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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2
votes
0answers
18 views

What type of mitzvah, if any, is a donation to medical research?

If I give money to a charity that finances medical research, I think I'm doing a mitzvah, but of what sort? Is this tzedakah when I'm not clothing or feeding the poor? Is it saving a life when there ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

shehecheyanu on eruv tavshilin

It is a rabbinical mitzvah to make eruv tavshilin, it even comes with a blessing. If so, why don't we make a shehecheyanu on it?
3
votes
1answer
123 views

benefits of following Noahaich laws and 613 mitzovets

As I read on mi yodeya, that following the 613 mitzovet is a nessesary for righteous jews, and I also know that this task is very difficult, but the seven mitzovet of Noahich laws are easy, and the I ...
4
votes
5answers
181 views

Torah view on conservation and recycling

It may seem obvious that we should 'look after' the world that Hashem gives us but is it considered a mitzvah to involve oneself in nature conservation and/or recycling?
4
votes
0answers
54 views

How do we celebrate Tu B'Av?

Besides the dancing maidens of Jerusalem, many other significant events occurred on Tu B'Av for it to be considered one of the holiest days of the year. As mentioned in a previous question, many ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

Extent of financial consideration before having children

Are there financial considerations that a couple must take before having a child or children i.e. should one have children 'at any cost' or is this not a consideration. If yes, would these financial ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

To what extent is someone on the way to do a mitzvah protected from danger?

Pesachim 8A (link) says: R. Elazar taught that harm will not befall a Shali'ach (someone on the way to do a) Mitzvah! That is a short excerpt from a discussion about being protected when doing a ...
-3
votes
1answer
58 views

freed slaves owe their redeemer (jews owe HaShem) [closed]

if freed slaves owe their redeemer (jews owe HaShem) how do we look on america freeing slaves
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Significance of number 613 regarding the mitzvot

According to the Talmud (Makos 23b) "Moshe received 613 Mitzvos. They are 365 Lavim (negative commandments), corresponding to the days of the (solar) year, and 248 Mitzvos Aseh (positive ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Should ones name be put on a mitsva?

If someone does a mitsva like writing a sefer or providing a building for Jewish activities like a shul or school. Should he put his name on it and have it called after him? I am not referring to ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Why do we still even try to do Sheluach HaKan?

If we don't need the birds' eggs, as they used to, why do we send a mother bird away from her own eggs just to fulfill the mitzvah of Sheluach HaKan? Would the mitzvah even apply if we are doing it ...
5
votes
4answers
246 views

Do a mitzva for mashiach?

I recently saw in The Moshiach Times, a popular Chabad-Lubavitch publication for children, an exhortation to "do a mitzvah for moshiach": to do a mitzva with the specific purpose of hastening the ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Sefirat ha'omer as Conditional mitzvah

Are there any other “mitzvot” besides counting S’fira that are cumulative? In other words, if you forget a day of S’fira you can no longer count with a bracha. Are there any other types of mitzvot ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Do you get credit for unintentional mitzvot?

I have heard stories such as A wealthy man felt like abandoning his Judaism and went to the kotel to 'say his goodbyes'. There he saw a chasid davening with such fervor and tears that the wealthy ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Is it a greater mitzvah to return a lost item anonymously?

While of course it is a mitzvah to give tzadekah, I have heard (though I don't have any attribution) that different kinds of giving are of different worth. Particularly, I have heard that giving ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

Honoring parental requests that don't benefit the parents

If one's parents ask him to do something that is not beneficial to the parents in any way whatsoever (though not harmful to the parents, the child, or anyone else, either), is he nonetheless obligated ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
11
votes
3answers
291 views

Can a single-parent father be exempt from time-bound mitzvot?

Rabbis such as Abudraham have explained a woman's exemption from positive time-bound commandments (mitzvot shehazman grama) in terms of a woman's ongoing and preliminary role in supporting her ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

What is so special about the 613 mitzvos?

There are arguments in the Rishonim about what the 613 mitzvos are. But even if you hold something's not part of the 613, it's still a mitzva, so what's so special if it is part of the 613?
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Do Jews have to keep the 7 Noahide laws?

Well, I heard that a Jew only has to keep a Noahide law if it's repeated in the Torah, since Jews aren't obligated in Noahide laws. The practical application of this would be an exemption from the law ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Allowing the forbidden for the sake of a Mitzvah

There are a few mitzvot which are effected through the use of that which is specifically forbidden. The first two examples are of tzitzit being made from shatnez and the mei sotah being infused with ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Why does the Haggadah tell us that “Even if they are all Chachmim” they are obligated in Sippur?

Why does the Haggadah tell us that "Even if they are all Chachmim..." they are obligated in Sippur? Are ChaChamim excluded from any other Mitzvot? Do they not have to pick up a Lulav because they are ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

How can you keep Shabbos till Tuesday?

