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20

The Semak, in his list of the 613 Commandments, counts male masturbation as a Biblical prohibition in Negative Command #292.


19

In the Moreh Nevuchim, Rambam explains how God's attributes should be understood without compromising God's unchangingness. He compares God's mood to a fire. If you put ice in a fire, it melts, then evaporates. If you put clay in a fire, it hardens. If you put wood in a fire it burns... The fire causes many different and contrasting effects without changing ...


18

A non-Jew certainly may wear tefillin (in other words, there is no law against them doing so), but they will not be fulfilling a mitzvah. From that perspective, they might be viewed in the same way that one views a Jewish woman who lays tefillin: the Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 38:3) exempts her but allows her to wear them if she wishes. Note, however, that ...


17

There is a little known Chassidic text published in 1834 entitled Pri Yitzchak that details all 613 Mitzvot and the corresponding limbs for positive mitzvot and 365 Gidim for negative commandments. It has not been translated from the Hebrew. It is a very sophisticated work. He uses the list of halachic limbs listed in the Mishna, and uses the Rambam's list ...


17

This question was discussed by the Meforshim (traditional commentators), who use Genesis 26:5 as a springboard for this discussion. The verse states: עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר-שָׁמַע אַבְרָהָם בְּקֹלִי וַיִּשְׁמֹר מִשְׁמַרְתִּי מִצְו‍ֹתַי חֻקּוֹתַי וְתוֹרֹתָי. Rashi holds that the Avot kept the entire corpus of Halacha - all of Torah sheBa'al Peh — including ...


17

The following is just my understanding of the sources, and if there are any mistakes (ex: in the Ramban's reasons to disagree with the Rambam, the titles given to mitzvos, etc.), please point them out to me. I used the Mishneh LaMelech's Derech Mitzvosecha § 1, this article, and the Ramban's summary at the end of his Hasagos to help with this list. In ...


17

I think you should begin the practice of learning something Jewish every day. This mitzvah is, in my mind, both necessary and sufficient for a Jewish life. Why? Because it keeps your pintele yid not only burning, but uncovered and unforgotten-- allowing it to light up the rest of your life, and the world. Also, this mitzvah uniquely enables the performance ...


15

This discrepancy was noticed by the Radvaz (Shu"t Chelek 3 Simman 585), Mishneh LeMelech (Parshas Derachim, Derech Mitzvoseicha Chelek 4 Simman 467), and the Minchas Chinuch (Mitzvah 467), among others. As mentioned, the Chinuch leaves out the mitzvah against a zar eating terumah, and he replaces it with the prohibition against bringing the korbon pesach on ...


14

The Talmud (Baba Metzia 59B) says, in the name of R' Elazar HaGadol, that 36 times in Torah we are warned against the wronging of a convert (46 if you count the times it says "because you were strangers in egypt" and the like - Tosafot). The reason given is because a convert has a strong inclination for evil, and you do not want to drive him back to his old ...


14

There is no lav in the Torah against eating outside the Sukkah, so it would just be a bitul aseh. It says "Basukkos teshvu", but does not say anythink like "lo tochal chutz me'suka".


13

I don't have an explicit answer, but since women are not obligated to sit in the sukkah, and we know that women are obligated to fulfill negative commandments, it would stand to reason that eating out of the Sukkah would be a Bittul Asseh.


13

The Chinuch, in his introductory letter, breaks it down like this (apparently differently than the Chofetz Chaim): There are 613 Mizvot, 248 Positive and 365 Negative. (The Chinuch bases his sefer on the Rambam's enumeration of the Mitzvot.) The Total amount of Mitzvot that a person can do these days is 369, however 99 of them (78 Positive and 21 Negative), ...


13

Very conveniently, the answer lies plainly in one verse. VaYikra (Leviticus) 19:17 states, "Do not hate your brother in your heart; you surely must rebuke your neighbor, but you must not bear sin because of him." (My own translation) Rashi there states: "but You shall not bear a sin on his account: I.e., [in the course of your rebuking your fellow,] do not ...


13

The list of differences can be found in an appendix to the Minchas Chinuch. Ramban includes all of these positive mitzvos, which the Rambam doesn't Mitzvah 1: Positive mitzvah of eating maaser sheni. Mitzvah 2: Positive mitzvah of not eating impure trumah Mitzvah 3: Positive mitzvah of not selling shvi'is fruits Mitzvah 4: Positive mitzvah of settling ...


12

The technical reason is a Gemara in Kiddushin that says that since women are not obligated in Tfilin (which is mentioned in a verse near the verse that speaks about Torah learning, where it says (Vshinantem levanecha, you shall teach your son(and not your daughter))), which they are free from because , they are not obligated in any commandment similar to ...


