Questions tagged [taamei-mitzvot-reasons]

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

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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?
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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 ...
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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;...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 answers
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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. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
60 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). ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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What does this quote mean?

I'm trying to understand the meaning of this quote from טעמי המצוות by מנחם בן משה הבבלי: (I think I understand all of the words, and I'm just not able to string them together, but that could be wrong ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
137 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. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
581 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
226 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 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
109 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), ...
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1 vote
1 answer
72 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why there's no Deoraytah prohibition of altering Torah scroll?

Following my other question "no-anti-altering-failsafe-measures". Please correct me if I'm wrong, one who alters one letter of a Torah scroll invalidates it in whole (שו"ע יו"ד רעד). But I don't ...
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10 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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, “...
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 אֲשֶׁ֨ר ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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־אִמֶּ֑ךָ ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 they could improve their character. They would be surrounded by the Leviim, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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?
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8 votes
1 answer
91 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?
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1 answer
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
164 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Explain Rashi quoting 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
59 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?
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3 votes
0 answers
174 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 ...
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