Relating to the categorization of a sinful act in Jewish Law, the examination of a sin recorded in Jewish texts, or the nature of sin in Jewish thought.

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What constitutes an “Enemy of God”?

(I'm not referring here to Tenokim Shenishbu.) Devarim 7: "And he repays his enemies in his lifetime to make him perish, he shall noy delay for his enemy, in his lifetime shall he pay him". Who are ...
2
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51 views

Examples of having to choose between two “lavs”?

There are classic examples of having to choose between two positive commandments (e.g. if one only has money for one, do you buy wine for Shabbas or candles), and there are known cases where a ...
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1answer
45 views

Sacrificial Calves; Aaron vs. Israel

In the beginning of Leviticus 9, Aaron is commanded to bring a sin offering for himself; a calf. On behalf of the nation, he is commanded to bring another calf, however in this case it is brought as ...
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1answer
80 views

Being intoxicated a Sin?

Is becoming drunk a sin? If yes, is it a Torah prohibition or a rabbinical one? Please give a lot of details. And also sources.
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2answers
473 views

Treating obsessive compulsive scrupulosity without ignoring genuine conscience

I read a psychological paper that was linked to in a comment here, dealing with how obsessive-compulsive scrupulosity can be treated specifically for Orthodox Jews. The paper gives a helpful and ...
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3answers
77 views

Does a wicked king of legitimate lineage have the full status of a king?

Does a wicked king - let's say he violates the "Big 3" - have any Halachic authority as a king? I am referring specifically to those laws which the king is theoretically entitled to enact, and which ...
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1answer
65 views

Does today's Yom Kippur observance atone for all sins?

I find the liturgical and rabbinic descriptions of the atonement process on Yom Kippur challenging. Without a Sanhedrin to mete out punishments for intentional sins, and no altar to bring offerings ...
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161 views

Did what David do to Batsheba and Uriah technically legal (not sin?)

David is a king. Uriah is fighting for him. As a King David has right to send any of his soldiers to any missions. Presumably that includes suicidal mission. It is possible that Batsheba is not ...
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2answers
130 views

Does satan know our thoughts

Does the satan know what crosses our minds and thus whisper to us what is in accordance with our thoughts to instigate us in harboring negative thoughts and committing sins? Was also asked on ...
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1answer
127 views

Permissible to speak lashon hara about repeat wrongdoers?

Is it permissible to speak lashon hara about a Jewish (non-religious) person that knows they are doing something wrong and still do it countless times? What is the source for this in Chafetz Chaim? ...
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2answers
170 views

How Did David Slay His Evil Inclination?

The Jerusalem Talmud, Brachot 9:5, says that David could not deal with his evil inclination, so he killed it in his heart. How does one understand this passage? How did David kill his evil ...
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1answer
91 views

Why Was the Idol of Micha Tolerated?

This answer brings sources that suggest that the Idol of Micha was present in the tribe of Dan even in the desert. This is also implied by Targum Pseudo Jonathan when Amalek attacks in Exodus, (second ...
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3answers
240 views

Can you sell your sins?

Can someone who has done an Aveira pay someone to transfer the punishment to him?
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1answer
69 views

What Atones for Which Sins?

At some point I read a very interesting post somewhere about this, but cannot remember where it was or what sources it used (or if they were even reputable). It stated that the spilling of blood in ...
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2answers
330 views

What sin did Jesus do?

I know Christians believe that Jesus is God and that's kind of a no-no in Judaism. The thing is, Jesus himself did not say he is God. Well, there are esoteric things. For example, he said that, "I ...
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2answers
476 views

Can you steal someone's aveirah item?

In order to prevent another Jew from sinning are you allowed to steal the item he uses to sin with? For example assuming it is assur to smoke (Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer 17:21) can I steal another Jew's ...
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2answers
117 views

The meaning of the word חטא

The word chet is "sin" and is used as such (and in related ways -- sin offering, guilt from sinning, cause others to sin etc.) over 200 times according to my Even-Shoshan. It seems to be connected to ...
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4answers
219 views

Is gezel shainah a real thing?

