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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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 ...
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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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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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What are the mitzvot that a gentile is forbidden to do?

I know that some mitzvot like keeping shabbat, putting tefillin are forbidden for a gentile to do because they are a sign of the covenant between Israel and HaShem. What are the full list of the ...
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Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
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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 ...
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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?
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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155 views

As a proselyte can I wear tzitzit? [closed]

I am in the process of conversion and I've been told by my Rabbi that I can't wear a Tallit nor a Tallit Katan until I am officially Jewish. His reasoning is that it's a Mitzvah and not relevant ...
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79 views

What is the status of the Yad we use to read from the Torah?

Does the Yad for reading Torah has the status of tashmish mitzvah or tashmish kedusha? Background to the question: Our shul has a BIG yad in extremely bad shape. Impossible to fix anymore. It is ...
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134 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 ...
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112 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 ...
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89 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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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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155 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 ...
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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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198 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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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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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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Is there a mitzvah to escort a non-Jew?

There is a mitzvah to escort a traveler along their way. Does this mitzvah apply to escorting a non-Jewish traveler or guest as well?
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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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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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50 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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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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Mitzvah and Connection

Heard from someone that מצוה, commandment, is associated with the Aramaic word צוותא, connection or togetherness. In addition, Rabbi Moshe Zeldman says, "The word Mitzvah is often translated as ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Zoroastrianism .v.s. Judaism [closed]

Does anybody think Zoroastrianism inflenuced Judaism, cause online people say Zoroastrianism was the first monotheistic religion http://avesta.org, and that Judaism copied it, also that Zoroastrianism ...
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550 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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143 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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Is a gentile obliged to get married and multiply?

We all know that a Jew is obliged to get married and have children. It's considered that a man is not complete until he gets married. I am not sure if a Jew won't have a share in Olam HaBa if he/she ...
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1answer
126 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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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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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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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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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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140 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
112 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
109 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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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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114 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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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
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How to fulfill the Mitzvah of bikkur hollim for someone that's contagious?

A close friend recently got infected with shingles, a contagious disease. I would like to fulfill the Mitzvah of bikkur hollim (visiting the sick) but do not want to jeapordize my health in the ...
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1answer
38 views

Is there a need to get nice Tefilin?

Mesechtas Shabbos 133b gives a list of items that one should do with nice things in order to beautify the Mitzva. Conspicuously absent is Tefilin. Is there a source to get nice Tefilin? If not, why is ...
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147 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