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

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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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194 views

Car falls into my ditch- I'm not responsible?

Halacha dictates that if someone were to dig a huge hole in the middle of the street and a car fell into it, he would not be responsible to pay for the damage to the car. The language of the Talmud ...
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98 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 ...
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110 views

Benefits and Reasoning of Orlah?

Looking for something authoritative. Wikipedia has the following Hebrew Bible Commentators generally assume that the law was good agricultural practice, and that early harvesting would ...
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102 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 ...
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83 views

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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54 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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32 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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90 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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3k 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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48 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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88 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 renters ...
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102 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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291 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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97 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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84 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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118 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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4answers
226 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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193 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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160 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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149 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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65 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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129 views

What does the Korban Pesach signify?

What does the Korban Pesach signify?
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90 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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123 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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2answers
138 views

Sources that discuss reasons for the prohibition on suicide

What are a few (as many as possible) sources in the Gemara and cases in Tanach that deal with why one is not allowed to take his/her own life?
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51 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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73 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 doesn'...
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103 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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120 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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47 views

Can the “societal standards” argument outweigh a textual source?

Certain halachot are based in ascertaining contemporary societal practices -- I learned (though I don't have a source) that the issue of "do her nails" regarding a female captive (Dev. 21:12) is ...
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64 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
105 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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255 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
77 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
23 views

source for the mitzva to walk in Israel [duplicate]

what is the source that every four amot (~2 meters) walked in Israel is a mitzva? (read this somewhere) Also, what is the reason for this mitzva if it has any.
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148 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
164 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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3answers
81 views

Why does Torah study rein in the Evil Inclination?

The Talmud in Kidushin 30b states that torah study is essential activity for gaining control of the evil inclination. "... so too the Holy One blessed be He said: 'I have created the evil ...
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2answers
77 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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40 views

Why are Moabites not allowed to join the Jewish congregation?

Male Moabites are not allowed to join the Jewish congregation (Deut. 23) (i.e. marry a Cohen, Levi, or Yisrael). The reason given is their ancestors lacked gratitude. Is this due to bad qualities ...
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1answer
56 views

Does the command to heed the sanhedrin apply today?

In the times of the Sanhedrin (High Court in Temple times) there was a commandment to heed their words (Deut. 17:11). According to the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment ...
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52 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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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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54 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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52 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?