Questions tagged [taamei-mitzvot-reasons]

reasons (as best as we can understand them) for the Mitzvot/Commandments

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9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the purpose of the goat for Azazel, as opposed to conventional offerings?

I've long been confused by the two goats on Yom Kippur. The kohein gadol confesses his and his house's sins on the bull that is offered; in addition, there is a goat that is offered (without ...
6
votes
0answers
37 views

Why do we specifically recall the greenery of Har Sinai on Shavuos?

While there are several reasons why there is a custom to spread greenery in shul, one which is brought by the Mishnah Berurah (494:10) is that Har Sinai was covered with greenery. Why is it ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Why do we say Barchu during davening when we don’t do so during Zimun?

The Shulchan Aruch paskens (OC 192:1): ואם הם ארבעה יכול לומר ברכו שאכלנו משלו אבל יותר טוב לומר נברך שלא להוציא עצמו מן הכלל If they [who are eating together] are four, [the leader] may say, “...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Why is kisui hadam (covering of the blood) only done for a bird & wild animal, but not for a domesticated animal?

Leviticus 17:13 teaches us about the mitzvah of kisui hadam (covering of the blood) after an animal undergoes shechitah: וְאִ֨ישׁ אִ֜ישׁ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וּמִן־הַגֵּר֙ הַגָּ֣ר בְּתוֹכָ֔ם ...
1
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0answers
54 views

Why must we stand when counting the Omer?

The Rambam (Hilchos Temidim U'Mussafin, 7:23) says that we must stand when counting the Omer. The כסף משנה (s.v. "ואין מונין אלא מעומד וכו") writes that the reason we must stand is based on a limud: ...
4
votes
1answer
33 views

According to those who argue on R’ Yehudah, why do we bring the Shtei HaLechem on Shavuos?

Rosh Hashanah 16a quotes the following teaching: א"ר יהודה משום ר"ע ... מפני מה אמרה תורה הביאו שתי הלחם בעצרת מפני שעצרת זמן פירות האילן הוא אמר הקב"ה הביאו לפני שתי הלחם בעצרת כדי שיתברכו לכם ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Why is Pesach sheni one month after Pesach rishon?

Bamidbar 9:11 tells us that Pesach sheni happens a month after Pesach rishon. Pesach sheni was for the unclean or people on a long journey, who couldn't bring Pesach at its appointed time. Did they ...
0
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0answers
17 views

Why is Shavuos one day and not seven? [duplicate]

Why is Shavuos just one day, instead of a full week? Of the three Regalim (Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos), Shavuos is the only one which isn’t seven days long. Furthermore, in regards to bringing the ...
3
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0answers
69 views

Common denominator of the Mitzvot whose reward is “lengthened days?”

To my knowledge, there are 3 mitzvot in the Torah that explicitly state that the reward is lengthened days (long life): 1) Honoring one's parents (Exodus 20:12) כַּבֵּ֥ד אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

Source for Ir Miklat used to improve one's character

I heard in a shiur that one purpose for sending an accidental killer to the arei miklat, the cities of refuge, was so that he could improve his character. He would be surrounded by the Leviim, and ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Why do we count Sefirah cardinally rather than ordinally?

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 489:1) rules as follows: כיצד ביום הראשון אומר היום יום אחד (בעומר) עד שמגיע לשבעה ימים ואז יאמר היום שבעה ימים שהם שבוע אחד (בעומר) וביום שמיני אומר היום שמונה ימים שהם שבוע ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

What is the logic behind the Maharil's explanation of why we don't say שעשה ניסים on Pesach?

My Haggadah cites the Maharil in Minhagim, Hilchos Hahagadah as having asked why we don't say שעשה ניסים on Pesach. He rejects the explanation brought by others that it's because we say לפיכך חייבים ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Why must the Pesach Korban had to be eaten entirely [closed]

Why does the Pesach Korban in Lev 22:30 have to be eaten in its entirety and nothing should remain till next morning?
8
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1answer
66 views

What was the significance of Pomegranates?

What was the significance of Pomegranates on the Kohen Gadol's "Me'il"? Why specifically Pomegranates and not any other shape?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Sources for scientific rationale for the 613 Mizvot?

