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Questions tagged [taamei-mitzvot-reasons]

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

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Why do we eat Matzah to commemorate what we did when we left Egypt, when we were already commanded to do so long before we left?

In the Haggadah, we say: ⁧מצה זו שאנוּ אוכלים, על שום מה? על שום שלא הספיק בצקם של אבותינו להחמיץ עד שנגלה עליהם מלך מלכי המלכים, הקדוש ברוך הוא, וגאלם, שנאמר: ויאפו את הבצק אשר הוציאו ממצרים עגת ...
Tamir Evan's user avatar
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What is the connection between the reason for eating matza, and the prohibition of chometz?

It is an explicit Torah Isur (prohibition) to eat (and own) chometz (leaven) during Passover, as stated in Exodus 13:7. The explanation given for this in the Haggadah is because when the Jewish people ...
TORAHistheikur's user avatar
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1 answer
78 views

Why is Maaser greater than Terumah?

Why does the Levi get more tithes of a field than the Kohen? Or in other words, why is Maaser Rishon so much larger than Trumah Gedolah? Even if the Levi gave his Terumas Maaser to the Kohen that got ...
user907a's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
113 views

Blood on Right Earlobe, Right Thumb, and Right Big Toe

There is a ritual in the Bible in which blood from a sacrifice is applied to the right earlobe, right thumb, and right big toe of people. The ritual is done for Aaron and his sons during their ...
Aaron's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
413 views

Does God care about individual animals?

Rambam writes in all his major Jewish works (PH, MT and MN) that if God cared about individual animals He wouldn't allow us to slaughter them for food. He writes that the pesukim that reflect divine ...
Nahum's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does Ramban believe mitzvos are for our benefit or for God's?

Ramban has a piece on Devarim 22:6 where he explains at length that it is only humans that benefit from mitzvos but certainly not God. E.g. אבל אלו ההגדות אשר נתקשו על הרב כפי דעתי ענין אחר להם, שרצו ...
Nahum's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Is working different species non agriculturally allowed

The Torah in Deuteronomy 22:10 prohibits plowing two different species together. My question is, is it permissible to have two different species work something that isn’t for the purpose of plowing to ...
Kirk's user avatar
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0 answers
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Why does the Torah allow "tzorech ochel nefesh" on Yom Tov?

Are there any explanations as to why the Torah allows ochel nefesh on Yom Tov (in contrast with Shabbat)? It is indeed very practical, especially in chutz laaretz, on a two-day Yom Tov (or even on a ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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Legitimate reasons for Cherem

According to Halacha, one is eligible for Cherem themselves if they put someone else in Cherem for an illegitimate reason. My question is, what constitutes a legitimate reason for Cherem and what ...
Kirk's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
342 views

Is it permissible to kill an animal and its mother without shechita?

Halacha prohibits slaughtering an animal and its mother on the same day. My question is, does this prohibition apply if you kill those animals without the purpose of eating them and without shechita? ...
Kirk's user avatar
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1 answer
86 views

Do all mitzvot Ben Adam lechavero apply to bnei noach

When it comes to noahide Halacha, there aren’t necessarily “7” mitzvot, but rather categories of commandments. My question is, do all mitzvot which are “Ben Adam lechavero” count under the category of ...
Kirk's user avatar
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Why do we not take the lulav at night?

We do not take the lulav at night (e.g., https://www.ou.org/holidays/the_lulav_and_etrog/ ). Why is that?
Yehuda W's user avatar
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4 answers
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Can a Jew not believe in G-d?

This is a two part question: Where in the Torah is there an explicit command to believe in God? (e.g. You must believe in God). Yes, I know about the first of the ten commandments and Rambam's issue ...
Sam's user avatar
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Why do Jews have more commandments than Noahides?

Out of curiosity. Why are there 613 laws for Jews and only 7 laws for Gentiles, and both Jews and Gentiles will get the same reward for obeying those laws?
Orly's user avatar
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How to reconcile Rashi's view/logic with Rabbi Ulla's three Noahide commandments? Who is correct?

In Sanhedrin 59a, Rashi writes (s.v. לזה ולזה נאמרה): כי יהיב קודשא בריך הוא תורה לישראל לא שקלינהו להנך מבני נח וכדקיימי להו קיימי When Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave the Torah to Yisroel, he did not take ...
setszu's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
255 views

How and why did Rabbi Ishmael's 13 rules make their way into pre-tefillah in shacharit?

There are various customs surrounding the recitation of Rabbi Ishmael's 13 rules of hermeneutics before shacharit. In many shuls I have prayed in (not as much in Israel), this is recited before ...
bondonk's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
378 views

Mitzvot that regulate undesirable practices and behaviour, designed to bring a gradual end to them - sources for this general idea?

