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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.)

28
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9answers
2k views

Avot keeping Mitzvot

How are we to understand the tradition that the patriarchs kept all of the mitzvot in the Torah (see for example the last mishna in Kidushin, Rashi Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the many obvious ...
19
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3answers
3k views

How many of the 613 Mitzvos can we do only in Israel?

There are many Mitzvos we can not do in today's generation. For example there are no Korbonos, no slaves, etc. Per the Chofetz Chaim, there are 77 positive Mitzvos and 194 negative Mitzvos which can ...
15
votes
2answers
500 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
7
votes
2answers
336 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
7
votes
3answers
586 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
6
votes
4answers
292 views

Weighing mitzvot/aveirot

I apologize for the somewhat vague question; it was difficult to write. I would welcome any specific editing suggestions. What matters in the calculation of a person's righteousness? Is it: Number ...
11
votes
2answers
330 views

Is there an imperative to have a fancy menorah?

Is it considered a meritorious practice to have a fancy/expensive/large menorah? Normally the imperative to beautify mitzvos is related to the mitzvah item itself (e.g. talis, tefillin, esrog), so ...
6
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6answers
681 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
24
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3answers
5k views

Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
19
votes
7answers
679 views

What justifications are there for not moving to Eretz Yisrael?

The Gemara in many places is clear that there is some level of mitzvah to live in Israel. This is also the accepted consensus among the rishonim. In the past, it was very difficult to move to Israel, ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
14
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4answers
514 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
10
votes
3answers
354 views

In regards to Torah and Rabbinical writings, how does “honor your father and mother” work when you've been raised in an abusive household?

This is a question I have always had a hard time getting an answer for and I was hoping somebody would be able to explain it. Honoring your parents is one of the most basic mitzvah in all of Judaism....
9
votes
1answer
643 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
6
votes
1answer
874 views

sperm donation and p'ru ur'vu

Does donating sperm to a woman who is not your wife (who then goes on to bear children from it) fulfill the mitzvah of p'ru ur'vu? Alternatively, is it a violation of halakha? Does it matter whose ...
12
votes
1answer
275 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
10
votes
2answers
372 views

No mitzvah to wear tefillin every day?

I heard that the Bet HaLevi and the Peri Megadim hold that there is no Mitzva for a person to don Tefilin everyday. Can someone source these opinions and explain exactly what they are meaning to say?
5
votes
3answers
542 views

Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael

What halachic sources exist affirming the post-destruction mitzvah of individuals to live in Eretz Yisrael, and what is the nature (obligatory, meritorious) of the mitzvah? This question does not ...
3
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3answers
310 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
7
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1answer
186 views

What are the 7 Noachide Laws

What are the 7 Noachide Laws? And where do we know them from?
5
votes
4answers
370 views

Do a mitzva for mashiach?

I recently saw in The Moshiach Times, a popular Chabad-Lubavitch publication for children, an exhortation to "do a mitzvah for moshiach": to do a mitzva with the specific purpose of hastening the ...
2
votes
2answers
802 views

Upper limits of “kovea itim”

It is known from the gemara (Shabbos 31a and cited in maamar Toras HaBayis ch. 1, among other places) that when a person dies, he is asked if he had set times for learning. I know that these times can ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

Women are generally exempt from time-bound mitzvot (Kiddushin 29a). I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional ...
8
votes
2answers
745 views

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself?

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself? Or is it simply helping out a man's mitzvah of not looking at ervah when learning/saying brachas, and not being led to forbidden ...
12
votes
2answers
770 views

What are the mitzvot that a gentile is forbidden to do?

I know that some mitzvot like keeping shabbat, putting tefillin are forbidden for a gentile to do because they are a sign of the covenant between Israel and HaShem. What are the full list of the ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

connection of obligation to keep mitzvos and sexual maturity

Does anybody know why a boy is obligated to keep mitzvos after he gains sexual maturity (13 years old)? How is the possibility of fathering children connected to that? Thanks.
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Is 'simcha' a mitzvah?

"Mitzvah gedola le'heyos be'simcha..." many of us have heard this. I am wondering if there is an actual mitzvah to be be'simcha? (I am looking for sourced comments and not just idea's). I know that ...
5
votes
5answers
492 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the signs?
3
votes
4answers
440 views

Is cheating in a test an Averah?

I'm a student and I recently asked myself if cheating in a test is an Averah. I've always believed it obviously is, but after thinking it through I can't think of a specific Averah that would include ...
11
votes
4answers
192 views

Why does “aseh doche lo saaseh”?

