Questions tagged [sin]

Relating to the categorization of a sinful act in Jewish Law, the examination of a sin recorded in Jewish texts, or the nature of sin in Jewish thought.

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27
votes
19answers
8k views

How can I curb my sexual desire?

I am looking for the best and most practical suggestion as to what a man can do to curb his yetzer hara (evil inclination) for sexual desire. Please provide sources for why your answer should be ...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

What does Judaism think about homosexuality?

Is being gay a sin? Can one be a Jew and a gay person at the same time? How does the Jewish community think about gays?
24
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6answers
2k views

Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?

The Gemara (Talmud Bavli Shabbos 55b-56b) relates that several Biblical figures who, from the text itself, seemed to have sinned, in reality did not. These statements take the form of "כל האומר פלוני ...
20
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4answers
6k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Why don't Jews sacrifice animals anymore?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jews do not currently sacrifice animals like ancestors long ago. Why do Jews not currently sacrifice animals? Will there be a time when sacrificing returns once again? How ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a convert have a clean slate?

When a non-jew converts to Jusaism, must he still do teshuva from past sins, or does the "reborn" concept stretch far enough to consider him "sinless"?
16
votes
1answer
530 views

Why is Jacob idolized and not villainised?

I've just read the story of Jacob and Esau (Bereishis ch. 25 and 27), and I fail to understand why Jacob is consistently portrayed and idolized as a protagonist and a hero - based on what I've read, I ...
15
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2answers
584 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 ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
14
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3answers
742 views

Asei Doche Lo Sasei vs. Mitzvah Habaah Beaveirah

These are two concepts in Judaism: עשה דוחה לא תעשה - that if there is a Mitzvah Asei in the Torah, and a Mitzvas Lo Sasei, we say that the Asei overrides the Lo Sasei, and one should do it. For ...
12
votes
2answers
519 views

Could someone who has committed a heinous crime convert to Judaism?

Is there any reason that someone who has committed horrible sins in the past (for example, mass murder) could not become a Jew? Assume, of course, that the sinner/criminal is willing to do teshuvah ...
12
votes
4answers
535 views

Is gezel shainah a real thing?

I have heard people say things like "don't wake him up that's gezel shainah". I would like to know if that phrase has any basis in halacha and if so what are the parameters? For example if I wake ...
12
votes
2answers
532 views

Learning Torah from a confirmed sinner?

A learned friend of mine is of the opinion that it is forbidden to learn from a Rabbi (or anyone else) who is known to have sinned. He used the example of a particular Rabbi caught in a scandal so ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Does casual sex establish a marriage?

Do premarital sexual relations effect Kiddushin (betrothal/first step of Jewish marriage) if there is no intention of getting married? If so, is the physical act itself determinative of whether or ...
12
votes
2answers
440 views

Aveira Lishma: Is it permissible to make a decision that contradicts Halacha because it is for the greater good?

The gemara in brachos 10a says that Chizkiyahu made the decision not to have children as he saw that his kids would be negative influences on the Jewish people. Then, Yeshayahu tells him that is not ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How does one receive forgiveness from someone they have wronged after their death?

Say you sinned against a fellow Jew. You decide you want to seek forgiveness from that person but then discover that person has passed away. G-d forgives sins against Him but man must seek forgiveness ...
11
votes
2answers
649 views

Can you steal someone's aveirah item?

In order to prevent another Jew from sinning are you allowed to steal the item he uses to sin with? For example assuming it is assur to smoke (Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer 17:21) can I steal another Jew's ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Are thoughts of sin punished halachically?

Inspired by this question, I got interested in the question of halakhic punishment for thoughts of sin? In general, the Torah is not so concerned and doesn't judge how people feel or what their ...
11
votes
2answers
540 views

Why was Hosea acceptable to the people if he took his adulterous wife back?

Hosea is described by Rabbi Yochanan in Pesachim 87a as the greatest of the four major prophets. At G-d's command (Hosea 1:2), he married a prostitute, Gomer, and fathered children, although there ...
11
votes
1answer
552 views

Is a homosexual male obligated to try everything to change his orientation?

Given that homosexual relations is a biblical sin, I would like to know if a Jewish male homosexual has an obligation to try to change his sexual orientation (as opposed to just not acting on his ...
11
votes
2answers
215 views

Is a neder about something compulsory valid?

Imagine someone make a neder not to eat pork (this is not a general Neder not to eat meat rather specifically prohibiting pork which is already forbidden). Is that neder valid? If he then eats pork, ...
10
votes
5answers
494 views

Are there unforgiveable sins?

If parents have committed atrocious sins against their children such as incest, physical abuse, drugging, etc. is it considered an unforgiveable sin?
10
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2answers
2k views

Why is alcohol not prohibited?

I came across a post on Mi Yodea about the Torah approach to alcohol and a lot of it seems pretty negative. For example, Brachot 40a - 'grapes cause sorrow to the world', Yoma 76 - wine is called יין ...
10
votes
3answers
535 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....
10
votes
1answer
189 views

Can one take any money offered to him?

Is a tzedaka allowed to take money from people who earn their money in inappropriate way (say, the person worked on Shabbos, stole, cheated, etc.) If not, is this a chumra or a halacha? Please ...
10
votes
1answer
288 views

Is there a status of Tinok Shenishba for non-Jews?

If someone is brought up as a non-Jew even though he is Jewish he is considered a Tinok shenishba bein hanochrim and is an unwitting transgressor, not held accountable for his actions. Would he same ...
10
votes
2answers
393 views

Is it a sin to joke about sinning?