Are there any published works on the scientific rationale for any of the 613 Mizvot? For example: Handwashing: It only took the medical community did not deem it medically relevant until 2 centuries ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Why may a master torture his non-Jewish slave?

We’re commanded to be sensitive to a convert, as we know what it’s like to be in a foreign land (Shemos 23:9): וְגֵ֖ר לֹ֣א תִלְחָ֑ץ וְאַתֶּ֗ם יְדַעְתֶּם֙ אֶת־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַגֵּ֔ר כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Explain Rashi / Mechilta on Shemot 24:3

In Shemot 24:3, regarding the term mishpatim (logical laws), Rash"i citing Mechilta includes a list of items. Among them, he includes parah adumah (the laws of the red heifer.) This is puzzling. The ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Segula of Tefilin

I was looking for some ideas to inspire people to start putting on tefilin everyday. What are the advantages and blessings for a person who dons tefilin?
2
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0answers
97 views

How could the law of marrying the rape victim ever be implemented?

I ask this in good faith as I am religious. How is it possible for this situation to come about? If you claim the rapist must receive a punishment via the fines, then we know that at least two ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Using the name יהוה [duplicate]

HaShem teaches Moshe the following in Shemot 3:15: כֹּה-תֹאמַר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם; זֶה-שְּׁמִי ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

The usage of the title HaShem instead of other titles [duplicate]

One doesn’t pronounce יהוה, but with so many titles to be found in the Tenach for referring to יהוה, why would we refer to Him as ‘HaShem’ then? Why not stick with Adonai, Anochi, El Shadai etc. like ...
7
votes
1answer
190 views

Passover Lamb: Why is the bone not broken?

The Torah in Exodus 12:46 teaches us the prohibition of breaking a bone from the Passover lamb: בְּבַ֤יִת אֶחָד֙ יֵאָכֵ֔ל לֹא־תוֹצִ֧יא מִן־הַבַּ֛יִת מִן־הַבָּשָׂ֖ר ח֑וּצָה וְעֶ֖צֶם לֹ֥א תִשְׁבְּרוּ־בֽוֹ׃ ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Our relation relationship with Hashem

Avos states, "Do not be as servants who are serving the master in order to receive a reward, rather be as servants who are serving the master not in order to receive a reward." Yet, Mesillas Yesharim ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Why can't the Amida be repeated without a minyan?

If one purpose of the repetition of the Amida is to allow those who are not expert in prayer to be exempted of their obligation to pray (as per the Shulchan Aruch, O"C 124:1) why isn't this same ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

The underlying reason for Shemitat Ksafim?

I've researched the topic for a while and I could not find a single interpreter discussing the reason (טעם המצווה) for canceling loans after the Shemitah Year. I know it is a Machloket (see my ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Why is sleep described as imprisonment?

Every night, we make the Berachah of המפיל חבלי שנה על עיני, Who causes the binds of sleep to fall on my eyes (Berachos 60b; SA OC 239:1), and in the morning, we make the Berachah of מתיר אסורים, Who ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Why do we wave the Lulav / etrog?

The mitzvah mentioned in the Torah just says to "take" 4 species. The Torah doesn't mention anything about waving them. The Talmud mentions waving them at certain points in Hallel, but there doesn't ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Why is the laining identical on the first 2 days of Sukkot?

The laining is chosen (on many holidays) to deal with the holiday, itself. As the Rambam explains, וקוראין בעניין המועד, לא בסדר השבת. ומשה רבנו תיקן להן לישראל, שיהיו קוראין בכל מועד, עניינו; ...
-3
votes
2answers
105 views

How women's Ptur from time-related Mitzvot works?

THis is a follow-up question to the long-forgotten "why-are-women-exempt..." (2011). What is the meaning of the word Patur (exempt) here - does it mean like דחויה or הותרה? Were they obligated on Mt ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Why does water purify?

The Torah states that immersion in a mikveh of water purifies a person from Tuma (spiritual impurity). Why does water do this? Is there some kind of spiritual powers imbued in water? Or is this just ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Reason why pressing on an animal throat is forbidden during shechitah

The Rambam writes (MT Shechita 3:1) about five factors that disqualify ritual slaughter (shechitah). One of them (3:11) is dirasah, pressing on animal throat (based on the gemara in Chulin 30b) For ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is eating meat from living animals wrong?

