Questions tagged [reward-punishment]

The concept of reward and punishment in Judaism- theologically, halachically, and philosophically

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Can external actions reduce my “reward” for giving charity?

The Rambam lists 8 levels of giving charity, saying one is better than the next. I am assuming that there is some greater advantage to performing this mitzvah on a "higher" level, an idea ...
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Noahide reward potential versus Jews

I know righteous noahides have a place in the world to come, but do they have the same potential for reward that Jews do? Can a Noahide ever reach the same heights of reward in the afterlife of a very ...
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Delayed Judgement on Rosh Hashana

I heard that the judgement determined on Rosh Hashana does not start to get carried out until some date after the chagim, possibly in Marcheshvan or later. Is anyone familiar with this teaching and ...
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Is it wrong to expect rewards for observance?

Many commentators have told us to perform the commandments for their own sake, out of love, not for the purpose of receiving rewards. The Rambam summarized this exhortation as follows : "When I ...
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What exactly is “prohibited magic” in Judaism?

It appears that "magic" in most "modern" "western" civilizations is prohibited. But societies like those in China or Latin America or Africa have mentions of all kinds of ...
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Are thousands of generations to be accounted for literally?

Deuteronomy 5:10 ..."To those who keep His commandments...God's grace is extended to a thousand generations", Rashi's comment suggests when obeying out of fear. Deuteronomy 7:9..."Those ...
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Source for story about a murdering son-in-law whose family was swallowed alive

I stumbled upon a really random story in the middle of a sefer on the Azharos of Rav Shlomo ibn Gabirol. The author says he heard it from his father. Since he was discussing the prohibition of murder, ...
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Punishment for violence by someone who can't pay monetary compensation

It is said that the law that mandated retributive justice, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, was already at the time of the Roman occupation of Judea abolished. That there is no record of the ...
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Midah Keneged Midah in the Punishment of an Entire Tzibur [i.e, Covid-19]

I was recently reading a controversial article on The Lakewood Scoop claiming that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a punishment for the fact that we expelled anti-vaxxers from our Yeshivos and Mosdos ...
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What mitzvos are under the umbrella term מתן שכרה בצידה referenced in the Jerusalem Talmud Bava Basra

The gemara in the Jerusalem Talmud Bava Batra (cited here) refers to a collective set of commandments called "מתן שכרה בצידה", which I believe can be loosely translated as "reward given on the side" ...
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Was Yaakov lacking Bitachon?

When Yaakov becomes afraid of Eisav's arrival, the passuk says that he was very frightened. Chazal in Maseches Brachos note that he was afraid שמא יגרום החטא. Does this display a lack of Bitachon, ...
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High priest’s death pardoning criminals?

A Christian was telling me that in ancient Israel there was some rule about banishment and high priests, that Jesus is the ultimate high priest, that his death released everyone from sin. What - if ...
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Why can a baby get Tzaraas?

Reference in Gemora Shabbos 133a Daf Yomi recently to tzaraas (skin disease see Leviticus 13) on the foreskin regarding mila (circumcission). This implies babies can have tzaraas. If tzaraas is not ...
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Berachot 5a - What is R. Yochanan's objection?

In Berachot 5a we have the following exchange between Reis Lakish and R. Yochanan: אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש כל העוסק בתורה יסורין בדילין הימנו שנאמר ובני רשף יגביהו עוף ואין עוף אלא תורה שנאמר התעיף ...
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Does attending a Siyum receive the merit as if one has learned the whole Masechta (Tractate)?

I've heard people say that attending a Siyum gets the merit like you learned all of the Gemara that's getting Siyum'd on. Is there a mekor (Torah source) for this idea? (And if yes, then does any ...
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How does one get punished for sins beyond punishment?

I asked this question in a comment to another question's answer, but I wanted to ask it explicitly: It has been stated that : [...] it has been pointed out in Rishonim [...] that some sins are so ...
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Jewish married man having relations with Jewish divorced woman [closed]

What is the Halacha of a Jewish married man engaging in physical relations with a Jewish divorced woman.
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What is the reason the religious adherence is currently inversely proportional to the standard of living? [closed]

It is a well-established fact that the most religious modern societies are the poorest, having the least life expectancy, most infant mortality, hunger, wars, wild animals and everything that's on the ...
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Punishment vs suffering

The Rambam says in Hilchos Teshuva chapter 1 עָבַר עַל כְּרֵתוֹת וּמִיתוֹת בֵּית דִּין וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה, תְּשׁוּבָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים תּוֹלִין וְיִסּוּרִין הַבָּאִין עָלָיו גּוֹמְרִין לוֹ ...
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If Jews don't believe in heaven, what reason do they have to follow a moral code? [closed]

In Christianity for example, some people argue that you should be good on this Earth in order to get your reward in heaven. In Judaism as there is no heaven, what is the reason given to follow the ...
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How can having witnesses to a crime lessen the punishment?

This answer describes a scenario where if a sin (relations with a non Jew for purposes of marriage) is committed without witnesses, one gets punished with kares, but if there are witnesses he gets ...
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What made G-d change His opinion about Humans and how is it possible?

וַיָּ֣רַח ה' אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ה' אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב הָאָדָ֛ם רַ֖ע מִנְּעֻרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־אֹסִ֥ף ע֛וֹד ...
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What percentage of the humanity must sin to cause G-d to wipe them all?

