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Questions tagged [mitzvah]

Mitzvah - commandment. This tag is for questions about the nature of commandments or the status of being a commandment. (However, many particular commandments have their own tags.)

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Why "know-it-all- Adam should be commanded at all?

THe last couple of question dealt with Adam's commandments in Eden. And it pushes me back to understand the very nature of a commandment: Let's imagine a little kid that should be commanded not to ...
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Studying versus doing

In commenting on Leviticus 26:14, Or HaChaim argues that if you study the details of the sacrifices today, when you cannot actually do them, you have fulfilled the commandments on sacrifices better ...
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What was God's original plan regarding Adam?

I would like to research the common ground for our understanding of G-d's original plan of the creation if Adam didn't sin. According to Sanhedrin 38, he was fully developed at noon, having 6 hours ...
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Can Mishloach Manot count as Matanot Laevyonim and vice versa?

If I donate ready to eat food to a soup kitchen, or, even more directly, if I see 2 homeless men on the street on Purim and hand them each a sandwich and a drink, can that fulfill my obligation to ...
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Why does Rambam count learning from Midos in 613 Mitzvos?

This is a follow-up question to "why-one's-daughter-is-not-mentioned-in-arayos-in-the-torah" (please read before continuing). Both the Gemmorah and Rambam agree that the prohibition of one's daughter ...
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55 views

Does the mitzvah of eradicating Amalek supersede Shabbos?

The Sefer Chinuch 604 tells us we have a mitzvah to wipe out Amalek. למחות זרעו מן העולם - שנצטוינו למחות זרעו של עמלק ולאבד זכרו מן העולם, זכר ונקבה, גדול וקטן, ועל זה נאמר (דברים כה יט) ''תמחה את ...
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Is it arrogant to publicly perform a mitzvah according to the Shulchan Oruch when others publicly are not careful to do it properly?

I observe various mitzvos that are not carried out according to the letter of the law in Shulchan Oruch. For example, taking 3 steps backward after Shemonah Esrei as described in OC 123 One bows ...
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Did Esther have the halachic status of a captive?

Esther was taken (Esther 2:8), ostensibly against her will, by king Achashveirosh. I would like to know if she had the halachic status of a captive such that, for example, the mitzvah of redeeming a ...
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96 views

Does Hashem reward you for keeping negative mitzvot?

Does Hashem reward you for keeping negative mitzvot or only punishes for trangressions?
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1answer
85 views

Sources for scientific rationale for the 613 Mizvot?

Are there any published works on the scientific rationale for any of the 613 Mizvot? For example: Handwashing: It only took the medical community did not deem it medically relevant until 2 centuries ...
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Source for it being a mitzvah to make fun of Avodah Zarah?

I've heard from multiple Rabbanim that it is a mitzvah to make fun of Avodah Zarah. I have been performing this mitzvah with pleasure for many years and I would like to know the source for it.
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Is it a “mitzvah” to accept tzedakah?

While there is a mitzvah to give tzedakah -- as per the Rambam's list Not to refrain from maintaining a poor man and giving him what he needs (Deut. 15:7) To give charity according to one's ...
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1answer
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What are the practical parameters of Mitzvah Haba'ah B'Aveirah?

There are a few questions which ask about whether the concern of a mitzvah which is (or whose practice is) contingent upon the existence of a sin applies in specific cases. But are there any clear cut ...
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To serve, the biggest command?

Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall ...
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1answer
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Have the 613 commandments ever been ranked by order of importance?

Has any major commentator ever attempted to rank the 613 commandments by order of importance? There are hints in the Sources about relative importance: The Ten Commandments, the Noahide Laws, the Big ...
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Why was Chizqia losing Olam Haba?

Talmud Berachot 10a tells the discussion between Yeshaya and Chizqia about children: מת אתה בעולם הזה ולא תחיה לעולם הבא! אמר לו מאי כולי האי?! אמר לו משום דלא עסקת בפריה ורביה. אמר לו וכולי Dead ...
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Can a shliach be paid?