I have heard that there are people who keep Shabbos till Tuesday. I would like to understand how that works practically. A few examples of puzzling situations: What shmoneh esrei does such a person ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
8
votes
1answer
102 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Wearing pieces from two different sets of tefillin

Tefillin are usually thought of as coming in sets, one for the hand (shel yad) and one for the head (shel rosh). But is there any reason two sets can't be mixed and matched? May one wear tefillin ...
3
votes
0answers
78 views

Pretending in kiyum hamitzvot

When a woman (or, if need be, a man) lights candles for Shabbat, she covers her eyes before making the bracha to "pretend" that the candles aren't lit yet because we generally say the bracha before ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

What are the differences between G-d's mitzvos, chukkim and mishpatim?

In Parasha Netzavim, Devarim 30:16, we learn the commandment to love Hashem, to walk in His ways, and to keep "His commandments [mitzvosav] and His statutes [v'chukosav] and His ordinances ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Commandments on emotions [duplicate]

I can understand if the Torah commands one to wear tefilin or put on a mezuza. But to command a person not to hate anyone, not to covet anything of anyone, not to bear a grudge, love your fellow as ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Correspondence between 365 negative commandments and days of the year?

There are 365 negative commandments which correspond to the days of the (solar) year (see Makos 23b; Tanchuma Ki Seitzeh 2). Apparently the prohibition of Gid HaNasheh (sciatic nerve) corresponds to ...
3
votes
3answers
226 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Understanding hachnasas orchim

Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Mamzer honoring his father - why wouldn't he?

The Shulhan 'Aruch (240:18) writes that a Mamzer has an obligation to honor his father. Why might I think otherwise?
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Honoring a wicked father who has repented - How is he still considered wicked?

The Shulhan 'Aruch (Y"D 240:18) writes that one is obligated to honor his father even if the father is wicked (actually, it says that a Mamzer is obligated, but I believe that the implication is that ...
2
votes
4answers
268 views

How can we know God?

How can we know God? Isn't God unknowable? We learn and study and follow God's commands and pray, but how do we know God (as opposed to what God wants)? What is a true way to know GOD better? ...
5
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
3
votes
2answers
183 views

Did Yitzchak not Fulfill the Mitzvah of “Be Fruitful and Multiply”?

According to the understanding of many commentators "pru u'revu" (be fruitful and multiply) is a positive commandment which is not fulfilled unless a man has both a son and daughter as offspring. ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Why did Avraham ask Eliezer to swear in the way he did?

Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to place his hand under his thigh to swear an oath regarding finding a daughter for his son. Chazal explain that he asked him to hold his (Avraham's) milah (male ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

Does the mitzvah to return a lost object apply to aveirah items?

I recently saw a flyer that quoted from R' Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita as saying that if one find a smartphone that is not "kosher" there is no mitzvah obligation to return it. Is this in fact the ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the correct kavanah when going to war?

I am specifically talking about going to war that is a mitzvah such as the wars fought while conquering Eretz Yisroel in the beginning of the Neviim and the mitzvah we have and will fulfill of ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Dedicating a Mitzva to unborn child

Can a Mitzva be done on behalf of an child still in the womb? I.e can I do a donation to a charity in my name, my wife's and my soon to be +1? If so, in what name would that mitzva be done in as +1 ...
1
vote
0answers
83 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
316 views

If a person isn't sure he is Jewish, does he have to keep Mitzvot?

Let's say that a person has a reason to think his mother might be Jewish (there is some evidence, but only a little), and it is likely that the person will never be able to know for sure. In such a ...
7
votes
3answers
451 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
278 views

Why isn't Peru URvu one of the 7 Noahide Laws?

The commandment to "Be fruitful and multiply" was given to Adam HaRishon. Why, then, is this not included in the Sheva' Mitzvoth Bnei Noaḥ?
5
votes
1answer
274 views

sperm donation and p'ru ur'vu

Does donating sperm to a woman who is not your wife (who then goes on to bear children from it) fulfill the mitzvah of p'ru ur'vu? Alternatively, is it a violation of halakha? Does it matter whose ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

If a father has to carry his sons aveiros why not his mitzvos?

If a father must carry the sins & punishments of his son (under bar mitzva) as we know he does from the brocha of "Baruch Shepatrani Meonshin shel zeh" does he — and if not, why doesn't he — ...
8
votes
1answer
303 views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both of the Rambam and Ramban listed all 613 mitzvos, and they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ in ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Sha'atnez and small children

I was sent an email today alerting my community that Sha'atnez has been discovered in a line of baby pants. A quick internet search turned up other baby clothing that has been discovered to have ...