Why is it wrong to eat meat from a living animal? Is it because it is cruel? Is it because it is impure? Why is it?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Why are there degrees of impurity?

Why does the Torah outline many different degrees of impurity טומאה with different purification methods? You have corpse-impurity which requires sprinkling with the water of the red heifer during a ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Why sprinkle on the third day?

Parshat Chukat describes the purifying ritual of the red heifer and records that one is impure for 7 days, but the process requires that one sprinkle on the third and seventh day. Aside from one ...
8
votes
1answer
79 views

Why is there no mitzvah for an individual to write his own mezuzah?

Ramba"m states that there is a mitzvah for every individual to write his own Torah. This mitzvah can be accomplished by writing one letter. Why is there no mitvah for writing a mezuza. It seems that ...
4
votes
2answers
238 views

What are reasons of מצוות עונה marital sex?

Besides the reason of having children, are there other reasons to the מצוות עונה (marital sex)?
2
votes
2answers
125 views

What is the “good of marriage” in Jewish thought?

In Christian philosophy, many ancient philosophers such as Aquinas and Augustine speak about the "good of marriage." Marriage is "good", they argue, because it leads to offspring, chastity and ...
-4
votes
1answer
47 views

Why is the prohibition against one man murdering another considered a “mitzvah sichlis”, while fish and animals may prey on each other?

Why is The prohibition against one man murdering another [רציחה] considered a "mitzvah sichlis", a logically understood mitzvah, (as quoted in שמונה פרקים להרמב"ם פרק ו) while fish and animals may ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

Why is the Tetragrammaton unutterable?

Why is it not allowed to pronounce God's four letter name ywvh? Is there a reason for this? Is it such a great taboo as to be unforgivable?
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Whats the point of the tzizit in back?

If tzizit are supposed to remind you of Hashem and the Mitzvoh whats the point of the tzizit in back? It's rare you see them at all even if you don't tuck them in.
1
vote
1answer
61 views

mitzvos and middos

i heard the idea that mitzvos are to improves character what is/are the source/s for this? do others argue? what i found is in the name of the Ramban here and here but were it the original Ramban? ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Why is it forbidden to eat after the Qorban Pesah?

The Mishnah (Pesahim 10:8) states (Hebrew, English): אין מפטירין אחר הפסח אפיקומן They may not add an afikoman after the Pesach offering. The commentators (e.g. Bartenura) explain that this ...
13
votes
1answer
120 views

Other reasons to start teaching children with Vayikra

The Midrash (Tanchuma Tzav #14, Vayikra Rabbah 7:3) advises one to start teaching their children with parshas Vayikra, since the korbonos are pure, just like children are pure. This is brought by the ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

What’s the reason behind having to use specifically animal skin for klaf?

What’s the reasoning behind the need to use animals per se as opposed to any other paperlike material for klaf (to write on)? Is there significance in the need to take the life of an animal for the ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Is scissors vs. straight blade really a significant difference? [duplicate]

While listening to a presentation being given by an orthodox Jew, he made a comment about shaving, and how he had to use an electric razor past a certain point on his face. It was just a ...
4
votes
0answers
178 views

Reason for prohibition of charging interest [duplicate]

The Torah says that charging interest on a loan to a Jew is prohibited, but to an idol worshipper it is permitted. My question is why? I can think of three possible answers: 1) There is a time value ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why some Korbanot male while others are female?

Why do some korbanot need to be brought as male animals, and some as female animals?
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Is the Sefer Hachinuch actually about reasons for mitzvos?

(Inspired by the answers given by @רבות מחשבות and @mevaqesh to this question.) When people speak about reasons for mitzvos they generally mean something along the lines of "God commanded us to do ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Resource on reasons/intention for mitzvot

I would like to know if there is a resource, preferably a book, that gives the reason/intention of specific mitzvot. My question stems from a shiur i heard from rabbi akiva tatz. Where he said ...
10
votes
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 ...