מְפַקְּחִין פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִטּל רְשׁוּת מִבֵּית דִּין. וְהַמַּקְדִּים לְהַצִּיל הַנֶּפֶשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח.
[All] activities necessary to save a life should be performed on the Sabbath; there is no necessity to receive a license from the court. The more zealous one is [in this regard], the more praiseworthy. (2.16)
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.
This discrepancy was noticed by the Mishneh LaMelech in his Parshas Derachim Derech Mitzvosecha 4:487, and the Minchas Chinuch § 487, 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 Pesach offering on a private altar. He brings this as Mitzvah #467.
Great question. A writer from the Houston Community Kollel has surveyed historical answers to this famous question (here)
(1) The great medieval commentator Rashba (1235-1310) in his
Responsa (1:18) offers the following rule: Any mitzvah which is not
entirely in the hands of the one performing it, as it requires the
participation of another person ...
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 ...
Wages must be paid to an employee, and paid on time:
לֹֽא־תַעֲשֹׁ֥ק אֶת־רֵֽעֲךָ֖ וְלֹ֣א תִגְזֹ֑ל לֹֽא־תָלִ֞ין פְּעֻלַּ֥ת שָׂכִ֛יר אִתְּךָ֖ עַד־בֹּֽקֶר׃
You shall not defraud your fellow. You shall not commit robbery. The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning.
לֹא־תַעֲשֹׁ֥ק שָׂכִ֖יר עָנִ֣י וְאֶבְי֑וֹן ...
Basically, we don't have the power to declare someone categorically exempt. Abudraham suggested one explanation, but our system of laws categorically says "all men are obligated", "all women are not."
If a person is truly in a situation beyond their control, halacha recognize that. If it's five minutes before sunset and a single dad who hasn't yet prayed ...
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 ...
Tosfos, Ketubot 4a:
בעילת מצוה. קרי לה בעילת מצוה משום דכתיב כי בועליך עושיך ואמרי'
(סנהדרין דף כב:) אין אשה כורתת ברית אלא למי שעושה אותה כלי וע''י כך
מידבק בה ובאין לידי פריה ורביה ולהכי קרי לה לבעילה ראשונה בעילת מצוה
Commandment Intercourse It calls it "commandment intercourse" because Scripture says "who has intercourse with you makes ...
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
What benediction is uttered? — This: Who sanctified us by His
commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah. And
where did He ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Parashat Vayelekh isn't formally a thing. There is Parashat Nitzavim, and in some years it is read over two weeks. When that happens some people have started calling the second half "Parashat Vayelekh" after its incipit. But it's not traditionally part of the count of official sections.
This follows from the traditional count of 53 sections in the ...
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 ...
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.
רמי רב טובי בר רב קיסנא לרבא תנן כל העושה מצוה אחת מטיבין לו עשה אין לא עשה לא ורמינהי ישב ולא עבר עבירה נותנים לו שכר כעושה מצוה אמר ליה התם כגון שבא דבר עבירה לידו וניצול הימנה
Rav Tuvi bar Rav Kisna raises a contradiction to Rava and asked: We
learned in the mishna that anyone who performs one mitzva has goodness
bestowed upon ...
In "Chorev" R. Samson Raphael Hirsch divides the Torah into several categories, two of which are mishpatim and chukim. Here is an image of the table of contents, showing which mitzvot are classed in each category:
"Rama, Orach Chaim 656:1, rules that one must spend up to one-fifth of his assets on order to fulfill a positive [Biblical] mitzvah and his entire fortune in order not to violate a negative [Biblical] commandment." (source) As for negative commandments that are violated by passivity--such as the commandment that you may not allow someone else to die--there ...
The Lubavitcher Rebbe says (in a long speech about "Family Planning") that
One of the strongest objections is fear of financial inability to support children. Naturally, parents want the best for their children, and fear of being unable to provide adequately is a powerful deterrent to having them. This is a genuine concern -- but based on an ...
Because the literature surrounding the Shema is quite vast, I will bring only general essentials below.
Text of the Shema, referenced below:
שְׁמַע יִשרָאֵל יי אֱלהֵינוּ יי אֶחָד:
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוד מַלְכוּתו לְעולָם וָעֶד:
וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יי אֱלהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל מְאדֶךָ: וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה ...
Yes. As discussed in Sahedrin 74b and codified in Halacha, there are "things Jews are not allowed to do, per halacha, simply on the grounds that some non-Jews do it, and not because these things are bad in themselves".
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 3:2 brings some examples and guidelines:
אֵין הוֹלְכִין בְּחֻקּוֹת הַגּוֹיִים, וְלֹא מִתְדַמִּים לָהֶם, לֹא ...
The Terumas Hadeshen (#35) discusses delaying Kiddush Levana in order to fulfill the obligation in it's hiddur on Motze Shabbos. He discusses whether it is worth delaying a mitzvah for it's hiddur, and rules:
דכל היכא דראוי הוא להסתפק שתעבור המצוה אין משהין אותה אפילו כדי
לעשותה יותר מן המובחר ומ"מ מוכח התם דדוקא בדראוי להסתפק שתעבור המצוה
אז לא ...
I could theorize that according to R. Firrer, the 'halakhic Earth' would be defined as anywhere that one is still subject to the Earth's gravitational field. Actually reading the article, however, implies that either 1. as soon as something is not touching Earth, it is no longer governed by its halachos (which, as you point out, is ridiculous) or 2. anything ...
I think that the question presupposes that the coming of Moshiach is a reward for our work during the era of exile, and in that case that's a fair point, since we're supposed to do mitzvos "not in order to receive reward" (Avos 1:3).
However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l cites in this connection a statement by R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya, ch. 37) that ...