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

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What does R' Shimon mean when he “Expounds the reason of a verse”?

There is a known argument In Kiddushin and other places where it says that R' Shimon "expounds [for Halachic purposes] the reason of a verse" (דרש טעמא דקרא). What does this mean? Does it mean that ...
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46 views

Why are there diferent sacrifice offerings for each day of Succot but the same for all days of Pesach?

For the Pesach sacrifices listed in Bamidbar 28:16-25, we see that the same sacrifice was offered all 7 days of Passover. When viewing the sacrifices for the 7 days of Succot (I have excluded the 8th ...
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1answer
166 views

Why tovel new dishes?

Yes, we tovel due to Bamidbar 31:23, but what is the logic? I am looking for an explanation that will address the following questions. Do we tovel to kasher or to remove tuma or for another reason? ...
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1answer
27 views

Why may the me'il, in particular, not be torn?

Shemot 28:32 says about the me'il that it not be torn. Zevachim 95a states that this is a prohibition. The Sefer Hachinuch §101 explains that it is disrespectful to damage it in any way. Why does ...
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2answers
565 views

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

There is a principle 'svara lamah li krah i.e. if a certain idea is logical and self evident to the average healthy mind, the Torah does not need to teach that idea. Additionally, what seems to be ...
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92 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 ...
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80 views

Why can't a yavam marry a chalutzah?

As recorded in Yevamos 10b and Yevamos 32a, a yavam (brother of a man who died married, but childless) cannot marry his sister-in-law (yevamah) after performing chalitzah (the ritual in which he ...
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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 ...
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42 views

Why is Rosh Chodesh festive?

There are both mitzvos and customs that seem to elevate the status of Rosh Chodesh and give it a holiday-like status. Why? Shabbos and holidays have explicit reasons for being festive. But what is ...
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84 views

Why did God tell people not to muzzle cows?

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. - Deuteronomy 25:4 Why did God tell people not to muzzle cows? The Christians claim that the Jewish laws were there to protect ...
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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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246 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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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 ...
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30 views

Why do all our fast days revolve around the Beis Hamikdash?

We have a few "official" fast days: Tzom Gedalia – The last Jewish administrator killed and the final Jewish community sent into exile 10th of Teves – Siege in the time of the 1st Beis Hamikdash  ...
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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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116 views

Why is a female heiress allowed to marry out of the tribe?

In Bamidbar 27:7, Rashi says that the commandment in Bamidbar 36:7 (That daughters who inherit from their father must marry in that tribe) was only for the Generation that entered the land. The ...
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201 views

Why learn torah?

God commanded us to do the mitzvot and Talmud Torah is considered on the highest level. Why is this the case? And why should one learn torah? The sages provide various reasons for the different ...
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156 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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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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150 views

Kashrus Explained

A close friend of mine asked me to fire this question at the mi.yodeya community so here goes: "I came across this rather interesting rendition of "kashrus Explained", not sure who authored it, but I ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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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52 views

Yefat To'ar: Only for the Victors

Why does the Torah allow for a יְפַת תֹּאַר only in the case of a victory?
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90 views

why do we eat 3 meals on shabbos?

It says in the Gemara in Shabbos (Daf 117b - 118) and paskened in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 291 that one is required to eat 3 meals on Shabbos? What is the reason for this? Seemingly a long ...
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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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1answer
90 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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1answer
83 views

Why do we wrap tefillin around the forearm and hand?

According to Masechet Menachot daf 37, we're supposed to place the box of the arm on the bicep. Why then do we also have a strap that wraps around the arm and hand (according to earliest sources)?
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113 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?
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57 views

Why is the ger toshav only accepted during the times of the Jubilee?

Why is the ger toshav only accepted during the times of the Jubilee? "A person who accepts these seven mitzvot is a ger toshav. A ger toshav may be accepted only in the era when the [laws of the] ...
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2answers
103 views

Re-explaining parshanut when the explanation is given

Over Shabbos, I heard the same dvar Torah twice - basically, that which the Talmud says Yaakov went back for his small vessels that he had forgotten (Bereishis 32:25) was because he understood that ...
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233 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 ...
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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." ...
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1answer
144 views

Why is one permitted to ignore the prohibition of shatnez when it comes to tzitzis?

Why is shatnez (a garment made of a mixture of wool and linen, which is forbidden) muter (permissible) by tzitzis?
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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 ...
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 ...
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2answers
70 views

Why hatov v'hametiv is only on wine

Why is the blessing hatov v'hametiv recited only on wine? and why is it said only in a case where a second type of wine is brought. looking for the message behind the halacha
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1answer
117 views

What does the Korban Pesach signify?

What does the Korban Pesach signify?
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1answer
40 views

What is the connection between Shabat and being set free from slavery of Mitzrayim? [duplicate]

In Shemot 20:10 it is said the Shabat is important because HaShem creation caused 6 days and HaShem rested on the seventh. That one seems logical, because of this we also work 6 days and then keep the ...
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25 views

Why Don't we Say Tachanun on a Particular Day?

There are many days on which we don't say Tachanun, and much argument about whether we say it on any given day -- but is there any underlying reason why we wouldn't say it, a reason which might ...
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28 views

Why were there no fish korbanot? [duplicate]

I realize that the Rambam indicates that there is no particular significance to which animals were designated by the torah for korbanot. I further realize that many of the mystical commentaries, ...
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0answers
47 views

If Yom Kippur Katan has to exist, why isn't it ON Rosh Chodesh?

The practice of Yom Kippur Katan is held on erev Rosh Chodesh (by some) so that we can maintain the element of kapparah essential to Rosh Chodesh but not compromise the celebration of the day by ...
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50 views

Why 2 shabbos candles? [duplicate]

Why do women light two candles, specifically, for Shabbos? Is it one for the husband and one for the wife? Is it one for shamor and one for zochor?
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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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4answers
178 views

Why is Idolatry a sin

What is the wisdom behind declaring Idolatry as a cardinal sin in Judaism? What is wrong if the true God as well as some other person\Object is worshipped along with him as long as he is not leaving ...
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4answers
119 views

Why should we care what happened 3000 years ago in Egypt?

Why do we go to such lengths to commemorate the exodus from Egypt (and that our ancestors were slaves, etc), an event in the distant past. What is the significance of this event for us today?
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1answer
193 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
125 views

Do the Kabbalistic views on Taamei Hamitzvoth contradict Rambam's and Hirsch's?

So according to Rambam and other Rabbis, such as R' Hirsch, the mitzvoth are supposed to give us some ideas, some philosophies, to refine our ethics, or to achieve some practical objective. What ...
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2answers
430 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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162 views

Difference in law between male and female adultery [duplicate]

If a man has an extramarital affair he may continue to sleep with his wife whereas if a woman has an extramarital affair she may no longer stay married. There are other differences as well which are ...