reasons (as best as we can understand them) for the Mitzvot/Commandments

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1answer
145 views

Why do we sit in the sukkah in the autumn?

I remember hearing at some point that there's a disagreement between the Ashkenazi and Sefardi rishonim regarding why we sit in the sukkah in the autumn: Ashkenaz - Because we love God, so we go out ...
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1answer
47 views

Why do pigul, nosar, and tame incur kares?

As described in e.g. Rambam hilchos Pisule Hamukdashin chapter 18, there are bunch of things that render a korban invalid, and someone who eats from it gets whipped. However, there are three types of ...
3
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1answer
70 views

How do we learn “Taamei HaMitzvos”?

The Rambam famously believed that sacrifices were given to ween people off idolatry. Therefore, it can be assumed that when Mashiach comes, there won't be a need for sacrifices. Yet, the Rambam ...
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2answers
2k views

Why are we forbidden to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur

Why are we forbidden to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur? Is it because leather shoes are a sign of wealth, or comfort; or does it have some thing to do with cruelty to animals?
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2answers
180 views

Why does the mitzvah of Sukkah have a stated meaning that its practitioner must have in mind?

The pasuk states (Vayikra 23:43): לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם in order that your [ensuing] ...
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0answers
43 views

Why did the Torah require 7 days for sitting in the Succah but just 1 day for 4 minim?

Is there any meaning, symbolism or explanation why the Torah requires just 1 day for using the 4 species but 7 days to sit in the Succah? Offhand, it seems that sitting in the succah is "more ...
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2answers
98 views

Why must a sukkah have three walls?

Qitzur Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef (Orahh Hayim 630:1) states: הסוכה צריכה להיעשות משלש דפנות וסכך [A] sukkah must be made of [a minimum of] three walls and sekhakh. Why must a sukkah have ...
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1answer
89 views

Why wine for kiddush

Why do we use wine (or grape juice - fruit of the vine) when sanctifying Shabbat? How was it first determined that wine was holy and that it is used to satisfy and make holy the coming holiday or ...
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3answers
153 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 ...
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3answers
141 views

Why 1 box for the tefillin shel yad and 4 boxes for the shel rosh?

Why does the tefillin shel yad (hand) have 1 box and the shel rosh (head) have 4 boxes? I know it's because of the physical "structure", i.e. - the yad has 1 parchment and the rosh has 4 separate ...
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0answers
78 views

Why do we call people up to the Torah by name?

In shul, if a guest is honored with an aliyah, I watch as the gabbai walks over (or sends someone) to get the guest's name, then call that same person up by that name. Once the guest has been told ...
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4answers
388 views

Why is giluey arayos one of the big 3?

I get why murder and idol worship are things you have to give your life up for. But why is giluy arayos - sexual sin so fundamental as to require a person to give up one's life? I'm looking for a ...
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2answers
544 views

Why do accidental killers sent to arei miklat go free after the Kohen Gadol dies?

When someone kills accidentaly he is sent to live in an ir miklat ("city of refuge") until the Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") dies. This seems like an arbitrary time. What does the Kohen Gadol's death ...
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2answers
425 views

Keeping Kosher and Leather

I would like to ask a question regarding something I am quite confused by. Why is it okay to wear leather from an animal slaughtered not in a kosher fashion yet you cannot eat that animal's meat? To ...
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2answers
80 views

What is the significance of sprinkling blood on/around the Mizbeahh?

Parashat WaYiqra details certain methods of sprinkling the blood of qorbanot on or around the Mizbeahh (and the Parokhet for that matter). For example, WaYiqra 1:5, 1:11, 1:15, 3:2, 3:8, 3:13, 4:6-7, ...
3
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1answer
63 views

Why do some korbanos and not others require n'sachim?

Some korbanos require n'sachim (accompanying flour, oil, and wine) and some do not: specifically, all korbanos require n'sachim except the b'chor, the maasar b'hema, the pesach, and most chataos and ...
6
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2answers
162 views

how to describe to a jew what tefillin is?

BH i very often have the merit of putting tefillin on jews that have never put it on. how do i describe to them what it does spiritually?
5
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4answers
348 views

Why do korbanot require/allow exceptions from Shabbat restrictions?

Someone recently asked me why we keep Shabbat restrictions now if violation of those restrictions was clearly necessary to burn korbanot in the Beit Hamikdash. My knee-jerk response is: God said so. ...
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3answers
2k views

Why shouldn't Gentiles keep Shabbat?

I know little about Judaism and it's a first time question, so please forgive any mistakes. According to this question non-Jews are forbidden from keeping Shabbat. What is the reasoning behind this? ...
3
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1answer
122 views

Why are there four types of execution?

Why are there four types of execution? Wouldn't it be enough if there were only one type of execution? Lashes for example are only of one type and the standard 40 lashes.
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1answer
72 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." ...
4
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3answers
94 views

reason for tefilin and connection to black square boxes

What is the reason for wearing tefilin? is it to induce a person to study torah? Or perhaps in order to remember the exodus from Egypt? If so, what is the connection between this to wearing black ...
4
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1answer
234 views

What is the significance of the Mishcan in Judaism?