In the story of the Mabul, the Torah's description of the overall disorder is very vague - "The Earth was corrupted and filled with Hamas". THe outcome is clear - the whole of humanity was judged. ...
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Were G-d's expectations for Dor Hamabul realistic?

Undoubtfully the all-loving G-d was a bit harsh on punishing the whole generation of Noah (probably millions?) by drowning them (and all the animals - what did they do?) in boiling water (He could ...
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Does the plain text of the Torah support the view that “It would have been preferable had man not been created”?

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וּמֶחֱצָה נֶחְלְקוּ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. הַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא נִבְרָא יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁנִּבְרָא, וְהַלָּלוּ אוֹמְרִים: נוֹחַ לוֹ לְאָדָם ...
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Why does נהמא דכיסופא make sense at all between lovers? [duplicate]

This preliminary question asks about what N"D is. The נהמא דכיסופא is a possible explanation for why should we suffer in this world to receive the reward in the afterworld. I tried to verify that: ...
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Frequency of Heavenly judgment

@Maurice has asked a series of interesting questions on how our reward and punishment system works. We generally hold that Yom Kippur is the time of the final verdict for a year, but I'd like to know ...
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How do reward and punishment work?

1-Good things happen to good people. Because God rewards good behavior. [Lev 26:3-13] 2-Bad things happen to bad people. Because God punishes bad behavior. [Lev 26:14-45] 3-Good things happen to ...
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Does Rambam hold of eternal punishment?

In chapter 3 of Hilchos Teshuva, Rambam says The following individuals do not have a portion in the world to come. Rather, their [souls] are cut off and they are judged for their great wickedness ...
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Does Teshuva protect from punishment or not?

The Rambam says in Hilchos Teshuva, chapter 6: There are other sins for which justice determines that retribution be exacted in the world to come with no damages coming to the transgressor in ...
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What was the consequence of Yael's sin?

The gemarah (Horiyot 10b, Nazir 23b) states that Yael sinned for the sake of God in sleeping with Sisra. I would like to know what consequence, if any, there was for this sin. Was her husband ...
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Why are some sins counted twice?

I am looking to understand the theology behind a negative commandment being repeated in the Torah in order to make whomever transgresses it punishable for 2 sins. See for example Rashi on Vayikra 25:...
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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 ...
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Egalitarian references in Chazal

I'm trying to find references in Chazal to the principle that people are judged/rewarded based on the choices they make, regardless of their specific role in society. For example, I believe I have ...
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What is my status with God?

I am asking in a manner where “I” represents people like me, in the sense that the answer might apply to me but also more broadly to others. By “status with God” Interpret as “what consequences may ...
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How did Bilaam know that illicit relations was the way to trip up Klal Yisrael?

As recounted by Rashi to Numbers 25:1 and Sanhedrin 106a- after Bilaam's "cursing" of Klal Yisrael was unsuccessful, he advised Balak that the way to take down Klal Yisrael was to entice ...
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Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

As seen from this question, the Heavenly Court does not punish an individual (at least in this life) if he or she is under 20. However, according to Seder Hadoros (Year 2217) Er and Onan were 7 or 8 ...
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Is the punishment for loshan hara death or tzaraas?

What is worse loshan hara about a thing or about a person? We see that Miriam said Lashan Hara about a person and got Tzoraas We see the meraglim said Lashan Hara about trees and stones and received ...
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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 ...
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Freewill and rewarding dogs

If animals don't have freewill, why are dogs rewarded for not having barked at Jewish people during the Exodus from Egypt? (Exodus 11 and Exodus 22)
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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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Does Hashem care about Halachah Lemaase?

Upfront: this is a metaphysical/theological question In many (almost all?) areas of Jewish practice, there are a number of different and at times diametrically opposed opinions as to what the ...
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'Alcoholic drinks' and 'reward' are both “שכר”

Alcoholic drinks (and drunkenness) and reward seem like rather disparate ideas! Is there a reason why they might imply one another and do any commentaries interchange between the two to bring some ...
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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?
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Does the hell exist? [duplicate]

Does the hell exist? As in the book of Isaiah, there is a reference to "fire" that is not "quenched". Isaiah 66:24 "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have ...
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What happens if a Jewish king marries a 19th wife?

The mishna on Sanhedrin 21a teaches us that a king may not have more than 18 wives, and this is also codified by The Rambam (Hilchos Malachim 3:2): לֹא יַרְבֶּה לוֹ נָשִׁים. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה ...
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What if the wicked son didn’t know better?

We say at the Seder: רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבוֹדָה הַזּאֹת לָכֶם. לָכֶם – וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִׁנָּיו ...
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Does God care about things that don't affect the Jews?

There is a trope in Judaism that God smites even the greatest Empires when they oppress the Jews. Does God ever smite nations that are wicked to other non-Jews? We do have the example of Sodom, but ...
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Cursing Adam and Eve in addition to punishment?

When Adam was commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge, G-d presented him with the punishment (Ber 2.17): וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹת ...
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How can Kares be greater than execution by beis din (and also eternal according to R' Kapach)?

In this exposition of what kares means, the following view is quoted: [...] R. Yosef Kafach (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Teshuvah ch. 8 n. 4) offers a different interpretation. He suggests that the Rambam’...

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