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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9
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3answers
184 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
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237 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 ...
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279 views

Does the mitzvah to return a lost object apply to aveirah items?

I recently saw a flyer that quoted from R' Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita as saying that if one find a smartphone that is not "kosher" there is no mitzvah obligation to return it. Is this in fact the halacha;...
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143 views

Why is remembering the Exodus fulfilled by Shema and not first parashah of tefillin or Song of the Sea?

I was taught we fulfill the daily commandment to remember the exodus from Egypt at the end of the Shema, when we read: אֲנִ֞י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצֵ֤אתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם ...
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1answer
301 views

Understanding hachnasas orchim

Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it ...
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481 views

If a person isn't sure he is Jewish, does he have to keep Mitzvot?

Let's say that a person has a reason to think his mother might be Jewish (there is some evidence, but only a little), and it is likely that the person will never be able to know for sure. In such a ...
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1answer
348 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 (...
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139 views

Is it still tzedakah if it is returned?

If a poor person asks for charity and I give some money to that person, but he then returns it to me, (because he doesn't feel it is enough, or any other reason) have I accomplished the mitzvah of ...
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44 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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672 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 ...
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360 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 ...
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341 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 ...
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284 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 ...
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171 views

Extent of financial consideration before having children

Are there financial considerations that a couple must take before having a child or children i.e. should one have children 'at any cost' or is this not a consideration. If yes, would these financial ...
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1answer
184 views

Negative commandments that only apply to women?

Are there any mitzvos lo sa'aseh that only apply to women?
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Is it better to do a Mitzvah now or delay to do it better (with more Hiddur) later on?

If one can do a Mitzvah now in an acceptable fashion but can do it better (with Hiddur) later on is it better to wait to do it B'Hiddur? I seem to recall that there is a Gemara somewhere from where we ...
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337 views

Are Noahides obligated in the commandment of Yibum?

Regarding the subject of Yibum (Levirate marriage), what is the source, if any, that this is also an obligation on a Noahide? Many of the discussions on this Q&A site concerning Yibum connect to ...
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1answer
336 views

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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537 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
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1answer
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Does R. Avraham Ben HaRambam really hold that only one child is necessary for peru u'revu?

There is a dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel as to what constitutes a fulfillment of the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" (peru u'revu). Yevamot 61b מתני' לא יבטל אדם מפריה ...
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833 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 ...
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109 views

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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1answer
150 views

are you obligated to give testimony if you know you are pasul l'eidus?

I remember learning that there is a mitzvah to give testimony if you know of something which it requires. My question is if you know about yourself, with certainty, that you are pasul l'eidus in ...
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1answer
190 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 ...
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1answer
206 views

Would a non-Israeli Jewish king need to write a sefer Torah?

In Deuteronomy/Devorim 17:14, and 17:18-20 we see that a king of Israel is required to write a copy of the Torah to read and keep with him always. Would a convert to Judaism, who is a king of another ...
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1answer
353 views

Who are the Kutim, and what happened to them?

In the Yerushalmi Pesachim on daf Bet amud Bet, it talks about the "Kutim" and how whenever they keep a mitzvah, they are more exacting/cautious about it than the Jews. Who are these Kutim, why does ...
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825 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
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Mitzvos on which the only b'racha is birkas “Shehechiyanu”

I saw in the name of the Or Zaru'a and others that one does not make a b'racha before writing a sefer Torah even though it is a positive mitzva with an action associated because (among other reasons) ...
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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 ...
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1answer
124 views

I'd love to but Hashem doesn't let

Rashi in parshas Kedoshim brings a Toras Kohanim: רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה אוֹמֵר מִנַּיִן שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אָדָם נַפְשִׁי קָצָה בִּבְשַׂר חֲזִּיר, אִי אַפְשַׁי לִלְבּוֹשׁ כִּלְאַיִם, אֲבָל יֹאמַר אַפְשַׁי ...
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4answers
269 views

Honoring parental requests that don't benefit the parents

If one's parents ask him to do something that is not beneficial to the parents in any way whatsoever (though not harmful to the parents, the child, or anyone else, either), is he nonetheless obligated ...
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1answer
148 views

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit on the Gevra or the Cheftza?