12

The Rambam in Perush Hamishnayos Avos Perek 2:1 says that a Mitzva Kala is learning Loshon Kodesh. Harav Yitzchak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef Hilchos Talmud Torah Seif Koton 78 also says it is a Mitzva.


12

1) See Shabbat 23a, which discusses Menorah on Chanukah: מברך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של חנוכה והיכן צונו רב אויא אמר מלא תסור רב נחמיה אמר שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך Soncino translation: What benediction is uttered? — This: Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah. And where did He ...


12

God expects Jews to follow the torah and gentiles to follow the Noachide laws. Until you've converted you're still a gentile and don't have additional heavenly obligations. Perhaps you have heard of people in the process of conversion being required to do more. If so, it's likely a misunderstanding. Once you are studying with a rabbi he will guide you to ...


12

There are six commandments applicable to males at all times: Know there is God. Don't believe in other gods. Belief in unity of God. Love God. Fear God. Don't be lead astray by your eyes and heart. These are all equally relevant for females. The last one may apply somewhat differently to females and males. There are many other vitally important ...


12

You can learn the blessing of Shehakol and recite it before you take a drink. Once you learn it (and that can take time), it takes about two seconds to say. You can learn the words here. Shehakol, like all blessings, is an expression of gratitude to God for giving us the good things in life. Studies have shown that regularly expressing gratitude and ...


12

I'm quite surprised that in my below research, I did not see any references to the Gemara in Avodah Zarah 45b-46a (edit: I saw it mentioned as an aside in one source), which not only implies that it is a mitzvah to make fun of Avodah Zarah, it even provides sources! Here it is, with the Davidson Edition translation: ורבנן ההוא לכנות לה שם דתניא ר"א אומר ...


12

Rambam in Yesodei HaTorah ch. 1 explicitly uses this as the source for the commandment to know of Hashem’s existence. יְסוֹד הַיְסוֹדוֹת וְעַמּוּד הַחָכְמוֹת לֵידַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם מָצוּי רִאשׁוֹן. וְהוּא מַמְצִיא כָּל נִמְצָא. וְכָל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִשָּׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ וּמַה שֶּׁבֵּינֵיהֶם לֹא נִמְצְאוּ אֶלָּא מֵאֲמִתַּת הִמָּצְאוֹ: וְאִם יַעֲלֶה עַל ...


11

The criterion for a Sanhedrin to have the powers that you enumerated (and a lot of others too) is that its members have semichah (ordination) that goes back, in succession, to Moshe Rabbeinu. Such semichah also has to be given specifically in the Land of Israel, so it died out when the Jewish communities there dwindled (depending whom you ask, anywhere from ...


11

Person. You don't need to have tzitzit on a tallit that you keep in a drawer. Source: Talmud Menachot 41. See also Rambam Hil. Tzitzit 3:10-11, Shulchan Aruch OC 19:1


11

Maybe that's just it. With exile having been our dominant mode of existence for most of our history, there is a real danger that we'll come to see that as the norm. By having - and learning about - so many mitzvos, with the details richly given, that we can't perform in galus, then that drives home the point that things are not how they should be, which in ...


11

Ralbag addresses the issue of number of mitzvot in his commentary to Exodus Chapter 12 in the Sixth Lesson. He points out the following: R. Simlai in Makkot 23b expounds that there are 613 mitzvot – 248 positive commandments and 365 negative commandments. Rambam tried very hard to calculate the exact 613 mitzvot, and surpassed all his predecessors in this ...


11

The Rambam in Shemoneh Perakim, ch. 6, discusses the preferable attitude towards avoiding aveiros, and references this midrash. After citing sentiments of the Nevi'im, such as (Mishlei 21:10) "נֶפֶשׁ רָשָׁע אִוְּתָה רָע" (the soul of a wicked person desires evil), and contrasting those with Chazal's statements such as "לפום צערא אגרא" (the reward is ...


11

Viewing geirut as spelling out every detail of the b'rit seems impractical. Even many Jews from birth don't know the basics of all the commandments, and while it's reasonable to have a higher bar for those seeking to become obligated, that's an awful lot of learning and testing before the person can enter into the community. A convert is required to agree ...


11

As the Mishnah Berurah there explains, it’s because of תשבו כעין תדורו - one lives in the sukkah as he would in his house. You would leave your house if it was causing you significant discomfort, so you may leave the sukkah under the same circumstances.


11

Because the literature surrounding the Shema is quite vast, I will bring only general essentials below. Text of the Shema, referenced below: Deut. 6 שְׁמַע יִשרָאֵל יי אֱלהֵינוּ יי אֶחָד: בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוד מַלְכוּתו לְעולָם וָעֶד: Deut. 6 וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יי אֱלהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל מְאדֶךָ: וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה ...


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