Slavery is bad, but Hashem didn't ban it, He regulated it (see start of Parshat Mishpatim). Killing our own children is bad, but Hashem didn't ban it, He regulated it (Ben Sorer Umoreh, Ki Tetze). ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

What is the order of mitzvot importance?

In the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, some hierarchy is established for tzitzis: The Torah equates this commandment, and also connects it, to all of the commandments of the Torah combined. (Siman 9:1) And ...
Alexander's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
360 views

Is a reason given for why the sacrifice of the Red Heifer was made at the Mt. of Olives rather than at the Beit Hamikdash?

As stated, the Red Heifer sacrificial process involved taking the animal to the Mt. of Olives opposite the temple. Was a reason for this ever given? Is it purely to emphasize the separation of this ...
Michael's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
111 views

Does anyone say this is the paradox of the red heifer?

I've always understood that the parah adumah, the red heifer, is the quintessential chok, decree of the Torah, because it has the following paradox: It purifies the impure, and it impurifies the pure. ...
robev's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
890 views

Examples of forbidden behaviors for Jews permitted toward gentiles

I heard that there are Mitzvos that forbid certain behaviors toward fellow Jews but allow or prescribe those very behaviors toward gentiles. What are some examples of such Mitzvos?
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
402 views

The halachic prohibition of sexual promiscuity and adultery in the case of an infertile woman

I am an Italian Noahide. Here in Italy I participate online in a Biblical forum that sees the presence of some Israeli Jews. Well, in the context of a discussion about the prohibition of sexual ...
Amos74's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
149 views

Why must woman protecting her husband have her hand cut, no pity?

"If two men get into a fight with each other, and the wife of one comes up to save her husband from his antagonist and puts out her hand and seizes him by his genitals, you shall cut off her hand;...
Al Berko's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
202 views

What are some religious items that a gentile can make and still be kosher, if any at all?

I'm a gentile. I'm talking about items related to the fulfillment of mitzvot and there are some that are not so obvious to me, they are: tefillin(just the boxes and straps) tallitot shofarot sukkot ...
Leonardo's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Feeding animals as a mitzvah

Related Does one have to feed his dog, parrot, or goldfish before eating according to this Gemara? The gemara in Gittin 62A teaches that one should feed his animals before he, himself eats. I have ...
rosends's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
164 views

What is the origin of mitzvah Aravah?

Mishna in Sukkah 4:3 describes the mitzvah of Aravah, which was performed in the temple by circling the mizbeach with willow branches. This mitzvah is not mentioned in any indexes of the 613 mitzvos. ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Why was the "fence of the roof" chosen to represent common danger?

I did some research regarding ancient structures, and it appears that at the time of the conquest (15th century BCE, Bronze age) there were no multi-story structures in Israel (or Canaan cultures). ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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-3 votes
2 answers
168 views

Is ethics a reason behind commandments?

One reason frequently advanced for shechitah is that it minimizes pain to the animal being slaughtered. But Gentiles have no such restrictions (shechitah is not a Noahide law) and fish do not require ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

What is the significance of the different years in which a fruit is permitted to be eaten?

In parshas Kiddoshim we learn that for the first three years, a fruit may not be eaten at all. Then in the fourth year, it may be taken to Yerushalayim to be eaten. Then finally in the fifth year, it ...
B''H Bi'ezras -- Boruch Hashem's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
170 views

Why was Shaatnez used in making the Mishkan?

(Someone else asked a question like this and deleted it while I was writing my answer, so I'm reposting the question.) The tapestries of the Mishkan were made of wool and linen, as were the priestly ...
Mordechai's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
50 views

Are there reasons for duties of the heart?

For example, is there a reason for the mitzvah of bitachon? Of emunah? I think this is important to know because the Chovos Halevavos here appears to say one should do rational mitzvos both because ...
Yehuda's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
44 views

The reason of Tiltul in Shabbath

I remember to have studied a Tosefot where it is written that it is very hard to understand why is forbidden to transport something on Shabbath (Tiltul). Somebody can tell me where is this Tosefot
Igor Braha's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
181 views

Why Cyprus Wine?

One of the ingredients in the Ketores is Cypress Wine - יין קפריסין. Although the Gemara (Kerisus 6a) notes that pungency is the reason for using the wine, why does the Almighty specifically want ...
NJM's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
364 views

Connection between accidental murderer and Kohen ha'gadol?

Rashi does note that the Kohen ha'gadon should have prayed that there be no accidental murders. But I'm wondering if anyone has heard of a more direct relationship between the life of the murderer and ...
Yaakov's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
223 views

Why can't Jews return to Egypt using the same path the ancient Israelites took?

