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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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 ...
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29 views

How to differentiate between observance and habit [on hold]

It seems to me a lot of the observances that come to typify Judaism can simply be explained as habits that people develop early in life, or at some point in life that they are considered to be ...
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5answers
596 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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2answers
147 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
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1answer
45 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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1answer
73 views

Why is the word “mitzvos” treated as grammatically masculine in certain prayers?

The prayer accompanying several mitzvos (such as putting on tallis and tefillin) expresses the desire that it be considered that the mitzvah is fulfilled as well as all the "613 mitzvos dependent on ...
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28 views

Being Mekayem a zecher

According to the gemara (Megilla 29b, S"A O"C 685) there is a mitzvah to read the special reading of Parshat Zachor on a particular Shabbat (before Purim). This mitzvah is listed as one of the 613. I ...
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1answer
70 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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4answers
165 views

Minimum Requirement of Love your Neighbor

What is the minimum requirement to not be transgressing the mitzva of "ואהבת לריעך כמוך" "love your fellow as yourself" (Lev. 19:18)? For example, must one actively try to love others or it is enough ...
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30 views

Choosing a mitzvah that one has an inner connection with

I was reading The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months Volume 2. On page 327 it says: Shlomo HaMelech said that if a person comes to ask which area he should choose to specialize in, the answer is: he should ...
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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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1answer
64 views

Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

As answers to Why don't we thank God for making us men/women? say, men thank Hashem for not making them a woman because the obligations or mitzvot that a man has is greater in number than that of ...
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1answer
91 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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360 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the ...
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2answers
54 views

Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan

I heard there are 620 letters in the Aseres Hadibros which corresponds to the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and 7 Mitzvos D'Rabanan. What are the Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan - שבע מצוות דרבנן? Is there a easy ...
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1answer
45 views

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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0answers
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Is there a term for doing a mitzvah the same way every time?

I read in a book (why can't I find it when I want it?) that among the reasons that a tallit gadol has an atarah on it is because there is value in doing a mitzvah the same way each time. If it did ...
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1answer
36 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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2answers
133 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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1answer
62 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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1answer
102 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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1answer
140 views

How should a modern non-Jew interpret commandments in the Torah that they perceive to command individual violence?

If a non-Jew is interested in Judaism, how should they approach commands in the Torah like Exodus 21:17, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:13? Should these passages be seen not just as command not to do the ...
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1answer
89 views

are you obligated to give testimony if you know you are pasul l'eidus?

I remember learning that there is a mitzvah to give testimony if you know of something which it requires. My question is if you know about yourself, with certainty, that you are pasul l'eidus in ...
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2answers
174 views

Are Noahides obligated in the commandment of Yibum?

Regarding the subject of Yibum (Levirate marriage), what is the source, if any, that this is also an obligation on a Noahide? Many of the discussions on this Q&A site concerning Yibum connect to ...
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2answers
206 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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3answers
139 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
56 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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Is there any point where לשבת יצרה no longer applies?

Yeshaya 45:18 says: כי כה אמר יהוה בורא השמים הוא האלהים יצר הארץ ועשה הוא כוננה לא תהו בראה לשבת יצרה אני יהוה ואין עוד ... it (the world) was not created to be void, to be settled it was ...
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7answers
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Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional explanations or I am not properly understanding these two: Women ...
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4answers
292 views

A practical joke that leads to a mitzvah

When I was in Yeshiva, someone somewhere in Klal Yisrael played a practical joke. Sometime during the week of Parshas Vayeishev, a text message went around saying something to the effect of "a 17 ...
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3answers
62 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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2answers
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Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
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2answers
79 views

“I'm just not a 'learning guy'”

I'd like to know if the Torah speaks to the idea that of person simply not being a "learning guy". I don't mean that he doesn't want to learn anything at all (a Jew must koveyah ittim) or that he is ...
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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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86 views

How does my having someone in mind when I learn help them?

Many times, as a merit for a recovery for someone sick or someone in need, I have been asked to have that person in mind when I learn. In some places, they will put up a sign asking to have a certain ...
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5answers
205 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?
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1answer
50 views

Are “Mitzva” and “Halacha” synonyms?

For the longest time, I've always treated them like synonym. Now, thinking back, I think I might actually be wrong. For a moment, I thought that a mitzva only referred to mitzvot d'oreita, but there ...
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2answers
147 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
178 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
60 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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61 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 ...
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3answers
126 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
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1answer
109 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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Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
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224 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
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Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
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80 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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118 views

Does a mitzvah fulfilled before one is obligated “count”?

An answer on this question suggests that if a boy fathers a child before he is bar mitzvah (which is physically possible), then he fulfills p'ru ur'vu even though he wasn't yet commanded. Is that a ...
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2answers
151 views

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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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 ...