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
65 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

During the nine days, can we do something “slightly dangerous” in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
3
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0answers
20 views

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.)
3
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0answers
77 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
261 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? ...
2
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
141 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?
2
votes
2answers
441 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
116 views

Punishment for mitzvos asey?

Are you punished from Hashem if you don't do a mitzvah asey (brachos, davening, asher yatzar, etc.)?
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

how does one not get lost in the details?

Halachah is very detail oriented and of course all of these details are important but sometimes it seems easy from time to time to get so focused on the specifics of the right way of how to so ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Why are women obligated in maggid?

Why are women obligated to say over the story of pesach on pesach if its a time bound mitzva? By matza there is a special derasha used. and the other mitzvos are Rabbinical, so you can say since they ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Writing down the Oral Law

If the rabbis consider it Biblically forbidden to write down the Torah she'al peh, why is it not listed as one of the 613 mitzvot by Rambam and others
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Eved Knani versus a Woman

In terms of obligation in mitzvos, what is the difference between an Eved Knani and a woman? And if they are the same, why do we have two separate brachos for each in the morning prayers?
2
votes
2answers
120 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
35 views

Why does a guest not have to contribute a perutah for other mitzvot?

The halacha (Orah Hayyim 677) is that a guest must contribute a perutah towards the fulfillment of the mitzvah of lighting Chanuka candles. I would like to know why we don't find a similar idea by ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
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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?
2
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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
1answer
45 views

Saying l'shem mitzvas tzitzis in bathroom

Can one say l'shem mitzvas tiztzis in a bathroom? I was thinking of a case of tying the knots or fixing it. Since tiztzis is not a davar shebikedusha maybe it should be fine, or maybe since its mitzva ...
2
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
254 views

Is failure to observe an impossible law absolved implicitly?

The Jewish Encyclopedia has an article about ceremonial law which says (emphasis mine): The issue between Reform and Orthodoxy hinges chiefly upon the view taken of the ceremonial law; the ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How far may one go with doing an aveira (violating a negative mitzva) if it means performing a positive mitzva?

I cannot remember where, but somewhere in gemara it mentions that when confronted with doing a positive mitzva or keeping a negative mitzva, one should do a positive mitzva. How far does this go ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Why is the mitzvah to love the convert the one that is most often repeated in the Torah?

While I have no exact count, I read somewhere (don't recall if it was Ramba"m or similar source) that loving the convert is the one mitzvah that is repeated most often in the Torah. If this is true, ...
1
vote
1answer
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 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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0answers
33 views

D’oraita Sources for Halacha

We often see that the author of a p'sak maintains that a ruling is d’oraita even in cases when there is no link to any of the 613 mitzvot listed by Rambam, etc. Must every halacha ruled as a d’oraita ...
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0answers
54 views

Is there a pattern to Yonasan Ben Uziel's introduction to mitzvos?

Starting with the dibros, YbU introduces some mitzvos with the words 'Ami bnei Yisrael" and I don't see the pattern as to when he does and when he doesn't. Anyone have an idea which ones deserve this ...
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0answers
46 views

How many disputed and undisputed Torah Mitzvot are there?

If you combine all the known lists of the "613 Mitzvot" (Rambam, Ramban, Semag, etc.), how many total mitzvot are listed by at least one person as a Mitzvah Deoreitya? I am curious to compare this to ...
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0answers
28 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?
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0answers
80 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Is Leviticus 19:16 a negative commandment?

I heard that the posuk "You shall not stand over the blood of your friend – I am Hashem" (Vayikra 19:16) is a לאו (negative commandment). Is that true? לא תעמד על דם רעך אני יקוק
0
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1answer
67 views

Talmud's statement concerning people who believe G-d did not command all 613 mitzvos

I recall learning in the Talmud (Kesuvos, I think), that if someone believes that G-d gave all of the commandments in the Torah except one, and that one he thinks is nonsense, that shows that the ...
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0answers
24 views

Chukim list with sources

My search is for a list of chukim. Since I don't like 'reinventing the wheel', I was wondering if there is one already available from some reference work.
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0answers
31 views

should a single male bench licht? [duplicate]

Should a single male whose family doesn't light shabbos candles light a candle before shabbos? Also practically speaking when would he do so considering one is most likely to go to shul for minchah ...
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0answers
18 views

Mitzvot of the Land of Israel [duplicate]

Can someone post a concise list of the mitzvot that are applicable on in or to eretz yisrael today? Or a link to such a list? Wikipedia and others discuss all the ones that have ever existed, then ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
54 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