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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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13
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1answer
1k views

Why don't we say a blessing before giving charity?

Before doing many mitzvos (commandments), we are required derabanan to say a blessing. Why is this not the same for giving tzedakah (charity)?
5
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1answer
1k views

Making a pikuach nefesh phone call on Yom Kippur - mitsva or something to be avoided?

Outside of our synagogue on Yom Kippur, someone fainted and a doctor present decided to call an ambulance. At that time, there were multiple people present and one phone. Should people have jumped to ...
3
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0answers
40 views

If someone does a sin that both his parents and the Torah prohibited, did he do two sins?

For example: Someone tells his son not to steal, and it says in the Torah not to steal. This kid goes out and steals anyway, and his parents find out. Is he chayav for both stealing and not ...
3
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1answer
449 views

Why does Chinuch confuse Parashat Nitzavim and Vayelech?

Why does [this edition of] Minchas Chinuch list the two Mitzvos of Parashat Vayelech under Parashat Nitzavim?
3
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0answers
26 views

Dependency on the 5 parts of Mitzvat Hakhel

According to Rambam (CHagigah 3), the Mitzva of Hakhel has five parts: the people: men, women and children, that come to hear the reading by a king that reads the portion of the Torah Scroll in ...
4
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1answer
312 views

Lists of chukkim and mishpatim?

There are two types of commandments: chukkim and mishpatim. Mishpatim are those for which a good reason quickly comes to mind, such as "Do not steal". Chukkim are those for which a good reason does ...
0
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1answer
50 views

If we aren't obligated in 613, why ask for reward for 613?

This is based on some preconceived notions I have so if my premises are wrong, please let me know. I am not bound to all 613 mitzvot. I get this from here, and through a look at the Rambam's list. ...
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0answers
31 views

Why during the two days of Rosh Hashana we don't maximize our merits?

Similar to why-dont-we-maximize-our-merits-on-yom-kippur-, My logic says that to symbolize the beginning of the 10 days merit-race we'd engage in as many Mitzvos and especially Torah learning on the ...
6
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1answer
151 views

Halacha of not being obligated to spend more than a fifth of one's money on a mitzvah

It is brought down in halacha (Orach Chaim 656) that a person is not obligated to spend more than 20% of his money on performing a positive mitzvah. Is the 20% calculated according to his total bank ...
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0answers
39 views

In reward-and-punishment system, what is the meaning of curses?

In Sefer Dvorim the Torah does not spare curses for general misbehaving or misbelieving, etc. In my understanding, the Torah presents a clear system of reward and punishment (Rambam's principles) - do ...
0
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1answer
105 views

Thinking about a mitzvah

Coming from a Reform Jewish perspective, since one is obligated to make as many mitzvot as possible, can one do machshava k’ma’ase’ for doing an actual mitzvah instead? If you think about a mitzvah, ...
3
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0answers
46 views

Wearing or not wearing a tallit gadol

Related to Why do we don the tallit gadol? and Is there any basis for Chabad minhagim regarding tallit gadol? I'm not really clear on the rules of when someone who is called for a function during ...
0
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0answers
51 views

Fulfilling commandment to be fruitful & multiply w/ a Gentile? [duplicate]

If a Jewish man without children lives in a place where there are no other Jews and does not have the resources to leave that place and move, then is he permitted to fulfill the Torah commandment to ...
-2
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2answers
103 views

What is the logic in sending away the mother bird? [duplicate]

In Deuteronomy 22:6, we read the following command: “If you chance upon a bird’s nest along the road, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs, and the mother is sitting over the ...
3
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2answers
131 views

What are the “major” and “minor” commandments?

The Mishna says: Be quick in performing a minor commandment as a major one. [Avot 4:2] But we do not rank the commandments. The Mishna also says: Be as scrupulous in observing a minor ...
1
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1answer
68 views

How come that the 200 Mitzvos of Chumash Dvorim weren't presented to Dor Hamidbar?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, the last book of the Torah - Dvorim - is all about what Moses said on his last day(s) to Dor Ha'Aretz, as the Torah testifies: אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ...
5
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1answer
61 views

What is the mitzvah of tzedakah dependent on?

We learn in the Rambam commentary on Avos (3:19) that it is preferable to give a little bit of tzedakah to many people than a few large amounts to a few people. When does one fulfil the mitzvah of ...
7
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1answer
125 views

Contradiction if forbidden relations are logical or beyond human reasoning

The Rambam (Shemoneh Perakim, end of Chapter 6) deals with different types of mitzvos. He says one type are logical, and thus a perfected person shouldn't want to transgress them. He says some call ...
9
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4answers
309 views

Does a jail-cell need a mezuzah?

