24

Halachically, you transgress a biblical commandment if you knowingly have relations with a niddah, and the punishment is karet. See this answer, which cites Rambam Laws of Prohibitions on Relations 4:3. According to Rambam Issurei Biah 1:1 (h/t DoubleAA), punishments for forbidden relations apply to both except in a special case not applicable here. By ...


22

No. Prof. Eliezer Segal, in an essay entitled "Monkey Business," discussing the unfortunate contemporary phenomenon of "Islamicist clerics" preaching that Jews, generally, are descended from apes and pigs, says that there is no Jewish source to be found for this story: Unfortunately, in all the vast stores of ancient rabbinic literature, no text has yet ...


18

I am impressed by the gravity of your inquiry and your care in the matter in that you are seeking real answers to a complicated question. May Hashem help the two of you and anyone else in need of this post. First let's address some issues your question raised in this case, and then let's address the Halachic ramifications. The OP states that your wife is ...


14

According to the Ibn Ezra, Nineveh had previously been a righteous city, so they were given a chance to repent, whereas Sodom and Gomorrah didn't merit a prophet to warn them. Ibn Ezra, Jonah 1:2: והנה מצאנו כתוב היתה עיר גדולה לאלהים שהיו יריאים השם מקדם... ופירוש לאלהים כי היו יריאים השם הימים הקדמונים רק עתה בימי יונה החלו לעשות רע. ולולי זה ...


14

Ma'ayaneh Shel Torah quotes the The Chiddushei HaRIM that when Dama ben Nesina lost a huge sum of money because he was honoring his father, it created a Heavenly Accusation against the Jewish people. By giving him a red heifer, G-d showed that while a non-Jew was willing to lose a large amount of money for a Mitzvah that makes sense, the Jews were willing ...


14

This question really touches on what the purpose of the Tree of Knowledge was. Why would G-d not want them to eat from a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Isn't that the most important knowledge to have? In Moreh Nevuchim 1:1 Rambam develops an approach to understanding this (in which he alludes to your question). As I understand his answer, it is ...


14

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 99b) says that one who is mevazeh a Torah Sage has no place in the World to Come. Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 334:43) lists this as the first of 24 reasons why a person can be excommunicated, even after the Sage passed away. As discussed in the commentaries there, the Sage has to be of a certain stature for it to reach that point. I ...


14

The Kabalistic work "Tikunei Zohar" (30a) mentions this as a punishment for a person who has relations with women he should not be having relations with. It is stated there that is that this is מִדָּה לָקֳבֵל מִדָּה (Midah k'neged midah). My understanding is, that by living with these types of women, the person demonstrates that he isn't interested ...


13

I found a case attributed to the Semag (one of the last ba'alei Tosfos) where a sin is so heinous that not only is forgiveness not an option, but we don't administer capital punishment since putting this person to death won't serve as atonement (ie we let him live). But first some background. There's a prohibition of offering one's children to Molech, a ...


13

This exact question was asked by the Tosafist R. Yehuda Ben Elazar in his commentary to Genesis 38:10: וא"ת למה נענשו ער ואונן והלא לא היו אלא בני ח' שנה כדאי' בסדר עולם ואמרי' בית דין של מעלה אין מענישין עד כ' שנה ותירץ ר' יהודה החסיד דאין הדבר תלוי אלא בדעת ובמחשבה כי יש פחות מי"ג שנה ערום בדעת ובמחשבה לרעה או לטובה Why were Er and Onan punished?...


12

This is a rather famous issue, so much so that Rabbeinu Bachya (1100's) already lists five answers to this question. Later, Abarbanel lists 7 (in his book Tzedek Olamim), and the Kli Yakar (to Vayikra 26:12) collects 9 answers. There are even more floating around Jewish literature (especially in kabbalah and chassidus), but I think that these will suffice ...


12

The Rambam referenced in the question actually deals with the many times in Tanach in which we ascribe emotions to Hashem. In chapter 55 in Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam discusses Hashem's "emotion" as a literary device used to convey meaning to us an audience. Emotions and moods are transient in nature, and are impossible for the unchanging perfection of ...


12

Mishnah Makkot 3:15: רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, מִמְּקוֹמוֹ הוּא לָמֵד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח) וְנִכְרְתוּ הַנְּפָשׁוֹת הָעֹשֹׂת וְגוֹ', וְאוֹמֵר (שם) אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם. הָא, כָּל הַיּוֹשֵׁב וְלֹא עָבַר עֲבֵרָה, נוֹתְנִין לוֹ שָׂכָר כְּעוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה.‏ Rabbi Shimon says, We [do not need the kal vachomer to learn this] can ...


10

The Midrash Raba 1:28 says it was justifiable: One time, an Egyptian taskmaster went to a Israelite kapo and looked at his wife, who was beautiful without blemish. He got up at cockcrow and removed him from his house and (the Egyptian) returned and bedded his wife, who thought he was her husband…. Once the taskmaster knew that [the husband] knew ...


