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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3
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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?
7
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Sell the shirt off his back for Menorah, but not for anything else?

Halacha brings that one who has no money for Chanukah Lights must sell the shirt off his back to acquire them why is this the case versus almost all other Mitzvos which require up to a fifth of his ...
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
143 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
14
votes
3answers
318 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
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
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4answers
272 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
5
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

What is the Greatest Mitzvah?

What is the greatest Mitzvah a man can do?
6
votes
1answer
182 views

No mitzvah to wear tefillin every day?

I heard that the Bet HaLevi and the Peri Megadim hold that there is no Mitzva for a person to don Tefilin everyday. Can someone source these opinions and explain exactly what they are meaning to say?
6
votes
1answer
98 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
299 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
267 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Killing all of 'Amalek - Mitzvah or Reshuth?

This may be two questions that are closely related. Would engaging in war with 'Amalek without a specific command (a la Shaul) be a Milhemeth Mitzvah or Milhemeth Reshuth? Is killing all of 'Amalek ...
9
votes
2answers
93 views

Is it still tzedakah if it is returned?

If a poor person asks for charity and I give some money to that person, but he then returns it to me, (because he doesn't feel it is enough, or any other reason) have I accomplished the mitzvah of ...
5
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
162 views

Why do different people have different levels of mitzvah obligation?

If the point of giving us mitzvot is to allow us to earn a reward in olam haba and to perfect creation (there's all of Jewish philosophy boiled down into 102 characters), why wouldn't all Jewish ...
11
votes
3answers
648 views

Are there required “ritual/daily” prayers in Judaism?

I have a question about the daily prayers of Judaism. I noticed on my trip to Jerusalem that a lot of those practicing Judaism got up at a certain time in the morning on the plane and faced a wall and ...
14
votes
2answers
430 views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Women and Birchas Hatorah

Why do women have to say Birchas Hatorah they are not commanded to learn Torah as men are?
2
votes
2answers
463 views

Upper limits of “kovea itim”

It is known from the gemara (Shabbos 31a and cited in maamar Toras HaBayis ch. 1, among other places) that when a person dies, he is asked if he had set times for learning. I know that these times can ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Punishment for mitzvos asey?

Are you punished from Hashem if you don't do a mitzvah asey (brachos, davening, asher yatzar, etc.)?
11
votes
3answers
238 views

Asei Doche Lo Sasei vs. Mitzvah Habaah Beaveirah

These are two concepts in Judaism: עשה דוחה לא תעשה - that if there is a Mitzvah Asei in the Torah, and a Mitzvas Lo Sasei, we say that the Asei overrides the Lo Sasei, and one should do it. For ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah then lost the Sefer

Suppose a person had a Sefer Torah written in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (Devarim 31:19) and then the Torah got lost, has he still fulfilled his mitzvah, or is he required to write another one?
6
votes
3answers
229 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
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
180 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
157 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)
2
votes
3answers
153 views

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 ...
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)?
9
votes
1answer
333 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
6
votes
2answers
111 views

Which mitzvos exempt which mitzvos?

There is a general rule in Halacha that someone occupied with a mitzva isn't obligated to interrupt themselves to do another mitzva. This is known as " עוסק במצוה פטור מן המצוה". My question is, what ...
4
votes
3answers
152 views

Lishem Yichud on Mitzvos

Should Leshem Yichud be said before Mitzvos or not?
10
votes
2answers
203 views

Why are most mitzvas impossible to keep?

Nowadays, one can only keep so many Mitzvos (271). That is less than half of the commandments of the Torah. I don't know if there is any statistic regarding how many Psukim discuss currently relevant ...
11
votes
2answers
161 views

Is there a model of reconciliation in the Tanach?

Monica asked an excellent question about how to correct someone who posts something objectionable on a public forum. I was struck by the suggestion that the usual course of action was "to take the ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
270 views

How is “החודש הזה לכם” the first mitzva?

The following question came up in this week's Parshat Hashavua' Chat: Rashi, at the beginning of his commentary to the Torah: אמר רבי יצחק: לא היה צריך להתחיל [את] התורה אלא (שמות יב ב) מהחודש ...
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?
3
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
121 views

Mitzvos on which the only b'racha is birkas “Shehechiyanu”

I saw in the name of the Or Zaru'a and others that one does not make a b'racha before writing a sefer Torah even though it is a positive mitzva with an action associated because (among other reasons) ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

What is the connection between joy and divine love in Rambam's mitzva #3?

Ramba"m lists love of God as the third positive commandment in his Book of Commandments. It includes the following line, which somehow relates the comprehension of God with joy and the ultimate ...
12
votes
2answers
271 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 ...