Does one in jail need to put a mezuzah on his cell? Assuming this is a standard American jail. If it is a jail owned by a Jew, is there an obligation on the inmate or the owner?
2
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4answers
174 views

According to Ibn Ezra should we not follow all the commandments?

In a question I asked (“Health benefits for eating kosher”), I wrote that ibn Ezra said that all the mitzvot have to have a rational explanation for them and if a single commandment went against ...
8
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0answers
32 views

Source for Geonic division of mitzvos

The Rambam and those who follow suit divide the 613 mitzvos into two groups, 248 positive mitzvos and 365 negative mitzvos. This is sourced from Makkos 23b. However, most of the Geonim (for example: ...
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1answer
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Why there's no Deoraytah prohibition of altering Torah scroll?

Following my other question "no-anti-altering-failsafe-measures". Please correct me if I'm wrong, one who alters one letter of a Torah scroll invalidates it in whole (שו"ע יו"ד רעד). But I don't ...
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0answers
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Weren't Dor Hamidbar exempt from all Mitzvos as “already sentenced to death”? [duplicate]

IIRC, one who was sentenced to death is considered already dead (גברא קטילא)(San 85a, but exact source needed) (or is it only about losing his property?). When G-d sentenced all 20-60 y.o. Jews to ...
4
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3answers
177 views

Is P'ru Ur'vu a Mitzvah Bein Adom l'Chaveiro?

פרו ורבו (Being fruitful and multiplying) is generally understood to be the Mitzvah of having children, or attempting to have children. Are there any sources to indicate if פרו ורבו is considered a ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Why is the first time a couple has marital relations called “beilas mitzvah?”

The gemara (Ketubot 4a) and poskim (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 193:1) refer to the first time a couple having marital relations as "beilas mitzvah" (mitzvah of marital relations). Being as the couple ...
4
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1answer
42 views

While it says in Kiddushin 40b that torah is the more important than Mitzvot in Pirkei Avot it says otherwise?

It says in Kiddushin 40b נענה ר"ע ואמר תלמוד גדול נענו כולם ואמרו תלמוד גדול שהתלמוד מביא לידי מעשה (Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. Everyone answered and said: Study is greater, as ...
2
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0answers
38 views

Is it a mitzvah to create a situation for others to be mekayem a mitzvah?

I recall reading (though I can't find it) that the person who was punished for collecting sticks on Shabbat was actually doing so in an effort to help others see the laws of Shabbat in practice (or ...
4
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1answer
250 views

Source for: Abstaining from sin being considered a mitzvah in Talmud Bavli

I remember seeing a passage in Talmud Bavli saying something along the lines of: "every moment that a person sits and does not engage in sin, he is considered to be doing a mitzvah." I'm not able to ...
3
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0answers
62 views

How does Rambam decide what defines a Mitzvah?

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos lists 14 rules that guided him in writing his Sefer Hamitzvos. Practically all of them focus on what does not consitute a Mitzvah Deoraytah: השרש הראשון שאין ראוי למנות ...
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2answers
240 views

How many Mitzvos does the Mishnah cover?

How many (out of the 613 Deoraytah) Mitzvos are explicitly discussed in the 6 Sdarim of the Mishah (not including those that are only mentioned tangentially, like Kibud Av at the beginning of Peah)?
1
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1answer
38 views

Newer edition of Zohar HaRakiah

The Rashbatz (Rabbi Shimon Ben Tzemach, 15th century) authored a commentary on Rashbag's (Rabbi Shlomo ibn Gabirol, 11th century) Azharos (poem on the 613 mitzvos) called Zohar HaRakiah. There's an ...
3
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0answers
35 views

Getting Back Mitzvot One Regretted

Can one get the reward for mitzvot he regretted back, if he does teshuva for regretting them, or regrets that he regretted doing them?
2
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2answers
88 views

Comprehensive list of punishments for all 365 negative commandments

Is there a comprehensive list of all the punishments for the 365 negative commandments? The Rambam in Hilchos Sanhedrin reveals 243 (see below)-- what are the punishments for transgressing the ...
2
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0answers
17 views

Counting parts of a Mitzvah as a Mitzvah (Rambam's 12th principle)

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos lays [his own] principles of what counts as a Mitzvah and what's not. The 12th principle says that: שאין ראוי למנות חלקי המלאכה מהמלאכות שבא הצווי בעשייתם כל חלק וחלק בפני ...
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1answer
27 views

Did G-d command or not on sending the spies?