A good part of Sefer Shemos discusses the tedious details of the construction of the mishcan (tabernacle). To the layman, these commandments seem very illogical. Aside from the fact that God ...
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1answer
134 views

Why has the poro aduma no reason

Why has hashem given us a mitsva without a reason and one which is impossible to understand. All the others even the 'chukim' at least Solomon understood. This one even he didnt that shows it is ...
0
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1answer
116 views

Why do we have shmitta only in Israel

The reason for shmitta is similar to shabbos and is even called "shabbos" so why do we have it only in Israel? We keep shabbos everywhere. Unlike other mitsvot depending on the 'land' they are for ...
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4answers
1k views

Why were cows so Important and preferred as sacrifice over other animals in Bani Israel?

I read a lot about cows used in sacrifice , what is the reason that cows were sacrificed and what was the importance of cows for Bani Israel
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3answers
359 views

Can a single-parent father be exempt from time-bound mitzvot?

Rabbis such as Abudraham have explained a woman's exemption from positive time-bound commandments (mitzvot shehazman grama) in terms of a woman's ongoing and preliminary role in supporting her ...
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1answer
149 views

Why is a “Nazir” not allowed to drink wine?

Why is a “Nazir” not allowed to drink wine? If the reason is for him being sober, then why the prohibition on haircuts or the injunction against being impure? Moreover, in the pasuk it says ...
5
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1answer
153 views

Why is Shavuos all alone?

Why is it that, out of the 16 days of non-High Holiday biblical festivals (7 days of Pesach + 1 day of Shavuos + 7 days of Sukkos + 1 day of Shemini Atzeres), only the single day of Shavuos is without ...
2
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1answer
145 views

Why do we still even try to do Sheluach HaKan?

If we don't need the birds' eggs, as they used to, why do we send a mother bird away from her own eggs just to fulfill the mitzvah of Sheluach HaKan? Would the mitzvah even apply if we are doing it ...
5
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1answer
95 views

Does a siyyum in the 9 days obviate other issurim?

Each year, I try to coordinate my learning so that I can make a seudat mitzvah during the nine days and some close friends can have some meat and wine to celebrate. Does the siyum also allow them to ...
0
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1answer
107 views

What is special about Molech?

What is unique about the worship of Molech that distinguishes it from other avodah zara enough that it deserves discussion and specific prohibition in the Torah? We see it specifically discuessed ...
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1answer
78 views

What is the spiritual value of counting the omer?

I understand that it is a mitzvah to count the 49 days of the omer from the second night of Pesach through erev Shavuos. But what is the spiritual value of counting s'fira? I.e. what does G-d want ...
4
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3answers
2k views

What are the reasons that chewing cud is a kosher sign?

In parashat Shemini (Lev. 11:3), we learn that one of the signs for distinguishing kosher mammals is that a species must chew its own cud. Are there any taamim (explanations) that elucidate the ...
9
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2answers
219 views

Why did God give the Rabbis so much power?

The Torah demands that we adhere to the laws implemented by the Rabbis (I think the source is "don't veer from what they tell you to the right or to the left"). This has given the Rabbis far-reaching ...
10
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1answer
153 views

What does a tahara accomplish for a dead person?

What does a tahara, the process of washing and dressing a dead person, accomplish spiritually for the meis?
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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 ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the philosophy or logic for considering masturbation to be sinful?

There are a couple of questions, here and here, on this site mentioning masturbation. Both of them assume that masturbation is a sin and some of the answers cite specific texts backing that up. ...
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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).
6
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3answers
231 views

What are we “celebrating” on Shmini Etzeres?

According to the Gemorah in Sukkah Daf 48a Shmini Etzeres is a Chag in and of itself. However what exactly is the "chag" of Shmini Etzeres. Sukkos we are commemorating the Anei HaKavod, Pesach is ...
5
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4answers
452 views

Why is the foreskin removed?

Why is the foreskin removed? God gave it men, did God also tell them to have it removed?
4
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1answer
119 views

Why is Kosher important?

Why is Kosher important to Jewish people? It is not necessarily healthy food from what I can see.
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3answers
203 views

Why do we beat the arava?

The gemarah (succah 44a-b) indicates that we beat (or according to Rashi, wave) the arava on Hoshana Rabba, what is the symbolic or theological reason behind doing this?
5
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2answers
98 views

If a person stops doing the bad action or begins to do the right action, why does he still need to do Teshuvah for a חטא (sin)?

If a person stops doing the bad action or begins to do the right action, why does he still need to do Teshuvah for a חטא (sin)? In other words, why do you need to do Teshuvah if you have stopped the ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Why whole-day or daytime fast?

Why is it that the 9th of Av is a full-day fast but the other post-Mosaic fasts are daytime-only fasts? What determined the length?
3
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2answers
102 views

Why do Teshuvah for an accidental חטא (sin)?

Why am I obligated to do Teshuvah if I do a חטא (sin) accidentally, according to Rambam (Hilchot Teshuva 1:1)? What am I doing Teshuvah for?
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0answers
232 views

Maimonides on Circumcision

These are not questions about circumcision. They are about what Maimonides said about the practice. I would to know if the following things do, or do not, in fact represent things Maimonides said ...
2
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1answer
79 views

The purpose of Rosh Hashana

What should a person try to accomplish on Rosh hashana? I know yom kipur is about teshuva. but what is the goal of Rosh hashana? They say that it is the "Head" of the year, which means the root of ...
14
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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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1answer
539 views

Why can't an illegitimate child enter the temple?

Deuteronomy 23:3: A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the LORD. Why can't an illegitimate child ...