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit an obligation on the clothing or on the person?
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1k 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 ...
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176 views

Sell the shirt off his back for Menorah, but not for anything else?

Halacha brings that one who has no money for Chanukah Lights must sell the shirt off his back to acquire them why is this the case versus almost all other Mitzvos which require up to a fifth of his ...
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2answers
194 views

Which mitzvos exempt which mitzvos?

There is a general rule in Halacha that someone occupied with a mitzva isn't obligated to interrupt themselves to do another mitzva. This is known as " עוסק במצוה פטור מן המצוה". My question is, what ...
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224 views

Fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah then lost the Sefer

Suppose a person had a Sefer Torah written in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (Devarim 31:19) and then the Torah got lost, has he still fulfilled his mitzvah, or is he required to write another one?
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1answer
172 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 ...
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1answer
526 views

What is “ol mitzvot” for a convert?

A convert is suppoed to accept the ol mitzvot, the burden of halacha but does this mean an explicit intent to follow the mitzvot or simply the acceptance that there is a punishment if the mitzvot are ...
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1answer
169 views

If a father has to carry his sons aveiros why not his mitzvos?

If a father must carry the sins & punishments of his son (under bar mitzva) as we know he does from the brocha of "Baruch Shepatrani Meonshin shel zeh" does he — and if not, why doesn't he — "...
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215 views

Why do different people have different levels of mitzvah obligation?

If the point of giving us mitzvot is to allow us to earn a reward in olam haba and to perfect creation (there's all of Jewish philosophy boiled down into 102 characters), why wouldn't all Jewish ...
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1answer
203 views

What are the 7 Noachide Laws

What are the 7 Noachide Laws? And where do we know them from?
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Is there any point where לשבת יצרה no longer applies?

Yeshaya 45:18 says: כי כה אמר יהוה בורא השמים הוא האלהים יצר הארץ ועשה הוא כוננה לא תהו בראה לשבת יצרה אני יהוה ואין עוד ... it (the world) was not created to be void, to be settled it was formed... ...
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227 views

Significance of a Four Cornered Garment

The point of wearing Tzitzit is for us to remember all of the Mitzvot, (Numbers 15:39) and there are several explanations given for how the Tzitzit remind us of the Mitzvot. However, the explanations ...
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1answer
346 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 ...
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151 views

Reward and punishment for indirect mitzvot and averot

If I create something with a certain purpose, and it's used for another purpose (good or bad), do I have a share in the mitzvot or averot people made with my creation? I'll give three examples to make ...
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1answer
108 views

Does one violate the Torah prohibition of tormenting a widow if she has remarried?

Does one violate the Torah prohibition (Ex. 22:21) of tormenting a widow if she has remarried? You may be inclined to say that the purpose of the Mitzvah is because she's defenseless and the Torah ...
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1answer
141 views

What is the correct kavanah when going to war?

I am specifically talking about going to war that is a mitzvah such as the wars fought while conquering Eretz Yisroel in the beginning of the Neviim and the mitzvah we have and will fulfill of ...
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1answer
150 views

How long must people wait in shul for a minyan?

Shulchan Aruch emphasizes the importance of davening the Amidah with the rest of the tzibbur. If one is in shul and there are 8 or 9 people, should everyone wait before starting Amidah to see if ...
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1answer
139 views

May an accidental murderer choose to leave the city of refuge?

I understand from the Sefer HaChinuch, mitzvah 410, that a person who kills accidentally has a mitzvah to go to a city of refuge. I would like to know if that person is allowed to leave the city of ...
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1answer
303 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 ...

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