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20
votes
5answers
655 views

How to respond to “but he does”

I mentioned to my coworker that I can't eat Domino's pizza, not even without meat, as it's not kosher. He pointed out in response that a fellow coworker of ours, whom I'll call Josh, and who is ...
17
votes
6answers
3k 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?
13
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
618 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
281 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
339 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"?
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
215 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
2answers
209 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
98 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
233 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
155 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
291 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
992 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)
7
votes
1answer
127 views

Wedding Day Forgiveness

I heard that all a person's sins are forgiven on one's wedding day. Is this true? What is the source? Does it also apply to sins committed between man and his fellow (as opposed to man and G-d)? ...
7
votes
4answers
111 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
603 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
158 views

Good inclination or evil inclination in the womb?

The Posuk says: ויתרוצצו הבנים בקרבה (בראשית כה, כב)‏ To which Rashi comments: כשהיתה עוברת על פתחי תורה של שם ועבר יעקב רץ ומפרכס לצאת, וכשהיתה עוברת על פתחי עבודה זרה עשיו מפרכס לצאת ...
6
votes
3answers
828 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.
6
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

Can you sell your sins?

Can someone who has done an Aveira pay someone to transfer the punishment to him?
6
votes
1answer
91 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 — ...
6
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
108 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
99 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
142 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
4answers
221 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
84 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

selling non-tznius clothing

Could selling non-tznius clothing in a clothing store be considered mesaye le-dvar aveira?
4
votes
1answer
127 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?
4
votes
4answers
158 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
100 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
233 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
1answer
66 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
81 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
109 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
94 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Kaparos for a pregnant woman

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 has the ...
3
votes
2answers
133 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 ...