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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7
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1answer
184 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
125 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) ...
2
votes
0answers
82 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
51 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
130 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
91 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
87 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
56 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
88 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?
3
votes
1answer
480 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), ...
9
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
-6
votes
2answers
119 views

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?
5
votes
3answers
156 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
207 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
143 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)
6
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
165 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
387 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
126 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Did Yishai sin?

Did Yishai sin? The gemarah (shabbat 55b) states pretty clearly that he did not; however, the midrash (Yalkut HaMakiri, cited here) seems to indicate that he separated from his wife for an extended ...
6
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
313 views

Where does the concept of bitul Torah come from?

It is a positive commandment to learn Torah. But the concept of bitul Torah seems to imply that it is also a negative commandment not to learn Torah. Where does this concept of bitul Torah come from? ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

Why does David say that he only sinned against G-d?

In Psalm 51:6 David says that "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight" (JPS) I wondered why does he think that he sinned only against the Lord? I think he ...
8
votes
3answers
333 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
130 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
52 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.
-5
votes
0answers
154 views

Why does a Zavah bring a Korban? [duplicate]

Does anyone know why the Zavah (a woman who experiences certain menstrual bleeding outside her regular cycle) brings a sin offering on the eighth day after the bleeding ceases? (Leviticus 15:29).
6
votes
1answer
106 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 — ...
3
votes
0answers
261 views

Does Kiddushin 81b imply that one opinion allows for suicide if that is the only way to keep from sinning?

The Gemoro in Kiddushin 81b brings down the following (shortened version of the) story: Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi used to say 'May God save me from the Yetzer Hora'! When his wife overheard him she ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Why was Shimshon viewed positively?

There is no indication in the text that the Jews were aware that Shimshon was secretly waging a one-man war against the Plishtim. From outward appearances it would seem that a former shofet of the ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods

Should one refrain from making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods, or does that rule only apply to biblically prohibited foods?
9
votes
5answers
294 views

Are there unforgiveable sins?

If parents have committed atrocious sins against their children such as incest, physical abuse, drugging, etc. is it considered an unforgiveable sin?
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Leaving the King's road?

We say in Bemidbar 20:17 to Edom: Let us now pass through your land: We won't pass through the fields and vineyards and we won't drink well-water; on the road of the king we will go, we won't ...
1
vote
1answer
408 views

I suspect I must do something, but don't want to. Must I check into the halacha?

I'm sometimes in a situation where, if I do nothing, I'll benefit. But I suspect Jewish law may actually require me to take action that will prevent the benefit. I'm not sure if I should ask my ...
7
votes
1answer
792 views

Does casual sex establish a marriage?

Do premarital sexual relations effect Kiddushin (betrothal/first step of Jewish marriage) if there is no intention of getting married? If so, is the physical act itself determinative of whether or ...
5
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
16
votes
19answers
3k views

How can I curb my sexual desire?

I am looking for the best and most practical suggestion as to what a man can do to curb his yetzer hara (evil inclination) for sexual desire. Please provide sources for why your answer should be ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Can one take any money offered to him?

Is a tzedaka allowed to take money from people who earn their money in inappropriate way (say, the person worked on Shabbos, stole, cheated, etc.) If not, is this a chumra or a halacha? Please ...