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 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 ...
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160 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
77 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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185 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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1answer
57 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 ...
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41 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 ...
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69 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 ...
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1answer
131 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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71 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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49 views

Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת ...
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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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80 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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270 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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3answers
154 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 ...
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493 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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131 views

Punishment for mitzvos asey?

Are you punished from Hashem if you don't do a mitzvah asey (brachos, davening, asher yatzar, etc.)?
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1answer
98 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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2answers
160 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 ...
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1answer
47 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 ...
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3answers
57 views

Is Building a Succah a mitzva?

I have seen contradicting sources on whether building a succah is part of the mitzva to dwell in it. I want to know if there is a machlokes on whether building a succah is preparation of a mitzva or a ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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120 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 ...
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1answer
89 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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1answer
100 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 ...
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101 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 ...
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97 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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1answer
118 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 ...
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1answer
134 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
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92 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?
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145 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
36 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 ...
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1answer
66 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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43 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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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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23 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 ...
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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?
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63 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 ...
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1answer
51 views

Saying l'shem mitzvas tzitzis in bathroom [duplicate]

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 ...
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2answers
176 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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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 ...
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2answers
265 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 ...
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90 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, ...
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1answer
87 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 ...
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53 views

Source for dirt of a mitzvah is good

I heard somewhere that when an object was used for mitzvah purposes and becomes dirty because of it, that the dirt is not something to be ashamed of -- it's even something good! Some examples of this ...
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64 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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23 views

Wanting to do a Mitzvah, getting paid for intent AND accomplishent

I heard from someone that whoever wants to do a mitzvah, Hashem gives him reward before he does the mitzvah, and after he does the mitzvah Hashem doubles it. Where is the source for this?
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42 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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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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51 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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29 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?