The Torah's Pshat in P. Shlach is very straightforward - G-d commands Moses to send the spies. There are plenty of other places where Moses (and Bney Israel) are commanded using לך language (e.g. ועשו ...
6
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2answers
117 views

Are we supposed to know which transgressions are light or severe?

I remember learning that we cannot know which commandments are more important than which others -- God gave them all to us and we don't say that we prioritize some over others (aside from the special ...
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2answers
126 views

When is it a mitzvah to study science?

I remember hearing from Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi that HaShem created two Torahs, one the Oral and Written and the other the natural world. My question is, when is it a positive mitzvah to study science ...
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3answers
658 views

Is the first of the 10 Commandments considered a mitzvah?

I realize that the English translation of עשרת הדברים / דברות is better translated as "Ten pronouncements" rather than "10 Commandments". However, in viewing the text, 2 - 10 seem to be commanding ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Why doesn't the Talmud provide a list of the 613 commandments?

The Talmud says that there are 613 commandments in the Torah: Rabbi Simlai, when preaching, said: 613 precepts were communicated to Moses: 365 negative precepts, corresponding to the number of ...
4
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1answer
85 views

Motivation for Miztvot

According to Bava Kamma 79b, the penalty difference between a ganav and a gazlan is that the robber does not disrespect Hashem -- he commits his crime in full view of anyone, man or God but the thief ...
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0answers
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Are all mitzvos forbidden near a grave? If not, why not? If yes, why not say so?

The Talmud (Bavli, B'rachos 18 amud 1) mentions a prohibition on wearing tzitzis or t'filin, or reading from a Torah scroll, in a cemetery, based on "one who taunts the pauper, that makes him a ...
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0answers
26 views

What is the source for Beis Din's obligation to enforce mitzvos

The Gemarra in Kesubos 86a and Chullin 132b teaches the following: במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו With regard to positive mitzvot, for ...
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0answers
23 views

Why did the Rambam leave out Beis Din's obligation to enforce mitzvos

The Gemarra in Kesubos 86a and Chullin 132b teaches the following: במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו With regard to positive mitzvot, for ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Is there ever a Torah obligation to divorce one's wife?

There are many cases throughout the Mishnayos and Gemarra of women who one is obligated to divorce. I believe all of them are Rabbinic. I'm wondering if there's ever a case where the Torah would ...
2
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1answer
33 views

What “types” of reward are promised for keeping particular Mitzvos?

Trying to generalize Alicht's question. Although the Mishnah in Avos states that we don't know the [true] reward of keeping Mitzvos: "וֶהֱוֵי זָהִיר בְּמִצְוָה קַלָּה כְבַחֲמוּרָה, שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה ...
2
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2answers
85 views

Don't do as non-Jews do?

Are there things Jews are not allowed to do, per halacha, simply on the grounds that some non-Jews do it, and not because these things are bad in themselves? (These non-Jews may have a bad overall ...
1
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1answer
45 views

Source of a quote about the value of mitzvot involving pain

This quote is attributed to the Yerushalmi: One mitzvah involving pain is worth a hundred mitzvot that do not. Do you have the exact reference? Is this the only place this thought is expressed?
7
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1answer
107 views

Rambam and Bahag disagree about the mitzvah of Shema?

The Rambam wrote his Sefer HaMitzvos as a polemic against the Bahag's selection of the 613 mitzvos (as is clear from reading his Shorashim). They have many disagreements, which the Rambam lays out in ...
3
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1answer
77 views

Why doesn't Rambam mention how many mitzvot are violated by not wearing tzitzit and not having a mezuzah?

In Hilchot Tefillin 4:26 Rambam writes: וכל שאינו מניח תפילין עובר בשמונה עשה שהרי בארבע פרשיות צוה על תפילין של ראש ועל תפילין של יד Whoever does not wear tefillin transgresses eight positive ...
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1answer
29 views

Is there an obligatory gathering on Shabat or the Moadim?

In Devarim it is commanded to gather — Hakhel — at the end of the sabbatical year. But is there a command to gather together on (every) Shabat or the Moadim? Vayikra 23 calls such days Mikra ...