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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2answers
163 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
115 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
149 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
173 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
149 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
417 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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225 views

Why kiss Tzitzith?

Why do we kiss Tzitzith when making the Birchath HaMitzvah, reciting Shema', and after Baruch SheAmar (at least acc. to Minhag Ashkenaz)? An acceptable answer (for my purposes) would either a. ...
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102 views

Mitzvos from the 613 that are not included in the Ten Commandments

The Chasam Sofer to parshas Nasso says (Toras Moshe I, ד"ה ושמו שמי) that it is known that even though the Ten Commandments contain all the 613 mitzvos (see Rashi and here), the three mitzvos that ...
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3answers
136 views

Why does a guest not have to contribute a perutah for other mitzvot?

The halacha (Orah Hayyim 677) is that a guest must contribute a perutah towards the fulfillment of the mitzvah of lighting Chanuka candles. I would like to know why we don't find a similar idea by ...
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354 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 ...
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1k views

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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773 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?
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320 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?
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601 views

Why did Avraham ask Eliezer to swear in the way he did?

Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to place his hand under his thigh to swear an oath regarding finding a daughter for his son. Chazal explain that he asked him to hold his (Avraham's) milah (male ...
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1answer
82 views

Sefer Yereim divided into 613 mitzvos

The Sefer Yereim by Rav Eliezer MiMitz is an important work on halacha. It's also a list of the 613 mitzvos, as that is how he organized this halachic work. What many do not know is he based his list ...
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416 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 ...
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1answer
475 views

Why do some of the Ten Commandments include Noahide Laws?

Of the Seven Noahide Laws, at least three are identical to one of the Ten Commandments. To be specific I am referring to Do not murder Do not steal Do not deny God Do not blaspheme I understand that ...
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310 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?
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156 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
131 views

"I'm just not a 'learning guy'"

I'd like to know if the Torah speaks to the idea that of person simply not being a "learning guy". I don't mean that he doesn't want to learn anything at all (a Jew must koveyah ittim) or that he is ...
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Can I wear tzitzit without having a kipa on my head?

I'm not in a religious school and can't wear my kipa there; but, I would like to wear my tzitzit (tallit katan). Is it permitted to wear tzitzit (tallit katan) without wearing a kipa?
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277 views

Mezuzah scroll upside-down on the door. Is the mitzva being fulfilled?

I observe that a mezuzah is attached to the door with the top of the mezuzah directed to the top of the door. I am looking for sources to answer this question: If a mezuzah were (accidentally) ...
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Is there a Mitzvah to buy from Israel?

I'm looking to emphasize the reasons to support Israeli businesses. Would it be correct to add that it is a Mitzvah?
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1answer
276 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 ...
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1answer
249 views

Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
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141 views

Should ones name be put on a mitsva?

If someone does a mitsva like writing a sefer or providing a building for Jewish activities like a shul or school. Should he put his name on it and have it called after him? I am not referring to ...
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86 views

Why did Da'as Zekeinim leave out the mitzvah to procreate?

Da'as Zekeinim (compilations of teachings from the Ba'alei Tosafos) to Genesis 1:1 ask a question on one of the first comments of Rashi: ועוד פרש"י א"ר יצחק לא היה צריך להתחיל התורה וכו', וקשה שהרי ...
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120 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 ...
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794 views

can I smell my esrog?

There is such a concept of something that is 'huktzah l'mitzvasa' (set aside for its mitzvah observance), I was wondering about the smelling of the esrog and how this rule would be applied to it?
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Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
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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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Source of phrase "tizkeh l'mitzvos"

I have noticed that when I give money to people who collect in shul, they often respond by saying "tizkeh l'mitzvos." Are there any sources before relatively recently for using this phrase?
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1answer
115 views

Being Mekayem a zecher

According to the gemara (Megilla 29b, S"A O"C 685) there is a mitzvah to read the special reading of Parshat Zachor on a particular Shabbat (before Purim). This mitzvah is listed as one of the 613. I ...
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161 views

Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from "al" or "lo" to "bal"

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת כָּל־...
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Operating a mechanical calculator on Shabbos

Are mechanical calculators Mukzte on Shabbos? Would it be considered a form of measuring? Mechanical calculators have no electric parts. Everything is purely mechanical: If it is considered measuring,...
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91 views

Why isn't imitating Hashem's traits a constant mitzvah?

In the introduction to Sefer HaChinuch, the author delineates what he feels are six constant mitzvos from the 613. מששה מצות מהן שחיובן תמידי לא יפסק מעל האדם אפי' רגע בכל ימיו. ואלו הם. א' להאמין ...
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201 views

During the nine days, can we do something "slightly dangerous" in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
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156 views

Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
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1answer
1k views

Making a pikuach nefesh phone call on Yom Kippur - mitzva 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 ...
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3answers
131 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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574 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?
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823 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 ...
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2answers
775 views

Does the gentile seeking conversion have more obligations than a Noahide Person?

I am a gentile seeking to convert to Judaism, but I can't make a contact with a Beit Din since there is no Rabbi in my country neither an active Synagogue. But I am very serious toward conversion and ...
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3answers
219 views

How can geirus (conversion to Judaism) be done without the prospective convert knowing at least the basics of ALL the mitzvos?

When discussing the procedure of conversion to Judaism - Geirus, The Rambam (Hilchos Isurei Biah 14:2) Writes: וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ עִקְּרֵי הַדָּת שֶׁהוּא יִחוּד הַשֵּׁם וְאִסּוּר עַכּוּ''ם. ...
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3answers
281 views

What if there is no object for use in a mitzva?

There is a story I once heard about the Ben Ish Chai examining the only known etrog available in Iraq. Despite the great need for it, he declared the etrog passul for use and no one could fulfill the ...
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1answer
104 views

Do non-Jews have the mitzvah of tzedoko?

Some one told me the Lubavicher Rebbe told non jews to do charity Are there sources that they have a commandment to do so? By them doing it it is only them doing a mitzvah they were not commanded to ...
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1answer
77 views

What is the source for Mesirath Nefesh being a virtue?

Mesirath Nefesh is widely considered a virtue. It is treated by Musar-givers throughout the world as though it is the most important virtue after fear of Heaven. But what is it based on? There are ...
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3answers
607 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 ...
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2answers
85 views

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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1answer
111 views

Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

As answers to Why don't we thank God for making us men/women? say, men thank Hashem for not making them a woman because the obligations or mitzvot that a man has is greater in number than that of ...

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