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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What mitzvot existed for humanity prior to Noach?

I am aware that Ramba"m lists the commandment of "Be fruitful and multiply" (Breishit 1) as being the first mitzvah listed in the Torah (See Minyan Hamitzvot #212). However, this mitzvah is not one of ...
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3answers
571 views

Should women eat in the Sukkah?

Is there any inyan for a woman to eat in the sukkah. I know they're not required (after all, it's a mitzvas asei shehazeman grama [מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא]), but I still know many women who do. Is this ...
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1answer
634 views

can I smell my esrog?

There is such a concept of something that is 'huktzah l'mitzvasa' (set aside for its mitzvah observance), I was wondering about the smelling of the esrog and how this rule would be applied to it?
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1answer
112 views

Omission from Koteret to Hil. Talmud Torah

The Rambam wrote small introductions to sections of Mishna Torah called a Koteret. In the introduction to Hilchos Talmud Torah he writes: יש בכללן שתי מצוות עשה--(א) ללמוד תורה; (ב) לכבד מלמדיה ...
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Practical עשה דוחה לא תעשה

There are a few examples frequently offered for the rule "עשה דוחה לא תעשה": Someone whose garment has four corners and linen can nonetheless put wool tzitzis on it. This is unlikely nowadays, when ...
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0answers
57 views

Would a non-Israeli Jewish king need to write a sefer Torah?

In Deuteronomy/Devorim 17:14, and 17:18-20 we see that a king of Israel is required to write a copy of the Torah to read and keep with him always. Would a Jewish convert who is a king of another ...
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4answers
110 views

Why can't we distribute mitzvah obligations around the community?

How do we know from the Torah that it would not be sufficient just to have some people doing davening, others doing negel vasser, others doing tzitzit, others doing chachnosas kallah, others doing ...
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115 views

Why does “aseh doche lo saaseh”?

There is a halachic principle that עשה דוחה לא תעשה - when a positive and negative mitzvah conflict, we obey the positive one. The Talmud learns this out of pesukim, but what is the ...
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2answers
476 views

Does the gentile seeking conversion have more obligations than a Noahide Person?

I am a gentile seeking to convert to Judaism, but I can't make a contact with a Beit Din since there is no Rabbi in my country neither an active Synagogue. But I am very serious toward conversion and ...
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1answer
63 views

Is a gentile obliged to get married and multiply?

We all know that a Jew is obliged to get married and have children. It's considered that a man is not complete until he gets married. I am not sure if a Jew won't have a share in Olam HaBa if he/she ...
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4answers
165 views

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform daily?

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform often (daily or almost daily)? I am asking about physical actions we take rather than thoughts such as: "You shall love a convert", Devarim 10:19 "Love ...
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1answer
49 views

The Chofetz Chaim on a meis mitzvah

In Ginzei Hakodesh on page 333 it says the following: "'The wise man buys mitzvos - particularly when we are speaking of 'meis mitzvah,' one that is neglected as if it were dead. It is well known ...
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2answers
54 views

Mitzvah and Connection

Heard from someone that מצוה, commandment, is associated with the Aramaic word צוותא, connection or togetherness. In addition, Rabbi Moshe Zeldman says, "The word Mitzvah is often translated as ...
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1answer
38 views

How to fulfill the Mitzvah of bikkur hollim for someone that's contagious?

A close friend recently got infected with shingles, a contagious disease. I would like to fulfill the Mitzvah of bikkur hollim (visiting the sick) but do not want to jeapordize my health in the ...
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2answers
108 views

What is the status of the Yad we use to read from the Torah?

Does the Yad for reading Torah has the status of tashmish mitzvah or tashmish kedusha? Background to the question: Our shul has a BIG yad in extremely bad shape. Impossible to fix anymore. It is ...
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0answers
33 views

Repetition in Sefer Yere'im

The sefer Yere'im of R. Eliezer of Metz which lists the 613 mitzvos seems to count several identical mitzvos. E.g. mitzvos 25-30 (according to the newer editions). Although I could creatively ...
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1answer
75 views

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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3answers
93 views

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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1answer
147 views

Are all mitzvot in Torah meant to be kept forever?

Nissan Dovid Dubov, in The Eternal Nature of the Torah, says: The Talmud teaches that mitzvahs will be nullified in the Messianic age. How do we reconcile this with Judaism’s cardinal principal ...
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0answers
25 views

Eating specifically fruit of shmitta

Is there an inyun to specifically eat fruits that have kedushas shvi'is? How much must a person go out of their way to buy such fruits? Let's say they cost more, how much more must they spend? Is this ...
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1answer
111 views

Only 613 commandments? Can't be!

In the beginning of the sefer Ma'alos HaTorah, authored by the brother of the Vilna Gaon, the question is asked (on the Gemara at the end of Makkos) how the gemara can state that there are only 613 ...
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1answer
71 views

Is there a mitzvah to escort a non-Jew?

There is a mitzvah to escort a traveler along their way. Does this mitzvah apply to escorting a non-Jewish traveler or guest as well?
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Unintentional Tosefes Shabbos

My shul newsletter misprinted candle lighting times this week --- instead of 8:01, it listed 7:48. This leads me to 2 questions: If I light candles at 7:48 because I think that that is the right time ...
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2answers
259 views

As a proselyte can I wear tzitzit? [closed]

I am in the process of conversion and I've been told by my Rabbi that I can't wear a Tallit nor a Tallit Katan until I am officially Jewish. His reasoning is that it's a Mitzvah and not relevant ...
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2answers
2k views

Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
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39 views

Can a rabbincal mitzvah (that is currently being done) override a bibilical mitzvah?

There's a principle (will try to find the source later) that says that if one is in the midst of doing one mitzvah he is exempt from performing other mitzvot. Do both mitzvot have to be of the same ...
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5answers
791 views

Is 'simcha' a mitzvah?

"Mitzvah gedola le'heyos be'simcha..." many of us have heard this. I am wondering if there is an actual mitzvah to be be'simcha? (I am looking for sourced comments and not just idea's). I know that ...
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2answers
180 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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0answers
47 views

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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1answer
94 views

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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4answers
190 views

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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0answers
33 views

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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1answer
73 views

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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1answer
101 views

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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380 views

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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2answers
135 views

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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0answers
33 views

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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1answer
42 views

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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2answers
184 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
69 views

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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1answer
110 views

What if there is no object for use in a mitzva?

There is a story I once heard about the Ben Ish Chai examining the only known etrog available in Iraq. Despite the great need for it, he declared the etrog passul for use and no one could fulfill the ...
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1answer
168 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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1answer
100 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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2answers
224 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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2answers
248 views

Is there an imperative to have a fancy menorah?

Is it considered a meritorious practice to have a fancy/expensive/large menorah? Normally the imperative to beautify mitzvos is related to the mitzvah item itself (e.g. talis, tefillin, esrog), so ...
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3answers
163 views

Punishment for mitzvos asey?

Are you punished from Hashem if you don't do a mitzvah asey (brachos, davening, asher yatzar, etc.)?
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1answer
65 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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2answers
113 views

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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7answers
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Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional explanations or I am not properly understanding these two: Women ...
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3answers
122 views

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 ...