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2
votes
1answer
331 views

How do rabbis explain the reason for the Spanish Expulsion. Why did the Jewish people deserve it

I notice you already have this question for the Holocaust but haven't found it for the Spanish expulsion. I understand that many great people gave reasons for it, like the seder hadoros, tsror hamor ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Why did God destroy Sodom in such a strange way?

Why does it rain both fire and brimstone (gafris - 19:24) on Sodom surely one or the other was enough? Furthermore, if the whole city is 'turned upside down' (19:25) why was there a need to rain ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Why is hell termed Gehinnom?

Why is the place that that wicked are punished for their sins after death termed Gehinnom? Is there is an association with Gei ben Hinnom where idolatry was performed? If so why was this place singled ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Pidyon Shevuyim - when does it apply?

Does the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyim apply in a case where one is being held in prison for having committed a crime or only where a innocent person was captured for ransom? If it does apply to cases ...
7
votes
5answers
366 views

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

According to the beginning of the Mesilas Yesharim, the entire purpose of creation is for man to merit Olam Haba (the bliss of the next world). If so, why is there no mention nor description of Olam ...
11
votes
2answers
240 views

Did all of Bnei Israel worship the golden calf?

When Prophet Moses went up to the mountain, did all the people end up worshiping the cow, or were there some who remained aloof? What happened to such people who did not become idolaters? Were they ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What were Bar Kochba's sins?

In his answer to the question Is there any evidence that Rabbi Akiva's students fought with Bar Kochba, Jake cites Y.T. Taanis 4:5 and M.R. Eicha 2:4 as sources for the position that Bar Kochba was ...
1
vote
1answer
357 views

What is the ruling of adultery in Torah or Tanach

What is the punishment for adultery meted out in the Torah or Tanach? Is that punishment still being practiced in Israel? And how are the charges of adultery proved before meting out punishment? ...
0
votes
3answers
138 views

Are there cases of a one-time (extreme) punishment that rabbis meted for the sake of a community's commitment to Torah?

I have heard about cases (during the period of the late Rishonim) where a Posek or a Beis Din meted out a harsh punishment to an individual for their breach of halacha in order to protect their ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

What is special about praying Shacharis and Mariv (as opposed to Mincha)?

Praying Shacharis and Mariv (morning and evening prayers) is listed as one of the things "sheodom oychel peiroisehem..." (A person eats of the fruit in this world but principle is left to be enjoyed ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Why are there only a finite number of people?

If the purpose that we ascribe as the reason for creation (as stated in the Ramchal's Derech Hashem, Klach Pischei Chochma and other works) is for God to bestow his goodness unto creation (bearing in ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Rambam and Mitzvah of Ner Channukah (Chaviva hi ad ma'od)

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Channukah Perek 4 Halacha 12 מצות נר חנוכה מצוה חביבה היא עד מאד The Mitzvah of Ner Channukah is very "chaviv"/"dear" mitzva (please correct this translation.) What ...
6
votes
2answers
256 views

Aaron and his punishment for the sin of Golden Calf

Why was Aaron, the brother of Mōšéh, not punished by death together with idolators (others who have sinned with the Golden Calf) when Mōšéh came from the mountain? Why was Aaron treated differently?
7
votes
3answers
318 views

Why Avraham hated Yishmael if he was a tzadik

Rashi says that avraham sent yishmael out with only water but no money because he hated him for going out "tarbut raah". yet later on, the verse says G-d heard the cry of Yishmael dying of thirst ...
3
votes
2answers
451 views

Is it true that Jews believed in sheol before the belief in hereafter entered into Judaism?

I have heard claimed that Jews first believed in Sheol which was considered as a place below the ground and it meant to be a place of eternal rest, free of any reward and punishment. However in later ...
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Will A Non Jew who did not keep the Noachide Laws be Held Accountable?

Will A Non Jew who did not keep the Noachide Laws be Held Accountable on yom hadin? After all, he can claim he didn't know anything about them. Maybe there is a difference between a gentile in ...
0
votes
3answers
232 views

What's the ultimate fate of Satan?

Since Jews don't believe in hell for unbelievers, what will happen to Satan? Will he be punished for eternity?
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Guaranteed olam haba?

Certain practices such as learning halachot daily or reciting ashrei three times a day are supposed to guarantee a person a place in olam haba. How exactly does this work? Can a person be an evil ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Why do we say fear God because of the Benefits? Shouldnt it be Leshem Shomayim

It says (Tehilim 34:10): יראו את ה' קדושיו כי אין מחסור ליראיו Why do we tell the holy ones to fear God because they will lack nothing? The Mishnah (Avos 1:3) says one should serve God without ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Specific punishments for specific sins

I am aware that the concept of reward and punishment is difficult, and often requires a complex understanding. However, there are places where the Mishna or Gemara claims a specific punishment for a ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

“Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention!” Literally?

Abaye makes a rather harsh judgment on someone who is unattentive in prayer (Ber. 34a): Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention! Is this meant to be taken as Halachah? Or is it just meant to ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

What does God's answer to Yona the prophet (4:11) really mean?

Sefer Yona 4:11 reads: וַאֲנִי לֹא אָחוּס עַל נִינְוֵה הָעִיר הַגְּדוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר יֶשׁ בָּהּ הַרְבֵּה מִשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה רִבּוֹ אָדָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע בֵּין יְמִינוֹ לִשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבְהֵמָה רַבָּה ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Why does Yona get off easy for running away?

Why doesn't God chastise Yona for disobeying him? Perek 3 of Yona picks up as if nothing had happened.
-1
votes
2answers
617 views

If one watches television on Friday night, will one go to hell?

If one watches television on Friday night, will one go to hell?
4
votes
6answers
704 views

How can God be just in light of Deuteronomy 23:3?

