? Many of the discussions on this Q&A site concerning Yibum connect to ...
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55 views

Source for dirt of a mitzvah is good

I heard somewhere that when an object was used for mitzvah purposes and becomes dirty because of it, that the dirt is not something to be ashamed of -- it's even something good! Some examples of this ...
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How is 'regretting a mitzvah' defined?

What constitutes regretting a mitzvah: Does one have to write down a regretful statement, speak the regret, think it explicitly, or is a tinge of fleeting regret enough to qualify as regretting a ...
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Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת ...
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Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the ...
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Is Building a Succah a mitzva?

I have seen contradicting sources on whether building a succah is part of the mitzva to dwell in it. I want to know if there is a machlokes on whether building a succah is preparation of a mitzva or a ...
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Is there any point where לשבת יצרה no longer applies?

Yeshaya 45:18 says: כי כה אמר יהוה בורא השמים הוא האלהים יצר הארץ ועשה הוא כוננה לא תהו בראה לשבת יצרה אני יהוה ואין עוד ... it (the world) was not created to be void, to be settled it was ...
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“I'm just not a 'learning guy'”

I'd like to know if the Torah speaks to the idea that of person simply not being a "learning guy". I don't mean that he doesn't want to learn anything at all (a Jew must koveyah ittim) or that he is ...
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Wanting to do a Mitzvah, getting paid for intent AND accomplishent

I heard from someone that whoever wants to do a mitzvah, Hashem gives him reward before he does the mitzvah, and after he does the mitzvah Hashem doubles it. Where is the source for this?
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How does my having someone in mind when I learn help them?

Many times, as a merit for a recovery for someone sick or someone in need, I have been asked to have that person in mind when I learn. In some places, they will put up a sign asking to have a certain ...
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50 views

Are “Mitzva” and “Halacha” synonyms?

For the longest time, I've always treated them like synonym. Now, thinking back, I think I might actually be wrong. For a moment, I thought that a mitzva only referred to mitzvot d'oreita, but there ...
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146 views

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case (based on a somewhat similar real one): Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up ...
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During the nine days, can we do something “slightly dangerous” in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
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How far may one go with doing an aveira (violating a negative mitzva) if it means performing a positive mitzva?

I cannot remember where, but somewhere in gemara it mentions that when confronted with doing a positive mitzva or keeping a negative mitzva, one should do a positive mitzva. How far does this go ...
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Is Leviticus 19:16 a negative commandment?

I heard that the posuk "You shall not stand over the blood of your friend – I am Hashem" (Vayikra 19:16) is a לאו (negative commandment). Is that true? לא תעמד על דם רעך אני יקוק
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Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
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Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
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Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
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73 views

Chukim list with sources

My search is for a list of chukim. Since I don't like 'reinventing the wheel', I was wondering if there is one already available from some reference work.
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Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
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D’oraita Sources for Halacha

We often see that the author of a p'sak maintains that a ruling is d’oraita even in cases when there is no link to any of the 613 mitzvot listed by Rambam, etc. Must every halacha ruled as a d’oraita ...
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1answer
139 views

How should a modern non-Jew interpret commandments in the Torah that they perceive to command individual violence?

If a non-Jew is interested in Judaism, how should they approach commands in the Torah like Exodus 21:17, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:13? Should these passages be seen not just as command not to do the ...
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Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
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139 views

Writing down the Oral Law

If the rabbis consider it Biblically forbidden to write down the Torah she'al peh, why is it not listed as one of the 613 mitzvot by Rambam and others
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should a single male bench licht? [duplicate]

Should a single male whose family doesn't light shabbos candles light a candle before shabbos? Also practically speaking when would he do so considering one is most likely to go to shul for minchah ...
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230 views

Relations on Shabbat

It is my understanding that restrictions and prohibitions on the Sabbath more accurately concern "creating" or "destroying" rather than the stereotypical concept of "working". Why is it then ...
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What is the difference between the following words referring to commandments?

What is the difference between the following words? Commandments Law Testimonies Precepts Judgements Statutes Ordinances Deut 26:16 - 19 reads 16: This day, the ...
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105 views

how does one not get lost in the details?

Halachah is very detail oriented and of course all of these details are important but sometimes it seems easy from time to time to get so focused on the specifics of the right way of how to so ...
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A practical joke that leads to a mitzvah

When I was in Yeshiva, someone somewhere in Klal Yisrael played a practical joke. Sometime during the week of Parshas Vayeishev, a text message went around saying something to the effect of "a 17 ...
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1answer
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Why is the mitzvah to love the convert the one that is most often repeated in the Torah?

While I have no exact count, I read somewhere (don't recall if it was Ramba"m or similar source) that loving the convert is the one mitzvah that is repeated most often in the Torah. If this is true, ...
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267 views

Is failure to observe an impossible law absolved implicitly?

The Jewish Encyclopedia has an article about ceremonial law which says (emphasis mine): The issue between Reform and Orthodoxy hinges chiefly upon the view taken of the ceremonial law; the ...
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1answer
57 views

Interrupting Amida for a Mitzvah

Avraham leaves Hashem to deal with guests in Vayera - because welcoming guests is greater than Kabolas Pnei HaSh'china. Does that mean we can interrupt our Shmoneh Esrei to do mitzvahs? At least to ...
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Why is the positive mitzvah to eat matza only for the first day of Peach?

Why is the positive mitzvah to eat matza only for the first day of Peach? If the psukim either state to eat for 7 days in Shmot or 6 days in Devarim, why is it a postive obligation to eat it only the ...
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1answer
51 views

Saying l'shem mitzvas tzitzis in bathroom [duplicate]

Can one say l'shem mitzvas tiztzis in a bathroom? I was thinking of a case of tying the knots or fixing it. Since tiztzis is not a davar shebikedusha maybe it should be fine, or maybe since its mitzva ...
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1answer
100 views

Is Some One With Alzheimer's Obligated in Mitzvoth?

My grandmother has pretty progressed Alzheimer's disease. I have seen throughout the Oral Tradition the concept of a person with certain medical conditions, such as a deaf mute, or a person who lacks ...
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1answer
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Why are women obligated in maggid?

Why are women obligated to say over the story of pesach on pesach if its a time bound mitzva? By matza there is a special derasha used. and the other mitzvos are Rabbinical, so you can say since they ...