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22

In Tanach I find the following cases (there may be others I've missed): Moshe's court executing the blasphemer (Lev. 24:23) ...and the Shabbos violator (Num. 15:36) Yehoshua's court executing Achan for taking from the spoils of Jericho (Josh. 7:25) Navos being executed by the court of Jezreel on charges of blasphemy and cursing the king (I Kings 21:13). ...


12

According to the Ibn Ezra, Nineveh had previously been a righteous city, so they were given a chance to repent, whereas Sodom and Gomorrah didn't merit a prophet to warn them. Ibn Ezra, Jonah 1:2: והנה מצאנו כתוב היתה עיר גדולה לאלהים שהיו יריאים השם מקדם... ופירוש לאלהים כי היו יריאים השם הימים הקדמונים רק עתה בימי יונה החלו לעשות רע. ולולי זה ...


11

If only good things happened to good people and bad things to bad people then there would be a big limitation on free will. Also, people aren't pure or evil. A vast majority of people have some good traits and actions and some that are not as good, so it is impossible to say one person is good and another bad. Lastly, ultimate reward and punishment are not ...


11

It is easy to falsify the assertion that those are the only two mitzvos whose reward is stated. In fact, there is an entire category of mitzvos discussed in the g'mara, for which "matan s'charah b'tzidah" - "its payoff is [written] next to it". One ramification of being included in this group is that one cannot be coerced by the courts to perform those ...


10

If a man and a woman married to a different man have sexual intercourse, they are both liable to the death penalty by strangulation (Leviticus 20:10; Mishna Sanhedrin 11:1). The death penalty has not been administered since the Sanhedrin left their court room on the Temple mount in the years preceding the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (nor ...


10

This question really touches on what the purpose of the Tree of Knowledge was. Why would G-d not want them to eat from a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Isn't that the most important knowledge to have? In Moreh Nevuchim 1:1 Rambam develops an approach to understanding this (in which he alludes to your question). As I understand his answer, it is ...


9

According the Chida, who says it in the name of the Rokeach (Brought in Vedibarta Bam): According to an opinion in the Gemara (Gittin 43a), when one sells a Jew as a slave to a non-Jew, he is fined to redeem him for up to 100 times his value. In the Torah we find a slave to be valued at 30 silver pieces (Shemot 21:32). Since Yosef was sold as a slave to ...


9

I think that the question presupposes that the coming of Moshiach is a reward for our work during the era of exile, and in that case that's a fair point, since we're supposed to do mitzvos "not in order to receive reward" (Avos 1:3). However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l cites in this connection a statement by R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya, ch. 37) that ...


8

I'm not sure I can account for all instances of this, however in general the punishment (or rather, responsibility) applies to the group for their fault in the wrongdoing, not the wrongdoing itself. This could include a collective culture that lead to the one person doing something wrong; lack of education on right and wrong; the community did not ...


8

As for your third point, the Aruch HaShulchan (OC 3:10) and the Mishna Berura (OC 3:31) both rule that it is permissible to delay until one can find an appropriate place to relieve oneself. Additionally, the Mishna Berura explicitly includes all other cases of Kavod Habriyot (human dignity) in this exception.


7

Yes, Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh Chagim Holy Days However, people who desecrated Shabbat don't have any rest in Gehenom. Here's Zohar page that discusses it. (section 450-451) (Zohar Parshat Terumah, 150B)


7

Summary: One who drinks water on the eve of Shabbat or, according to other opinions, following mincha on Shabbat, steals water from the souls in Gehenom and thus harms them. There is little, if any, Scriptural discussion regarding the continued life of a soul following death, therefore we are left exploring the murky depths of Midrash. I refer you to the ...


7

I agree with @ba, but will approach this slightly differently: We certainly understand how people with physical ailments are restricted from physical circumstances. You have to be in good health to go on roller-coasters, to go sky diving, etc. But Judaism is not just a physical religion of doing acts, it is spiritual as well. A person who comes into ...


7

The laws of Shabbat apply only to Jews, so someone who isn't Jewish is doing no wrong whatsoever when they watch TV on Friday night. For Jews, as pointed out in the comments, there is a difference between turning on a television and watching it. Turning on the TV directly activates a flow of electricity, which mainstream halachic opinion (certainly as I ...


