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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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 ...
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1answer
197 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 ...
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1answer
205 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 ...
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111 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 ...
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1answer
86 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 ...
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81 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 ...
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1answer
166 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 ...
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1answer
62 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 ...
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187 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 ...
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253 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
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1answer
183 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
88 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?
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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 ...
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4answers
277 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? ...
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2answers
208 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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73 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
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2answers
190 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. ...
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2answers
201 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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185 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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1answer
105 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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3answers
346 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 ...
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5answers
620 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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338 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?
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359 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 ...
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1answer
110 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 — ...
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386 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
106 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 ...
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170 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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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 ...
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1answer
218 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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152 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. ...
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2answers
176 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 ...
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839 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 ...
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2answers
547 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 ...
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1answer
59 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 ...
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2answers
186 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 ...
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178 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)
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252 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
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3answers
2k views

Does Judaism consider virginity to be a virtue?

Wikipedia outlines the attitudes of various cultures towards virginity including: Judaism In Judaism, sex is not considered to be sinful. Though premarital sex is disapproved, there is no ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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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, ...
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179 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 ...
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214 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 ...
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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 ...
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234 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?