There is a halachic principle that עשה דוחה לא תעשה - when a positive and negative mitzvah conflict, we obey the positive one. The Talmud learns this out of pesukim, but what is the hashkafic/...
7
votes
2answers
225 views

Only 613 commandments? Can't be!

In the beginning of the sefer Ma'alos HaTorah, authored by the brother of the Vilna Gaon, the question is asked (on the Gemara at the end of Makkos) how the gemara can state that there are only 613 ...
13
votes
2answers
841 views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both of the Rambam and Ramban listed all 613 mitzvos, and they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ in ...
12
votes
2answers
148 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Interrupting Amida for a Mitzvah

Avraham leaves Hashem to deal with guests in Vayera - because welcoming guests is greater than Kabolas Pnei HaSh'china. Does that mean we can interrupt our Shmoneh Esrei to do mitzvahs? At least to ...
10
votes
4answers
258 views

Minimum Requirement of Love your Neighbor

What is the minimum requirement to not be transgressing the mitzva of "ואהבת לריעך כמוך" "love your fellow as yourself" (Lev. 19:18)? For example, must one actively try to love others or it is enough ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Should women eat in the Sukkah?

Is there any inyan for a woman to eat in the sukkah. I know they're not required (after all, it's a mitzvas asei shehazeman grama [מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא]), but I still know many women who do. Is this ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between the following words referring to commandments?

What is the difference between the following words? Commandments Law Testimonies Precepts Judgements Statutes Ordinances Deut 26:16 - 19 reads 16: This day, the Lord, ...
6
votes
3answers
709 views

Is it greater to refrain from doing an aveirah than to perform a mitzvah?

Given the opportunity to do a mitzvah or to refrain from doing an aveirah - which would place you in a better situation on the scale of heaven with regards to a person's level of righteousness?
6
votes
1answer
202 views

To what extent is someone on the way to do a mitzvah protected from danger?

Pesachim 8A (link) says: R. Elazar taught that harm will not befall a Shali'ach (someone on the way to do a) Mitzvah! That is a short excerpt from a discussion about being protected when doing a ...
6
votes
3answers
233 views

Is every fourth step in EY a mitzvah?

i've heard a rav saying that every fourth step you do in Eretz Yisrael is considered a mitzva. does someone have a sources for this?
4
votes
1answer
163 views

Is there a constant Mitzvah for women?

Is there a constant mitzvah for women in Judaism such as there is for men(i.e. torah learning)? Thanks!
3
votes
2answers
278 views

Did Yitzchak not Fulfill the Mitzvah of “Be Fruitful and Multiply”?

According to the understanding of many commentators "pru u'revu" (be fruitful and multiply) is a positive commandment which is not fulfilled unless a man has both a son and daughter as offspring. ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

How far may one go with doing an aveira (violating a negative mitzva) if it means performing a positive mitzva?

I cannot remember where, but somewhere in gemara it mentions that when confronted with doing a positive mitzva or keeping a negative mitzva, one should do a positive mitzva. How far does this go ...
2
votes
4answers
350 views

How can we know God?

How can we know God? Isn't God unknowable? We learn and study and follow God's commands and pray, but how do we know God (as opposed to what God wants)? What is a true way to know GOD better? ...
13
votes
2answers
453 views

Why isn't there a single, centralized Sanhedrin today?

It seems that many mitzvot in the Torah are opened to interpretation in some way, potentially subject to ruling by the Sanhedrin. And some mitzvot (examples below) seem to require the presence of the ...
10
votes
2answers
286 views

Eating outside of a Sukkah - Negative or Positive commandment?

On Sukkoth we are required to dwell in a Sukkah, which is generally minimally defined as at least eating our meals (which in turn is generally minimally defined as grain-based products) inside the ...
9
votes
1answer
285 views

May one beautify his Payos?

Rashi (B'reshis 37:2) calls it an "an act of immaturity [to fix one's] hair (...) so he would look good". Obviously, payos are made from hair, but they are not considered regular hair within kabbala (...
8
votes
3answers
326 views

How is “החודש הזה לכם” the first mitzva?

The following question came up in this week's Parshat Hashavua' Chat: Rashi, at the beginning of his commentary to the Torah: אמר רבי יצחק: לא היה צריך להתחיל [את] התורה אלא (שמות יב ב) מהחודש הזה ...