7

According to Exodus 32: 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, ...


7

Rambam, Shabas 1:3, says: Someone who does so on purpose, we hit him with a smiting for rebellion (makas mardus). That is, bes din does.


7

I think the main fundamental drive is not about getting a reward. It is about building a relationship with the Creator of the World. The reason for doing the mitzvos is that they are an expression of His Will, and we love Him very much, like one loves his father, and obey his will not because of the reward but because we want to do something nice for Him. ...


6

There is a source for transferring a curse. When Rivka tells Yaakov "alai kilelascha bni" (Toldos 27:13), some mephorshim translate this literally. For example, Seforno proves that you can accept someone elses curse from Shlomo Hamelech who accepted Yoavs claim that he cannot get both Dovid's curse and death, so Shlomo accepted the curse and then ordered ...


6

The explanation I always give is as follows: God never takes away a person's free will. If God wants to influence a person's choice, He does just that - influences it. He does not force it. He will manipulate external factors so that the decision will be influenced in a certain direction. Let me give an example: Bill is buying a new car. He has free will ...


6

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his Commentary explains that God did not “harden Pharaoh’s heart” so much as “allow Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened”. This was achieved allowing Pharaoh to (incorrectly) perceive limits to God’s power in bringing the plagues. For example, Hirsch translates Exodus 9:30–32 as a single quote, something like (adapting the JPS ...


6

Since Mordechai did not tell the King himself, Achashveirosh felt beholden to Esther for saving his life, and in addition Hashem put into the mind of Achashveirosh not to pay Mordechai right away in order to save it for later when it was needed. ...


6

here is something I wrote on the subject -- I hope it gives a basis and provides avenues for future investigation. Kam lei b’deraba minei – During the commission of an aveirah, an individual may invoke more than one penalty. Should he have to be subject to more than one or not? In many situations, the gemara holds kam lei – the transgressor stays subject ...


6

In essence, the idea is this: If a person does one act, and with that one act incurs two different kinds of penalties, we only apply the stricter one. So if a person (for example) borrows a cow and then slaughters it on Shabbos, he incurs two penalties: monetary restitution to the owner of the cow, and the death penalty for violating Shabbos. In this case, ...


6

These are my thoughts on the subject: We are all obviously familiar with the concept of reward and punishment: When you do what G-d wants, He will reward you; when you do what He doesn't want, He will punish you (Lev. 26:3). But why should He ever punish someone: "Do I desire the death of an evil person?" (Eze. 18:23). Sin is not inherently bad — the only ...


6

The Jewish laws regarding "work" on the sabbath are complex and their application, especially into areas of modern technology require much study and the help of a local well educated teacher or mentor. However, one thing to remember -- in Judaism there is no concept of "do X and go to hell." Not only is the Jewish notion of post-death "punishment" ...


6

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, when describing your case about a thief's slavery, writes that the Torah's system of punishment is much better than the prevailing system of imprisonment, which basically destroys the perpetrator. This implies that jail is never found as a punishment in Judaism. That being said, there are times where someone is guilty of a severe ...


6

The concept of prison does not exist in The Torah. The closest thing that the Torah has to 'imprisonment' are the cities of refuge where someone who kills unintentionally has to go to and where he has to remain until the death of the current Kohen Gadol, and excommunication where the person who is excommunicated is socially isolated until the excommunication ...


5

To supplement AviD's answer, also note that many instances of punishment in the Bible actually amount to letting things take their natural course. Indeed, for this reason the expression often used is that G-d "hides His face." Consider your example, of Achan's sin and its consequences at the battle of Ai. Why indeed are Joshua and the elders going to pieces ...


5

They don't. We just don't see the big picture. It's like someone who comes in in the middle of surgery and sees this man wearing a mask with a knife in his hand cutting someone open. If you would see the big picture, you would realize that person is really saving his life.


5

The Maharsham in 3:151 was asked about such a case where someone sold their sins to someone else. He first addresses whether or not a valid act of kinyan could be done - if it was done through קנין סיטומתא (ex. a handshake), then the kinyan may be effective even though there is no "object" to be acquired, just as סיטומתא works on something that has not yet ...



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