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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18
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19answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
413 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
544 views

Does a convert have a clean slate?

When a non-jew converts to Jusaism, must he still do teshuva from past sins, or does the "reborn" concept stretch far enough to consider him "sinless"?
13
votes
2answers
2k 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)
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Homosexuality is “worse than murder”?

A sign at a recent rally protesting New York's 2011 Marriage Equality Act reads Judaism considers male homosexuality a worse sin than murder I imagine that this is a minority opinion, but does ...
15
votes
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
973 views

Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?

The Gemara (Talmud Bavli Shabbos 55b-56b) relates that several Biblical figures who, from the text itself, seemed to have sinned, in reality did not. These statements take the form of "כל האומר פלוני ...
21
votes
4answers
7k 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?
7
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

Why must a Yoledet, a woman who just gave birth, bring a sin offering?

Why must a יולדת bring a sin offering? What does she need כפרה for? As it says in Vayikra 12:6-7: וּבִמְלֹאת יְמֵי טָהֳרָהּ לְבֵן אוֹ לְבַת תָּבִיא כֶּבֶשׂ בֶּן שְׁנָתוֹ לְעֹלָה וּבֶן יוֹנָה אוֹ ...
9
votes
2answers
138 views

Are thoughts of sin punished halachically?

Inspired by this question, I got interested in the question of halakhic punishment for thoughts of sin? In general, the Torah is not so concerned and doesn't judge how people feel or what their ...
9
votes
5answers
338 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?
8
votes
1answer
1k 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
5answers
382 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the ...
5
votes
1answer
148 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? ...
-2
votes
3answers
397 views

What sin did Jesus do? [duplicate]

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
494 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

What drove humans to their first sin?

What caused Adam and Chava to sin; to do the wrong thing; to make the wrong choice: What was it in their human being, thats being called Tov me'od (Bereshit 1:31), that drove them into eating from the ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

A Less-Observant Jew Leading Prayers

Can a Jew who does not observe Shabbat act as a shaliach tzibur (to lead prayers on behalf the congregation)? I know that many are lenient and find reasons to count a mechalel shabbat for a minyan, ...
3
votes
1answer
118 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.
3
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
216 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
2
votes
1answer
76 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." ...
2
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 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)
12
votes
2answers
298 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
138 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
1answer
73 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

List of things that make one 'as if one rejects the core'

I was recently looking up something about lashon harah, and on Erchin 15A, Rav Yosi ben Zimra says that anyone that says lashon harah it is as if they reject everything, and I know I have seen similar ...
4
votes
3answers
405 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? ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

What degree of punishment is assigned to one who wants to commit a sin, but is only stopped by the lack of an opportunity?

For instance, if one thought of murdering a certain someone, but the only thing stopping him was the lack of an opportunity, would he be liable to a punishment equal to that of a murderer, or ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

Teshuva for wasting seed

Is feeling remorse, praying for forgiveness and studying Torah enough to rectify the heavy sin of wasting seed ? I know that every sin has its own unique way of "correcting" or rectifying it. And ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

Is cheating in a test an Averah?

I'm a student and I recently asked myself if cheating in a test is an Averah. I've always believed it obviously is, but after thinking it through I can't think of a specific Averah that would include ...
1
vote
1answer
433 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
99 views

Torah atones for all sins

I once read a quote that said, "Learning Torah atones for all sins." Does anyone know where this Menachos, Kesubos or Eruvin?
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Is it a sin to joke about sinning?

For instance, to joke about committing suicide or something less extreme like eating non-kosher. My inclination is towards saying that it is forbidden since it might desensitize one to the idea ...
7
votes
1answer
158 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) ...
7
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
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.
5
votes
4answers
359 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

A sin done while drunk

Is a sin done while inebriated considered an unintentional (bShogeg) sin? Sources are welcome.
3
votes
3answers
183 views

Nazir and Korban Chatas

I understand that the Torah orders that at the time that a Nazir finishes his year he is required to bring a Korban Chatas. I'm finding it difficult to understand this. First of all what issur did ...
3
votes
0answers
127 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
151 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.