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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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 Kiddushin (4:14), Rashi on Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the ...
Sam's user avatar
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24 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
Gershon Gold's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
480 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 ...
Gavriel's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
673 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 ...
zachariah's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
471 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 ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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27 votes
3 answers
10k 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?
Ger's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
453 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 ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Lages's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
777 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....
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
988 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
502 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
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27 votes
12 answers
4k 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
Baruch's user avatar
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21 votes
7 answers
991 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, ...
Ariel K's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
981 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 ...
rachav's user avatar
  • 535
12 votes
0 answers
242 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, many of the Geonim (for example: ...
robev's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
avi's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both the Rambam and Ramban listed all of the 613 mitzvos, and that they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ ...
robev's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
480 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Charles Koppelman's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
426 views

What is so special about being part of the 613 mitzvos?

There are arguments in the Rishonim about what the 613 mitzvos are. But even if you hold something's not part of the 613, it's still a mitzva, so what's so special if it is part of the 613?
shlomo's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
487 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/...
Ypnypn's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
637 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?
Hacham Gabriel's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
681 views

Why the specific commandments in the Aseret haDibrot

What is HKBH trying to teach us by his choice of commandments that make up the Aseret haDibrot
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
1 answer
843 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 ...
Seth J's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
227 views

What are the 7 Noachide Laws

What are the 7 Noachide Laws? And where do we know them from?
yydl's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
568 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 ...
A L's user avatar
  • 2,547
6 votes
1 answer
144 views

Is there an underlying logic to the selection of detail in the Torah?

When studying a text, I tell my students that nothing is accidental and that details are included or excluded for some sort of reason. Part of discussion is hypothesizing what that reason is (in each ...
rosends's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
469 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
714 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 ...
yitznewton's user avatar
  • 3,393
5 votes
1 answer
274 views

Criteria for obligation to obligate oneself in mitzvot

Certain commandments are automatically obligatory, e.g., praying, reciting shema, eating matza on the first night of Passover, etc. Other commandments, however, seem to be obligatory only if one ...
Loewian's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.1k
2 votes
3 answers
426 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
RCW's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
118 views

What is required at the seder? [duplicate]

What is required at the seder? I know this has been answered before, but I wanted to tie it all together in a simple list. Please tell me if I got something wrong. Two basic commandments in Torah: ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
551 views

Discrepancy between Sefer HaMitzvos and Sefer Hachinuch

The Rambam in Sefer HaMitzvos, Lo Saaseh 148 writes that a non-Kohen who eats kodshim/holy food breaks a negative mitzvah: שהזהירנו שלא לאכול זר מבשר קדשי הקדשים. והוא אמרו יתעלה וזר לא יאכל כי קדש ...
robev's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
387 views

Why is there Pesach Sheini - The Second Passover?

What is the primary/basic reason why one has a second chance to bring the Korban Pesach (Passover Sacrifice) on Pesach Sheni (a month after Passover)? Other mitzvos, such as hearing the shofar or ...
Yirmeyahu's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
919 views

Where are we commanded to wrap ourselves in Tzitzit?

When we put on a tallit, we say a blessing (copied from here) Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'...
rosends's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
mil's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
313 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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
NJM's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
Gavriel's user avatar
  • 9,648
9 votes
2 answers
376 views

Where did the Semag Go?

Premise - the Semag was one of the popular/accepted works by a Rishon, and thus was chosen to be placed in the Ein Mishpat/Ner Mitzvah with Rambam and Tur. The Semak was written based off of it, as ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
527 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.
jutky's user avatar
  • 6,024
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan

I heard there are 620 letters in the Aseres Hadibros which corresponds to the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and 7 Mitzvos D'Rabanan. What are the Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan - שבע מצוות דרבנן? Is there a easy ...
C. Ben Yosef's user avatar
  • 2,168
8 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
DaagahMinayin's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
488 views

How should a modern non-Jew interpret commandments in the Torah that they perceive to command individual violence?

If a non-Jew is interested in Judaism, how should they approach commands in the Torah like Exodus 21:17, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:13? Should these passages be seen not just as command not to do the ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 303
6 votes
1 answer
348 views

How is 'regretting a mitzvah' defined?

What constitutes regretting a mitzvah: Does one have to write down a regretful statement, speak the regret, think it explicitly, or is a tinge of fleeting regret enough to qualify as regretting a ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 1,093
5 votes
5 answers
672 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?
Adám's user avatar
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