The Torah prohibits returning to Egypt (Deuteronomy 17:16, Sefer HaMitzvos Lo Sa'aseh § 46). The Sefer HaChinuch § 500 explains the reason for the prohibition is because the Egyptians are bad people, ...
robev's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
345 views

What do the terms tahor, tamey, taharah and tumah add to the description that one isn’t allowed to enter the temple under certain circumstances

The Tanach is full of descriptions of what's allowed and what's not allowed; commandments and prohibitions. But there are also certain occasions in which someone or something is describes as tahor or ...
Levi's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
129 views

What does this quote about meat and milk mean?

I'm trying to understand the meaning of this quote from טעמי המצוות by מנחם בן משה הבבלי, Mitzva Lo Ta'ase 56: (I think I understand all of the words, and I'm just not able to string them together, ...
Lo ani's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
131 views

Why Fins and Scales?

The Torah (Vayikra 11:9) writes אֶת־זֶה֙ תֹּֽאכְל֔וּ מִכֹּ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּמָּ֑יִם כֹּ֣ל אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ֩ סְנַפִּ֨יר וְקַשְׂקֶ֜שֶׂת בַּמַּ֗יִם בַּיַּמִּ֛ים וּבַנְּחָלִ֖ים אֹתָ֥ם תֹּאכֵֽלוּ - These you may ...
NJM's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
119 views

R' Elazar Hakalir's kerovah for Pesach and reason for אותו ואת בנו

Over Yom Tov I was looking at R' Elazar Hakalir's kerovah for the second day of Pesach, which is in the Daniel Goldschmidt machzor (available on Otzar Hachochmah, search for גולדשמידט) starting on ...
Heshy's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
199 views

Purpose for commandments?

So I would just like some insight on the reason for the commandments in the matter of whether they are for inheriting the world to come/heaven, or for they are for fixing this world. I have heard that ...
Jewish Context's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
45 views

What's the logic that a Kosher Succah can lack a wall or two?

The Gemmorah in Succa (6-7) presents two views on the number of walls in a Kosher Succah - either 2 walls and a notch of 4 inches or 3 walls and a notch. Anyway, one or two walls can be largely ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
148 views

Does the mitzvah of knowing Torah exist as separate from mitzvah of learning Torah?

According to views of some authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav and others), learning without pronouncing words or listening to Torah recordings does not qualify as the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
891 views

Lists of chukkim and mishpatim?

There are two types of commandments: chukkim and mishpatim. Mishpatim are those for which a good reason quickly comes to mind, such as "Do not steal". Chukkim are those for which a good reason does ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
407 views

Dog that was exchanged for a lamb [duplicate]

לֹֽא־תָבִיא֩ אֶתְנַ֨ן זוֹנָ֜ה וּמְחִ֣יר כֶּ֗לֶב בֵּ֛ית ה אֱלֹ-הֶ֖-יךָ (Devarim 23:19) Why a dog that was exchanged for a lamb is not allowed to be brought as an offering? Why are dogs singled out ...
user16403's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
154 views

Why do we specifically skip Lo Lanu and Ahavti?

On those days on which we skip part of Hallel (i.e. Rosh Chodesh and the last six days of Pesach), why were the first pieces of Tehillim 115 and 116 (Lo Lanu and Ahavti) the pieces chosen to be ...
DonielF's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
244 views

Why can sterile women become nidda?

Firstly, I'm not asking for halachic guidance, I have my LOR for that. I'm asking a conceptual question. My understanding is that women become niddah because of the "death" of the "life that could've ...
Reverend Bubbles's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
122 views

Understanding the sin of Lashon Hara

The problem is simply that I do not completely understand the principle of lashon hara.   One definition I often see is that lashon hara is spreading true (or also false in broader terms), ...
jp dozen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

How come that the 200 Mitzvos of Chumash Dvorim weren't presented to Dor Hamidbar?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, the last book of the Torah - Dvorim - is all about what Moses said on his last day(s) to Dor Ha'Aretz, as the Torah testifies: אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה ...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 26k
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

Why the Minimum Nazirship Length?

In Nazir 2:10, the Mishna states: :אֵין תִּגְלַחַת פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁלשִׁים יוֹם There can be no shaving for a period of less than thirty days. Meaning, if you were in the middle of one nazirship when ...
Checkmate's user avatar
  • 247
5 votes
1 answer
139 views

Philosophically, why does the death of an understudy kohen allow a manslaughterer to leave the City of Refuge?

Rambam, Laws of the Murderer and Preservation of Life 7:9. ואחד כוהן גדול העובד, ואחד הכוהן שעבר [The person guilty of manslaughter -- rotzeach beshogeg -- is no longer exiled to a City of Refuge ...
Shalom's user avatar
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