I have heard people say things like "don't wake him up that's gezel shainah". I would like to know if that phrase has any basis in halacha and if so what are the parameters? For example if I wake ...
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1answer
151 views

Dreaming of doing a sin

Inspired by Why was Hosea acceptable to the people if he took his adulterous wife back? If one were to dream while sleeping of him or herself doing any sort of sin, is it a sin? (sources)
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69 views

Mentioning our sins on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh

During every Shemoneh Esrei of mussaf, we pray that the Beis Hamikdash be rebuilt. However, only on Yom Tov do we mention that it was destroyed due to our sins - ומפני חטאינו. On Shabbos, and on Rosh ...
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3answers
120 views

Can a child have the din of a “machalel shabbos b'farhasia”?

A Jew that is a m"chalel shabbos b'farhasia" (that they desecrate the Shabbos in public) could have a different status in regards to certain dinim -- for example handling wine that wasn't cooked and ...
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1answer
153 views

Learning Torah from a confirmed sinner?

A learned friend of mine is of the opinion that it is forbidden to learn from a Rabbi (or anyone else) who is known to have sinned. He used the example of a particular Rabbi caught in a scandal so ...
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1answer
146 views

What were Naomi's sins?

According to the commentary at the bottom of the Artscroll TaNa"Ch, in the beginning of the book of Ruth, Na'omi attempted to dissuade her daughters-in-law from following and staying connected to her ...
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3answers
363 views

If a person isn't sure he is Jewish, does he have to keep Mitzvot?

Let's say that a person has a reason to think his mother might be Jewish (there is some evidence, but only a little), and it is likely that the person will never be able to know for sure. In such a ...
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1answer
216 views

How was Noah imperfect in his generation?

According to the opinion that says Noah was not really a perfect tzaddik but only relatively much better than the people of his generation, what defects did he have? What sins did he do? My pet ...
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4answers
121 views

Is shogeg beyond my control?

In havdalla in chonein hada'as of motzai shabbos maariv, we say "חשוכים מכל חטא [ופשע] ומנוקים מכל עון" חשוכים means to be prevented from, as in ואחשוך גם אנכי אותך מחטוא לי (Bereishis 20:6). The ...
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3answers
115 views

Are there any examples of Chazal pointing out a flaw in one of their contemporaries?

The Tanach is replete with examples of some of our greatest leaders and heroes' personal flaws and mistakes (however minuscule they might be when put into proper perspective). These flaws and mistakes ...
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1answer
332 views

How could two prostitutes come to Solomon if prostitution was prohibited by the Torah?

According to 1 Kings 3:16-28, two prostitutes came to Solomon for a judgment over their dispute. Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him... Then the king answered and said, ...
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2answers
189 views

Does the mitzvah to return a lost object apply to aveirah items?

I recently saw a flyer that quoted from R' Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita as saying that if one find a smartphone that is not "kosher" there is no mitzvah obligation to return it. Is this in fact the ...
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2answers
169 views

Does “die” in Bereishit 2:17 imply the *beginning* of a process death, or simply *death*?

It is true that Adam and Eve didn’t die the exact day they ate, as some seem to think Genesis 2:17 implies. The Hebrew is die-die (muwth-muwth), which is often translated as “surely die” or ...
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1answer
125 views

Punishment for sins one cannot now be expected to avoid

I recall a high-school rebbe (teacher) of mine quoting a great rabbi as having said that, if someone religious becomes irreligious, then God will punish him for every time he does not wash his hands ...
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1answer
83 views

Insulting a widow (almana) and apologizing

In short, I'm looking for sources from anywhere that speaks about the severity of insulting an almana and all that surrounds this topic, what the "punishment" might be, what teshuva can be done, etc. ...
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320 views

Is G-ddamn considered cursing God?

