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 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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1answer
43 views

Is there a constant Mitzvah for women?

Is there a constant mitzvah for women in Judaism such as there is for men(i.e. torah learning)? Thanks!
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165 views

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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2answers
609 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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3answers
157 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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3answers
93 views

What kind of Tzitzit should a convert wear? [closed]

I am working on an Orthodox conversion and starting to take on mitzvah's I have been looking at getting tzitzits and as i don't have a family background i see they come in different types such as ...
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1answer
154 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
200 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
53 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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1answer
145 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
118 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
103 views

Protecting love for Hashem

The Sh'ma opens with the commandment to love the L_rd your G_d with all your heart, all your soul and all your resources. To help protect the sanctity of Shabbat, there are laws which build a fence ...
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177 views

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case (based on a somewhat similar real one): Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up ...
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1answer
115 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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1answer
150 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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1answer
121 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
141 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
37 views

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
41 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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1answer
64 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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1answer
148 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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1answer
98 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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2answers
198 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
50 views

Effect of mitzvos of ordinary people

Is there a source in the rishonim or before, where it says that no matter on what spiritual level the person is, his mitzvah will have a major effect in the spiritual worlds?
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1answer
59 views

Davening Under the Influence

I am standing on the shoulders of the many related "ad d'lo yada" questions but am particularly inspired by this question and a particular comment. "If I'm drunk I'm patur from davening. So what's ...
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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
74 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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3answers
92 views

Maimonides' Responsum on Pre-Sinaic Mitzva Observance

The Maimonides Reader (p. 478) quotes Maimonides' responsum to Hasdai Ha-Levi where he states that our forefathers didn't keep the mitzvos at all. Where else can this responsum be found? ...
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33 views

What is the obligation of “Kedusha” (Holiness?)

The verse in Leviticus (19:2) says "you shall be holy" what is the parameter of this and to what degree is it binding. Rambam (Sefer Hamitzvos shoresh 4) writes that is is a general commandment to ...
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0answers
64 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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32 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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38 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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46 views

Wrapping Tefillin vs. Wearing Tefillin

When we put on tefillin, we (I am Ashkenazi) say 2 brachot -- l'haniach tefillin and al mitzvat tefillin. The second makes sense -- I am making a bracha on fulfilling the mitzvah of tefillin. But ...
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1answer
55 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
206 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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110 views

Is the commandment 'You shall not murder' the most important commandment in Judaism? [closed]

Does the rule 'You shall not murder' stand above all other rules in Judaism?
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1answer
97 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
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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
275 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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4answers
164 views

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform daily?

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform often (daily or almost daily)? I am asking about physical actions we take rather than thoughts such as: "You shall love a convert", Devarim 10:19 "Love ...
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1answer
50 views

Why no bracha on marrying?

If we are commanded to marry, why no bracha "sanctified by your commandments". (Marriage is #70 on Rambam's list of mitzvot, see: http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm.)
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Do the Kabbalistic views on Taamei Hamitzvoth contradict Rambam's and Hirsch's?

So according to Rambam and other Rabbis, such as R' Hirsch, the mitzvoth are supposed to give us some ideas, some philosophies, to refine our ethics, or to achieve some practical objective. What ...
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3answers
53 views

Is cheating in a test an Averah?

I'm a student and I recently asked myself if cheating in a test is an Averah. I've always believed it obviously is, but after thinking it through I can't think of a specific Averah that would include ...
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1answer
133 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
109 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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1answer
74 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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26 views

Repetition in Sefer Yere'im

The sefer Yere'im of R. Eliezer of Metz which lists the 613 mitzvos seems to count several identical mitzvos. E.g. mitzvos 25-30 (according to the newer editions). Although I could creatively ...
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25 views

Eating specifically fruit of shmitta

Is there an inyun to specifically eat fruits that have kedushas shvi'is? How much must a person go out of their way to buy such fruits? Let's say they cost more, how much more must they spend? Is this ...
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49 views

Unintentional Tosefes Shabbos

My shul newsletter misprinted candle lighting times this week --- instead of 8:01, it listed 7:48. This leads me to 2 questions: If I light candles at 7:48 because I think that that is the right time ...
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37 views

Can a rabbincal mitzvah (that is currently being done) override a bibilical mitzvah?

There's a principle (will try to find the source later) that says that if one is in the midst of doing one mitzvah he is exempt from performing other mitzvot. Do both mitzvot have to be of the same ...