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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4
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2answers
217 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
107 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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vote
0answers
55 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
159 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
124 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
323 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
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0answers
60 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
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0answers
140 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?
5
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1answer
78 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
663 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
241 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
143 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
429 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
-7
votes
2answers
129 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?
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Shavuos, why celebrate?

The original Matan Torah — meaning, when we celebrate Shavuos — is the time when we mistakenly thereafter served the Golden Calf. Why would we celebrate that day? It is equivalent to celebrating after ...
6
votes
1answer
165 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
2answers
198 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Do Jews think that all the unbelievers would go to hell someday?

I wonder whether Judaism teaches that those unbelievers or those who are Jews but nevertheless lead a sinful life would go to hell someday when judgement time comes.
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0answers
218 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
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vote
1answer
192 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
137 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
143 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 ...
-5
votes
0answers
158 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).
9
votes
5answers
326 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?
15
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4answers
2k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
3
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
407 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
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2answers
57 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.
0
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1answer
162 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
113 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 — ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Paying bill for aveirah already done

Is one allowed to pay a service fee for an aveirah which someone else has already done, in order to get some other good or service now? The case I had in mind is an animal adoption where the agency ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
3
votes
0answers
304 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
117 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
86 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?
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0answers
51 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
341 views

Asei Doche Lo Sasei vs. Mitzvah Habaah Beaveirah

These are two concepts in Judaism: עשה דוחה לא תעשה - that if there is a Mitzvah Asei in the Torah, and a Mitzvas Lo Sasei, we say that the Asei overrides the Lo Sasei, and one should do it. For ...
10
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

What is Zimri's sin?

Note: This is Zimri that was speared by Phinehas for sleeping with a foreigner. Wikipedia says that he committed idolatry. However, the Bible only mentions that he slept with a foreign woman. Nothing ...
12
votes
2answers
289 views

Could someone who has committed a heinous crime convert to Judaism?

Is there any reason that someone who has committed horrible sins in the past (for example, mass murder) could not become a Jew? Assume, of course, that the sinner/criminal is willing to do teshuvah ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

What does Judaism think about homosexuality?

Is being gay a sin? Can one be a Jew and a gay person at the same time? How does the Jewish community think about gays?
4
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4answers
215 views

How did Hashem hide the light from the wicked? What do Chazal mean by this?

Rashi says in Breaishis Chapter 1, Verse 4: אף בזה אנו צריכים לדברי אגדה ראהו שאינו כדאי להשתמש בו רשעים והבדילו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא. "Even this requires words of Aggadah, He saw that it was not fit ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Stealing one or one Hundred

I wanted to Know any SOURCES and their answers as to if I steal 1 dollar or one hundred dollars is it the same Sin or is it different? Is it one sin of stealing or one Hundred? When you are punished ...