We know that shlucho shel adam ka'moso and that the shliach is an extension of person who sent him. However, is the shliach allowed to be paid? (ie if he's coming from medinas hayam to deliver a get, ...
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Why does God modify commandments upon request?

I can find two instances of this in Tanach: 1) when G appoints Moshe to speak before Israel, he says he is "heavy of tongue" and G lets him use Aaron as a spokesman. 2) G commands Ezekiel (4:9) to ...
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Would placing a security camera in a Mezuzah harm the status of the Mezuzah?

I saw this question posted on another forum and I didn't see any valid answers or conclusions. If a person had a Mezuzah case which was fitted with a hidden security camera, would that impact the ...
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Is there any reward for the intent or attempt to do a mitzvah?

As per the title, does one earn any reward/s'char for the attempt (or even just the intent) to perform a mitzvah? This evening, we all piled out of shul to say Kiddush Levana only to find that the ...
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162 views

Additional Oral Law classification systems?

This question is a follow-up to the "no-form-for-the-oral-law" question. These are the systems of organizing the total Oral Law (as opposed to Mitzvos Classification systems) that are known to me: ...
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Comparing different counting of the 613 mitzvot

I would like to make a rudimentary chart comparing the 613 mitzvot as enumerated by the Ramban, the Rahag, Saadia Gaon, et al. and highlighting in different colors what mitzvot are ubiquitous across ...
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Does Mechilah invalidate Kibud Av?

Following the question: "no-bracha-on-kibud-av-vaeim", some tried to say that the Sages did not set a Berocho for this Mitzvah as the father can be Mochel and there's no Mitzvah in such a case. ...
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61 views

Our relation relationship with Hashem

Avos states, "Do not be as servants who are serving the master in order to receive a reward, rather be as servants who are serving the master not in order to receive a reward." Yet, Mesillas Yesharim ...
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To what extent does the Torah make allowances for people in severe physical pain? [closed]

I have a severe progressive neurological disease and it's exceptionally painful. Current medical technology unfortunately is not able to provide much in the way of treatment or relief. Everyday things ...
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1answer
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Is telling unpleasant truth about a person Lashon Hora?

Is telling something unpleasant, something that would portray a person in a very negative light even though it is true, considered Lashon Hora?
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642 views

What constitutes the Shema?

In wanting to add a Jewish practice, I am now saying the Shema daily. (It is nice to know that is a mitzvah explicitly in the Torah.) What is the "actual" Shema. When I was a kid (Reform) we would ...
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1answer
130 views

Is a Baal Keri allowed to do Mitzvot?

If a person is impure because of his nocturnal emission. Is he allowed to do mitzvot? Should he still strive to do them or should he keep low key and try to avoid them because of his impure state?
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566 views

One Jewish Practice

For someone who is Jewish, yet an atheist, what is one practice that is doable that they could keep? With suggestions for one doable Jewish practice, prayer, etc; please include guidelines of how to ...
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Is the mitzvah of accepting guest even when charging [duplicate]

From this question Is it sourced that Avrohom Avinu charged his guests payment if they did not make a Brachah? and from the fact that Rivka after serving Eliyezer got paid for it, It seems that the ...
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Can a mere thought break a commandment? [closed]

Can a mere thought break a commandment? If so, and given that we can't help our thoughts, the Sages would have given us advice on how to fight them. I could not find any such advice. Here is what I ...
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Can saying Sh'ma once satisfy two different Sh'ma obligations?

In an extenuating circumstance, one can say the night time K'riyat Sh'ma until Netz, as per this statement: If one didn’t say it then, make sure to complete it by Chatzot (midnight) and after the ...
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Which Mitzvot have their observance described in Tanach?

Despite the more or less direct reference to the 613 Mitzvos in the Torah, only a few of them are mentioned in the text explicitly to be observed in fact. For example, Torah mentions Abraham ...
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Can a non jew obey some of the 613 commandments? [duplicate]

The Noahide covenant was for the whole mankind and even a non-Jew can enter heaven by following them. However, can a non-Jew obey some of the mitzvot commandments that he wishes to obey (moral values,...
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Does an Ashkenazi lady say a bracha on netilat lulav on the first day of Sukkot if the lulav is borrowed?