For instance, to joke about committing suicide or something less extreme like eating non-kosher. My inclination is towards saying that it is forbidden since it might desensitize one to the idea ...
9
votes
1answer
346 views

Wedding Day Forgiveness

I heard that all a person's sins are forgiven on one's wedding day. Is this true? What is the source? Does it also apply to sins committed between man and his fellow (as opposed to man and G-d)? And ...
9
votes
3answers
609 views

Why do all women deserve to suffer for the sin of one woman, Chava?

In the Torah, Bereshit 3:16, all women receive the curse of a painful childbirth and their subservience to men. This is all because Chava made the choice to make Adam eat from the tree. Why should all ...
9
votes
1answer
372 views

Working in a Potentially Sinful Industry

I work for a company that provides a service that is considered morally objectionable by some Rabbis (see Gambling at casino). The work I do is generic, in that the output could potentially be used to ...
9
votes
1answer
132 views

Mentioning our sins on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh

During every Shemoneh Esrei of mussaf, we pray that the Beis Hamikdash be rebuilt. However, only on Yom Tov do we mention that it was destroyed due to our sins - ומפני חטאינו. On Shabbos, and on Rosh ...
9
votes
2answers
300 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;...
9
votes
3answers
502 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?

If a wife sees no value in keeping the laws of family purity, and wants to stop going to the mikva, what are the halachic ramifications for the husband? The answer that I'm looking for is what ...
8
votes
9answers
4k views

Is wasting seed a sin for a gentile?

I know that wasting seed is the worst sin in Judaism and a Jew who committed it is considered very wicked. Yet, I am not sure about wasting seed ? is it a sin or not? I am a gentile wanting to ...
8
votes
2answers
529 views

What is Zimri's sin?

Note: This is Zimri that was speared by Phinehas for sleeping with a foreigner. Wikipedia says that he committed idolatry. However, the Bible only mentions that he slept with a foreign woman. Nothing ...
8
votes
3answers
339 views

Can you sell your sins?

Can someone who has done an Aveira pay someone to transfer the punishment to him?
8
votes
4answers
561 views

Why does there seem to be different standards for future sinners?

In Bereshit (21:17) Rashi tells us that the Angels wanted G-d to kill Yishmael, but G-d said that He wouldn't judge him according to his future deeds, but rather according to his present state: In ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

Kol Nidre: Is it lawful to pray along with sinners?

I was reading about Yom Kippur, and I came across this in a translation of the traditional recitation of the Kol Nidre: "By the authority of the Court on High and by authority of the court down ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

In what way was Niniveh wicked?

What was so especially "wicked" about Niniveh that Jonah would have to go there? Were they wicked in that they worshiped different god(s)? This is pretty much what every other country did. Were they ...
8
votes
4answers
359 views

What is the iniquity of the Emorites?

Rashi on Bereshis 48:22 explains מִיַּד הָאֱמֹרִי as follows מיד עשו שעשה מעשה אמורי The pasuk earlier in Bereshis (15:16) implies that the Emorites were sinners כִּי לֹא שָׁלֵם עֲוֹן הָאֱמֹרִי ...
8
votes
3answers
176 views

Can a child have the din of a "machalel shabbos b'farhasia"?

A Jew that is a m"chalel shabbos b'farhasia" (that they desecrate the Shabbos in public) could have a different status in regards to certain dinim -- for example handling wine that wasn't cooked and ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Why does Gehazi have no share in the world to come?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 90a lists Gehazi as one of the 4 commoners who have no share in the world to come. I have seen different reasons for this none of which I fully understand. He mocked the ...
8
votes
2answers
167 views

Sins mentioned in Yom Kippur davening

In the service of Yom Kippur, there are a series of lists of sins which are accounted for. Vayikra 16:16 says that the Kohen, when he sacrificed the he-goat, brought about atonement on behalf of the ...
8
votes
1answer
280 views

Does one have to listen to an angel?

Does one now (or ever in the past) have to listen to the instructions of an angel? If so, would that include listening if the angel told you to violate a Torah commandment (either temporarily or ...
8
votes
1answer
313 views

Would suicide be considered acceptable if it was done to prevent yourself being sacrificed to an idol deity?

This is an oddly specific question but the thought came to me and I wanted to know what your opinions on it would be. Historically speaking, human sacrifice was a regular occurrence in various pagan ...
8
votes
2answers
349 views

If you check for bugs according to halachic requirements, and then there is a bug in the food, are you liable?

If one or one's wife does everything that is needed for checking, but one accidentally eats a bug anyway, is one liable for the sin(s)? I'd also be interested in knowing whether one would be liable ...
8
votes
1answer
276 views

I "stole" an ice cube. What can I do for Kaparah?

Yesterday, I was stung by a bee while walking at the zoo. After icing down the sting for a while, I continued on my way. A few minutes later, however, the bee-sting began to hurt again. I happened ...
7
votes
3answers
364 views

Did Adam and Chava have a child before they sinned? Was childbirth not painful before they sinned?

Did Adam and Chava have a child before they sinned? Was childbirth not painful before they sinned? In Bereshit 3:16, it says, To the woman He said, "I shall surely increase your sorrow and your ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

Why didn't Adam ask for forgiveness?

From the short negotiation between Adam and G-d it is clear that Adam is not asking for forgiveness. So why didn't he ask for forgiveness?

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