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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6
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2answers
156 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
226 views

Why the specific commandments in the Aseret haDibrot

What is HKBH trying to teach us by his choice of commandments that make up the Aseret haDibrot
5
votes
4answers
237 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the source for Mesirath Nefesh being a virtue?

Mesirath Nefesh is widely considered a virtue. It is treated by Musar-givers throughout the world as though it is the most important virtue after fear of Heaven. But what is it based on? There are ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit on the Gevra or the Cheftza?

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit an obligation on the clothing or on the person?
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Convert that had children prior to conversion

If a fellow converted (his children remained gentiles) and prior to his conversion he had children - has he fulfilled the Mitzva of Peru U'Revu? (sources)
5
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
261 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What is “ol mitzvot” for a convert?

A convert is suppoed to accept the ol mitzvot, the burden of halacha but does this mean an explicit intent to follow the mitzvot or simply the acceptance that there is a punishment if the mitzvot are ...
5
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Why kiss Tzitzith?

Why do we kiss Tzitzith when making the Birchath HaMitzvah, reciting Shema', and after Baruch SheAmar (at least acc. to Minhag Ashkenaz)? An acceptable answer (for my purposes) would either a. ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Mitzvos on Mount Sinai?

Was Moshe Rabbeinu obligated in mitzvos during the two periods of 40 days that he spent on Mount Sinai? Did he keep mitzvos (whether obligated to or not) during that time? I ask because the Torah ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

How can a modern non-Jew approach the Torah?

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
211 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
257 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
4
votes
2answers
262 views

What is the Greatest Mitzvah?

What is the greatest Mitzvah a man can do?
4
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
252 views

Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael

What halachic sources exist affirming the post-destruction mitzvah of individuals to live in Eretz Yisrael, and what is the nature (obligatory, meritorious) of the mitzvah? This question does not ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Lishem Yichud on Mitzvos

Should Leshem Yichud be said before Mitzvos or not?
4
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Oleh Regel Today

Is there a Mitzvah to be Oleh Regel in today's days (meaning when there is no Beis Hamikdash)?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Matzah the entire week

Is it the Vilna Gaon who maintains that it is a mitzvah to eat matzah (to eat matzah, in addition to abstaining from chametz) every day and night during the week of Passover, or somebody else? The ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
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
4
votes
0answers
100 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
3
votes
3answers
222 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
3
votes
2answers
132 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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?
3
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Petur (exemption) - Does intent matter?

Does one's intent factor into one's ability to rely upon an exemption in Halachah? For example on Sukkoth, if I have no Sukkah and no intention of building a Sukkah (let's say at work, for one ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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
79 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?
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Who needs a fence around their roof?

I recently called an exterminator to remove a hornets' nest in a tree overhanging my roof. Since my roof is slanted, with no direct access to it, and it starts at about 9 feet off the ground and peaks ...
3
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
175 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
65 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
96 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 ...