An Ashkenazi woman wants to shake the 4 species on the first day of Sukkot. Her husband doesn't have a lulav. She goes to a friend who has a lulav, and without his knowledge (and active transfer of ...
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The sins mentioned in על חטא - why those?

This question about the "אשמנו" list is still left unanswered. My question is about the apparent inconsistency of the "על חטא שחטאנו" list - so many different categories of sins are listed in the ABC ...
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2answers
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Does the Torah command only things most people would not do naturally?

I remember a teaching that all the commandments in the Torah are things most people would not do naturally. That's why they needed to be commanded. Is this correct and what is the source?
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Sukkah: Why not tough it out?

Why specifically by Sukkah is there a concept of מצטער פטור מן הסוכה הוא (Shulchan Aruch OC 640:4) someone who is in pain in by being in the Sukkah is exempt? We don't have such a low threshold for ...
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295 views

Does ‘Love Your Neighbor As Yourself’ apply only to Jews?

This verse is obviously one of the most central & important in the whole Torah. It has helped sustain us as a kind, harmonious, & loving nation for over 3,000 years & has helped introduce ...
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Mitzvot after marriage

This question is a follow up to the questions of the connection between the Mitzvot and the number of body parts. The Facts: The Gmarrah in Makot 23b: "דרש רבי שמלאי: שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצות נאמרו ...
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Women - less Mitzvot more body parts?

According to the Gemmorah sources: Women have much less positive Mitzvot than men, as they are freed from most of the time-related Mitzvot (Mishna Kiddushin 1:7). Women have more body parts than men, ...
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Why didn't King Shlomo get lashes for marrying more than 18 wives?

It states in the 364th prohibition that a king is forbidden from having too many wives. The limit is that he may not have more than 18 wives legally bound by kesubah and kiddushin. The ...
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Is giving money to relatives considered a tzedakah?

Can giving money to my parents and relatives be considered as tzedakah?
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Rashi's reason for juxtaposition of mitzvos insufficient

The Torah (Deuteronomy 22:6-11) describes 5 mitzvos consecutively, seemingly in random order (although the last three are indeed connected): Sending away the mother bird Building a fence on your roof ...
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1answer
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Is remembering Amalek, erasing the name of Amalek, or both, considered mitzvot?

Chabad says that We find a range of opinions concerning how often the mitzvah of remembering Amalek... My rabbi (an Aish graduate) told me that wiping out Amalek's name is the mitzvah. Which is ...
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1answer
114 views

Giving your z'chus to someone else

B"H, I did - or almost did - a good deed. (It will be finalized bez"H in a mazeldiker shoh.) However, when I found out a few months ago that a good result from my actions was on the horizon, I decided ...
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1answer
96 views

Where does R. Achay Gaon say it's a mitzva to eat meat?

Deuteronomy 12:20, with Rabbi Kaplan's translation: When God expands your borders as He promised you, and your natural desire to eat meat asserts itself, so that you say, 'I wish to eat meat,' you ...
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In the Talmud is there a way to distinguish when a verse is brought as מקור or אסמכתא?

The Talmud is full of the standard procedure of the Sages interpreting Tanakh verses to learn various laws and behaviors. Is there a way to tell when a Rabbi cites a Pasuk as a traditionally known ...
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Did Avraham Avinu daven all the tefilos or just Shacharis?

We learn (Brachot 26b): תניא כוותיה דרבי יוסי בר' חנינא אברהם תקן תפלת שחרית שנא' וישכם אברהם בבקר אל המקום אשר עמד שם ... יצחק תקן תפלת מנחה שנאמר ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה לפנות ערב ואין שיחה אלא תפלה ....
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A man tells us he raped a woman

The Torah says the following about a man who rapes a woman (Deuteronomy 22:29). וְ֠נָתַן הָאִ֨ישׁ הַשֹּׁכֵ֥ב עִמָּ֛הּ לַאֲבִ֥י הנער [הַֽנַּעֲרָ֖ה] חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים כָּ֑סֶף וְלֽוֹ־תִהְיֶ֣ה לְאִשָּׁ֗ה ...