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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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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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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134 views

Innocent babies killed in flood

In Parasha Noach, why were presumably innocent babies killed in the Flood? I would appreciate if someone could provide some elucidation.
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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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331 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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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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1answer
147 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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170 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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3answers
189 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
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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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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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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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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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196 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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132 views

Kaparos for a pregnant woman — why the extra chicken?

From Sidur Tehilas Hashem, Sidur Rav Amram, and Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Yom Hakipurim 10:20 you take additional chickens for Kaparos for a pregnant lady in order to cover the fetus. What sin (or sins) ...
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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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119 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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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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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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91 views

Why is Akaidas Yitzchak considered a good thing?

I'm having some difficulty understanding the incident of the Akaida. God tested Avraham by commanding him to take his son as a human sacrifice to see if he would obey even this (Genesis 22). However, ...
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1answer
292 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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587 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 ...
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2answers
132 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 ...
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105 views

Why is the son of אסנ״ת משגע״ח called a sinner?

The Bavli, N'darim 20:2, reads: וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ״ת משגע״ח בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה בני נידוי בני תמורה בני מריבה בני שכרות בני גרושת הלב בני ...
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What are the behaviors which will cause the covenant between Bnei Yisrael and God to be broken? [closed]

What are the abominations that Bnei Yisrael should desist from, which would cause it to break the covenant of God. And has the covenant been broken in the past?
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164 views

Can a judge take an equal bribe from both sides?

It says in Choshen Mishpat Siman 9 that it is forbidden for a Dayan (judge) to take a shochad (bribe). What about if a particular Dayan is dealing with a case between Reuven and Shimon, both of whom ...
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193 views

“But Rahab the harlot … dwelt in the midst of Israel, unto this day”

This is from Yehoshua' 6:25. Assuming she was a harlot and not, as some suggest, an innkeeper, what exactly does this mean? Did she convert? Did her conversion remove the stain of being a harlot from ...
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215 views

Eating treif under hashgacha

What happens if someone eats at a restaurant with a kosher certification (hashgacha) but is served, and unknowingly eat non-kosher? What are the spiritual and halachic ramifications to all parties ...
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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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183 views

Why was Hosea acceptable to the people if he took his adulterous wife back?

Hosea is described by Rabbi Yochanan in Pesachim 87a as the greatest of the four major prophets. At G-d's command (Hosea 1:2), he married a prostitute, Gomer, and fathered children, although there ...
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1answer
182 views

Why is misusing God's name so bad?

One is not allowed to take God's name in vain, and certainly not allowed to curse the name of God (chas v'shalom). I'd like to understand conceptually why these things are considered such grievous ...
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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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138 views

In what way was Niniveh wicked?

What was so especially "wicked" about Niniveh that Jonah would have to go there? Were they wicked in that they worshiped different god(s)? This is pretty much what every other country did. Were they ...
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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
86 views

What is an outsider's obligation if abuse is suspected?

What obligation does an outsider (non-family member) have if she or he suspects that there is abuse in another family? Does it matter if the abused party denies the allegation? What if the abused ...
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1answer
205 views

Why is the period of Shovavim connected to tikkun habris?

Please see this question and answers for background information. What is the reason that the period of Shovavim is used to address tikkun habris (sexual sins)? Why is this time period auspicious for ...
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1answer
160 views

Do you have to listen to angels?

Does one now (or ever in the past) have to listen to the instructions of an angel? If so, would that include listening if the angel told you to violate a Torah commandment (either temporarily or ...
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133 views

Why did David's kingdom split if he didn't sin?

According to one opinion in the Gemara (Bab. Shab. 56b), the reason David's kingdom split was because he sinned by believing Lashon HaRa'. According to another opinion, though, he never sinned at all. ...