9

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, when describing your case about a thief's slavery, writes that the Torah's system of punishment is much better than the prevailing system of imprisonment, which basically destroys the perpetrator. This implies that jail is never found as a punishment in Judaism. That being said, there are times where someone is guilty of a severe ...


8

Punishment doesn't (and didn't) work the way I think you're assuming. Ancient Israel didn't have a "police force" to deal with violations of halacha. Any transgression punishable by a court was acted on only if witnesses came forward to bring an accusation. As part of doing that, the witnesses would certainly have to know if the person they accuse is ...


8

Rambam Hilchot Rotzeach 4:3: הַמַּכֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּאֶבֶן אוֹ בְּאֶגְרוֹף וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אוֹמְדִין אוֹתוֹ. אִם אֲמָדוּהוּ לְחַיִּים נוֹתֵן חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים וְנִפְטָר. וַאֲפִלּוּ חָלָה הַמֻּכֶּה וְהִכְבִּיד וּמֵת מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְאִם אֲמָדוּהוּ לְמִיתָה אוֹסְרִין אֶת הַמַּכֶּה בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר מִיָּד וּמַמְתִּינִים לָזֶה. אִם ...


8

Rambam, Shabas 1:3, says: Someone who does so on purpose, we hit him with a smiting for rebellion (makas mardus). That is, bes din does.


8

I think the main fundamental drive is not about getting a reward. It is about building a relationship with the Creator of the World. The reason for doing the mitzvos is that they are an expression of His Will, and we love Him very much, like one loves his father, and obey his will not because of the reward but because we want to do something nice for Him. ...


8

We can't possibly know how God judges people after they die. We know that he is compassionate, and I think it's safe to assume that he isn't going out of his way to punish people for things they didn't really understand. On the other hand, perhaps a person who believes himself to be Jewish but still violates halacha does receive punishment even though he was ...


8

The prescribed punishment for intentionally eating meat of a non-kosher animal (e.g. pork) is lashes. Rambam writes in Hilchot Maachalot Assurot 2:2: כל האוכל מבשר בהמה וחיה טמאה כזית לוקה מן התורה Anyone who eats an olive-sized piece of the meat of an impure [i.e. 'non-kosher'] domesticated or wild animal is biblically liable to receive lashes. ...


8

Kiddushin 40a מחשבה טובה מצרפה למעשה שנאמר אז נדברו יראי ה' איש אל רעהו ויקשב ה' וישמע ויכתב ספר זכרון לפניו ליראי ה' ולחושבי שמו מאי ולחושבי שמו אמר רב אסי אפילו חשב אדם לעשות מצוה ונאנס ולא עשאה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עשאה Good intention is combined with deed, for it is said: Then they that feared the Lord spoke one with another: and the Lord hearkened, ...


7

There is a disagreement between the Rambam and the Raavad regarding the Ir Hanidachas - wayward city, whether it is possible to remove the punishment if the town did indeed repent. The Rambam (עבודת כוכבים פרק ד׳ - הלכה ו׳) ו והיאך דין עיר הנדחת. בזמן שתהיה ראויה להעשות עיר הנדחת. בית דין הגדול שולחין ודורשין וחוקרין עד שידעו בראיה ברורה שהודחה כל העיר או ...


7

Ramban to Numbers 10:35 : וקרא החטא "פורענות" אע"פ שלא אירע להם ממנו פורענות ושמא אלמלא חטאם זה היה מכניסם לארץ מיד Chazal call the sin "punishment" even though no punishment occured, maybe because if not for this sin [Hashem] would have brought them into the land of Israel immediately A friend pointed out to me the Rosh (ad. loc.) gives the ...


7

The source that someone obligated in a mitzvah receives more reward than someone not obligated is a statement of R. Chanina which appears several times in the Talmud. The first appearance is Kiddushin 31a. וא"ר חנינא ומה מי שאינו מצווה ועושה כך מצווה ועושה עאכו"כ דאר"ח גדול מצווה ועושה ממי שאינו מצווה ועושה אמר רב יוסף מריש ה"א מאן דהוה אמר לי הלכה כר"...


7

Suicide = Self Murder = Murder There's no difference if you murder someone else, or if you murder yourself. If you consider murder to be a sin, then you should also consider suicide to be a sin. Hashem gave people freedom of choice, and the ability to choose good over evil. In the example given in the question, the suicide victim made a deadly choice to ...


7

Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 3:2: ואם הוסיף אחת ובעלה לוקה If he adds an extra wife and has relations with her, he gets lashed. So that answers question #3. As for the others: On the face of it, kiddushin ought to take effect like in any other case of חייבי לאוין (according to everyone except R' Akiva, and maybe even according to him, since the issur isn't ...


7

10 righteous people (or 9, rounding up) were required to prevent the destruction of humanity. Noach and crew were only 8, therefore they could not save the world. Clearly, by the standard that G-d was using to judge righteousness, no one else in the world was considered righteous. This number can be found in Rashi, Bereishis 18:32: אולי ימצאון שם עשרה. ...


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