Deuteronomy 23:3: A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the LORD. I asked a similar question here ...
9
votes
3answers
201 views

Delaying using the toilet

According to Gemara Makkot 16b, the phrase in Vayikra 20:25 ... and do not make your souls disgusting - וְלֹא תְשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם is a command not to hold in the urge to urinate or ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

If a father has to carry his sons aveiros why not his mitzvos?

If a father must carry the sins & punishments of his son (under bar mitzva) as we know he does from the brocha of "Baruch Shepatrani Meonshin shel zeh" does he — and if not, why doesn't he — ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Parasha named after Balak?

I've heard from Harav Mansour Shelit"a as well as other Hachamim that Yitro was rewarded by getting a Parasha named by him. With that in mind, why did Balak get a Parasha named after him?
4
votes
2answers
129 views

What is the logical explanation for קם ליה בדרבה מיניה?

HodofHod: "In essence, the idea is this: If a person does one act, and with that one act incurs two different kinds of penalties, we only apply the stricter one. So if a person (for example) borrows a ...
11
votes
1answer
226 views

Are there two things from which kares can cut one off?

In B'midbar 19:13 the Torah says that the punishment for entering the mikdash while impure is spiritual excision, using the words וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. . . . . .that ...
4
votes
3answers
160 views

The concept of קם ליה בדרבה מיניה

I'm trying to understand this concept. I've Googled around and could't find any straightforward answers. I don't need too many details, just the explanation that's given in the Gemara (I understand ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Reconciling the Torah and history regarding the Jews' response to reward and punishment

How do we reconcile the Torah's viewpoint that punishments make Jews better with what we see that punishments push Jews away (and rewards make Jews better)? The Gemara says that Mashiach will come ...
12
votes
3answers
214 views

Punishment in this World or in the World To Come

It says that (in general) Hashem lets a righteous person suffer in this world to cleanse him from sins (so he will have no more sins in the World to Come), while Hashem lets a wicked person prosper in ...
4
votes
1answer
246 views

What is the kaf hakelah

A punishment for souls that do not immediately merit to enter gan eden (olam haba?) is to be flung about in the "kaf hakelah". What exactly is that? What is its purpose? Why specifically is that form ...
7
votes
2answers
106 views

Why didn't Achashveirosh reward Mordechai immediately?

Esther tells Achashveirosh in the name of Mordechai of a plot to assassinate him (Achashveirosh). They investigate, and stop the would-be assassins. And then... nothing? Why didn't Achashveirosh ...
8
votes
4answers
233 views

Can the living negatively affect the dead?

As far as I know, living people can positively affect the dead. This is the reason we say Kaddish and learn Mishnayos for the souls of the deceased. (Feel free to comment with more examples of this.) ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

Benyamin's reward

Benyamin, while being quite young at the time, is notably missing when Yosef is sold. Does he deserve a reward for not participating or was he simply not included and therefore is incidental in the ...
11
votes
4answers
268 views

Did hardening Paro's heart mean he wasn't really responsible?

As a child I often wondered how, if God kept hardening Paro's heart after each plague, it could really be Paro's fault. It sounds like God was setting him up to fail, and while that's God's ...
11
votes
3answers
246 views

Are souls in Gehinom (purgatory) spared from suffering on Yom Tov?

The Zohar (quoted here), says that the souls that are undergoing the painful cleansing process of Gehenom (purgatory, hell, see here), are given respite during the 24 hours of Shabbat. This idea is ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Order of punishments/responsibilities in viduy

In the viduy (confession) of Yom Kipur, we confess, and beg for forgiveness for, sins for which we're liable for a sacrificial offering: ola, chatas, ole v'yored, and asham; lashes prescribed by ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Why does the Bible contain many instances of group or tribal punishment and guilt?

There are many instances in the Bible where God or prophets state in God's name that a group or tribe is punished for the wrong-doing of a single individual. How is this just? A perfect example is ...
5
votes
4answers
262 views

Why does there seem to be different standards for future sinners?

In Bereshit (21:17) Rashi tells us that the Angels wanted G-d to kill Yishmael, but G-d said that He wouldn't judge him according to his future deeds, but rather according to his present state: In ...
9
votes
3answers
366 views

Why does earthly punishment start at 13 and divine punishment at 20?

Inspired by this question. The age when one is obligated to keep Mitzvos is 13 (for a male and 12 for a female). (See Avot 5:21 and Bartenura) After that age, Beit Din may punish them if they ...
15
votes
4answers
377 views

Did courts ever execute?

The laws of capital crimes elucidated in Sanhedrin and elsewhere make conviction very unlikely. Makkot 1:10 famously tells us that a court that executes once in seven years is bloodthirsty, R. ...
7
votes
4answers
271 views

What is the source for the idea that only two mitzvot have a specific reward associated with them?

I have heard it said that only the mitzvot of kibbud av v'eim (honoring parents) and shiluach haken (sending away the mother bird before taking eggs) are given with an explicit reward (that your days ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views

Can you sell your sins?

Can someone who has done an Aveira pay someone to transfer the punishment to him?
4
votes
2answers
81 views

Action in Balak and Reward in Pinchas

Why is it that in Parashas Pinchas we see the reward of Pinchas (Bamidbar 25:7), even though his to-be-rewarded action was in Parashas Balak (Bamidbar 25:12)? Why wait a Parsha to say what reward he ...
2
votes
3answers
122 views

Punishment for mitzvos asey?

Are you punished from Hashem if you don't do a mitzvah asey (brachos, davening, asher yatzar, etc.)?
4
votes
5answers
224 views

bad things' happening to good people

Why do bad things happen to good people? And, even if they do, bad things, not good things, should happen to bad people!