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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Is cheating in a test an Averah?

I'm a student and I recently asked myself if cheating in a test is an Averah. I've always believed it obviously is, but after thinking it through I can't think of a specific Averah that would include ...
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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 ...
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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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321 views

Why isn't there a single, centralized Sanhedrin today?

It seems that many mitzvot in the Torah are opened to interpretation in some way, potentially subject to ruling by the Sanhedrin. And some mitzvot (examples below) seem to require the presence of the ...
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“עם לבן גרתי”? Really? “עם לבן ברתי” maybe

Rashi brings a gematria at the beginning of Parshas Vayishlach: גרתי בגימטריא תרי"ג, כלומר, עם לבן הרשע גרתי, ותרי"ג מצות שמרתי, ולא למדתי ממעשיו הרעים Now, if one takes this literally, it is ...
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162 views

May one beautify his Payos?

Rashi (B'reshis 37:2) calls it an "an act of immaturity [to fix one's] hair (...) so he would look good". Obviously, payos are made from hair, but they are not considered regular hair within kabbala (...
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325 views

Visiting Israel: A Mitzvah?

Is visiting Israel a Mitzvah? (visiting as opposed to living) Just some points I would hope an answer to cover: Was it a mitzvah back then? Is it still a mitzvah nowadays? Does the mitzvah apply ...
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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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1answer
205 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 ...
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1answer
201 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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Contemporary rabbinic views on social pressure to get people to do Mitzvoth

Background While on vacation recently, I was walking down the street with a newly acquainted co-traveler, when we were approached by a young Lubavitch Yeshivah student encouraging Jewish men to lay ...
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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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637 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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256 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 ...
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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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1answer
155 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 ...
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1answer
282 views

Where can one get the Pri Yitzchak, a text discussing the 613 Mitzvot

Regarding the Chassidic text written in 1840 entiled Pri Yitzchak that details all 613 Mitzvot and the corresponding 248 limbs for positive mitzvot and 365 sinews for negative commandments. My Rabbi ...
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1answer
101 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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1answer
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Does a mitzvah fulfilled before one is obligated “count”?

An answer on this question suggests that if a boy fathers a child before he is bar mitzvah (which is physically possible), then he fulfills p'ru ur'vu even though he wasn't yet commanded. Is that a ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Mitzvah of walking in Eretz Israel [duplicate]

I heard that every 4 or 2 amot walked in Eretz Israel is a mitzvah. Is this true? If it is, from where do we learn this?
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Does Publicizing Kiddush (or Chillul) Hashem Constitute That?

If someone (Jew of gentile) exposes an act of kiddush (or chas v'shalom chillul Hashem) to the world, does that person fulfill (or make him self guilty of) the same? (Based on this comment.)
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Must one “work” and “deserve” to observe Shabbat?

The verse on the Ten commandments, also read in Kidusha Raba by certains (Exodus 20, 8-9) says שֵׁ֤שֶׁת יָמִים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד וְעָשִׂ֖יתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ: וְיוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיהוָֹ֣ה ...
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Why offer the Nations mitzvos from the Torah that are already in the Noahide Laws?

When Hashem went around offering the Torah to the other nations each asked what is written therein to each nation He told them of the commandment representing their weak point or vice, hence they ...
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Adding stones or bricks to the Bais Hamikdash

As a child I was told, and now my children are being told, that when they do a Mitzva a brick gets added to the Bais Hamikdash. As pointed out by DoubleAA, the Rambam says that it is preferable to ...
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2answers
211 views

VeNiShmartem - Positive or Negative?

VeNiShmartem Meod LeNafshotheichem (Devarim 4:15), the Mitzvah of self-preservation - requiring that we guard our health - sounds rather proactive. However, it is written with the word ShMR, to "...
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1answer
124 views

420 Noachide Commandments?

I know there are seven specific commandments to noachides but recently I was talking to a Rabbi who told me actually noachides have 420 commandments and the Jewish nation has 613. Can anyone point me ...
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
173 views

What is the basic requirement for tzitzit knots?

There seems to be a lot of different ways to tie tzitzit knots. From the little I understand this is based on various symolism and numeric value (see this question/answer). I would like to know what ...
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1answer
53 views

Effect of mitzvos of ordinary people

Is there a source in the rishonim or before, where it says that no matter on what spiritual level the person is, his mitzvah will have a major effect in the spiritual worlds?
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Is the mitzva to write a Torah scroll for oneself derived from Deuteronomy 31:19?

This site cites (under Torah - 16) Deuteronomy 31:19 for the reason that there is a mitzva to write your own Torah scroll. That every person shall write a scroll of the Torah for himself. Is ...
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source for the mitzva to walk in Israel [duplicate]

what is the source that every four amot (~2 meters) walked in Israel is a mitzva? (read this somewhere) Also, what is the reason for this mitzva if it has any.
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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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Why does the Rambam (Maimonides) equate all sex outside marriage as prostitution?

Shalom told me about it in his answer to this question: What does adultery mean in the 7th commandment? That Si'naf in 7 commandments means only having sex with someone else' wife. However, judaism ...
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1answer
75 views

Women and Birchas Hatorah

Why do women have to say Birchas Hatorah they are not commanded to learn Torah as men are?
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Are animals commanded (Bereishit 1:22)?

In two places in parshat Bereishit Gd commands "be fruitful and multiply". The second place is the familiar commandment directed to humans (Gen 1:28). In the first place, the same words are used but ...
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1answer
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most neglected positive mitzvah? [closed]

In the context of a discussion of the obligation of burying a corpse found on the way: And an exception is made for the met mitzvah. Should the kohen encounter an abandoned corpse, and no one ...