If a person says in English the word g-ddamn (or G-d damn) does that transgress the sin of cursing God?
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1answer
67 views

Sin offering for Zavah?

Vayikra 15:30, "And the kohen shall make one into a sin offering and one into a burnt offering, and the kohen shall effect atonement for her, before the Lord, from the uncleanness of her discharge." ...
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1answer
146 views

Can you benefit from items bought on shabbat?

Say someone purchased clothing on shabbat--knowing that it was a violation--can that clothing be worn?
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195 views

I “stole” an ice cube. What can I do for Kaparah?

Yesterday, I was stung by a bee while walking at the zoo. After icing down the sting for a while, I continued on my way. A few minutes later, however, the bee-sting began to hurt again. I happened ...
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4answers
3k views

Why don't Jews sacrifice animals anymore?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jews do not currently sacrifice animals like ancestors long ago. Why do Jews not currently sacrifice animals? Will there be a time when sacrificing returns once again? How ...
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2answers
179 views

Difference between חֵטְא and עֲבֵרָה

Is there a difference between a חֵטְא (cheit) and an עֲבֵרָה (aveira)? I translate both of those words as "sin." Maybe they signify a different level of magnitude? Or maybe one word is simply ...
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95 views

Limit(s) on the obligation to forgive?

There's a common adage, based on the Rambam, that if a person harms someone else, and then seeks forgiveness three times, the aggrieved party is obligated to forgive the person, or else carry the sin. ...
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53 views

Nature of rabbinic and biblical prohibitions and their subcategories

While learning Mishna, I frequently come across distinctions between different levels of prohibitions, as well as allusions to sub-categories within those prohibitions. So, for example, there are ...
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2answers
139 views

Vehu Rachum and Selach Lanu for Maariv after Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the day that Jews repent. It is a day that we are cleansed from our sins. Yet immediately after Yom Kippur is over we pray Maariv which starts with "Vehu Rachum Yechaper Avon". Then by ...
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113 views

How can one make repentance for things he can't remember?

Say an unmarried Baal Teshuvah at the age of 30 decided to make repentance. A lot of time has gone by and he doesn't remember who he cheated, lied to, stole from, spoke loshen hara about, and so on. ...
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2answers
146 views

Why does Gehazi have no share in the world to come?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 90a lists Gehazi as one of the 4 commoners who have no share in the world to come. I have seen different reasons for this none of which I fully understand. He mocked the ...
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2answers
156 views

Which 20th century rabbi said “G-d normally doesn't stop the ill-intentioned”?

I recall hearing the following story: There was a non-observant Israeli Jew who kept having visions of his deceased father telling him he should do more religiously. Finally he was about to turn on ...
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1answer
291 views

Why is Jacob idolized and not villainised?

I've just read the story of Jacob and Esau (Bereishis ch. 25 and 27), and I fail to understand why Jacob is consistently portrayed and idolized as a protagonist and a hero - based on what I've read, I ...
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57 views

Why were these pasukim chosen for the upside down Nuns?

In Bamidbar 10:35-36 there are two upside down Nuns. The traditional explanation is that this serves as a break between different accounts of wicked behavior. Not wanting to list three such counts in ...
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93 views

Why did Chava give Adam the fruit to eat?

For what reason did Chava give Adam fruit from the tree of knowledge to eat?
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75 views

Safek yehareg v'al yaavor

If there is a situation in which you aren't sure whether you are required to give up your life, do you give up your life or not? The most simple example would be if someone doesn't know whether ...
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1answer
586 views

Can a shul give an aliyah to an openly gay Jewish man when it gives aliyah to people who violate Shabbos?

In a Young Israel shul I've attended, the rabbi would not allow the gabbaim to give Jewish men an aliyah if there is reason to believe that the person is openly gay (and acts on his inclination), ...
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1answer
232 views

Working in a Potentially Sinful Industry

I work for a company that provides a service that is considered morally objectionable by some Rabbis (see Gambling at casino). The work I do is generic, in that the output could potentially be used to ...