25 votes

A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?

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:...
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22 votes

Were some Jews transformed to monkeys for violating the sabbath?

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 ...
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  • 46.9k
19 votes

A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?

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 ...
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  • 10.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Dama ben Nesina and the red heifer

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. ...
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  • 42.9k
14 votes

Moral Culpability in the Garden

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 ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Is there a punishment for disgracing our prophets/sages?

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 ...
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  • 31.4k
14 votes

Not finding your bashert is a punishment for doing zera levatala?

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 ...
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  • 4,149
13 votes

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

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 ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Which sins are beyond punishment?

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 ...
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  • 11.8k
13 votes

Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

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 ...
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  • 48k
12 votes

G-d doesn't have emotions? Why?

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 ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Does Hashem reward you for keeping negative mitzvot?

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, ...
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  • 38.5k
10 votes

Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

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 ...
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  • 73.2k
9 votes

Does the Torah ever mention jail as a punishment for a crime?

Rambam Hilchot Rotzeach 4:3: הַמַּכֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּאֶבֶן אוֹ בְּאֶגְרוֹף וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אוֹמְדִין אוֹתוֹ. אִם אֲמָדוּהוּ לְחַיִּים נוֹתֵן חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים וְנִפְטָר. וַאֲפִלּוּ חָלָה ...
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  • 38.5k
8 votes

Non-Orthodox converts and Olam Ha-Ba

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'...
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  • 24.4k
8 votes

Punishment for Eating Non-Kosher

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 ...
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  • 38.5k
8 votes

Is there any reward for the intent or attempt to do a mitzvah?

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 ...
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  • 48k
7 votes

Does teshuva remove punishment?

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 ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What is the punishment before Vayehi Bineso'ah Ha'aron?

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 ...
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  • 18.5k
7 votes
Accepted

From where/Why do you get more reward for doing a obligated mitzvah than a non obligated mitzvah?

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 ...
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  • 48k
7 votes

What is the punishment for someone who talks another person into committing suicide?

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. ...
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  • 4,149
7 votes
Accepted

What happens if a Jewish king marries a 19th wife?

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, ...
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  • 7,362
7 votes

What percentage of the humanity must sin to cause G-d to wipe them all?

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 ...
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  • 6,693
7 votes

High priest’s death pardoning criminals?

Numbers 35:28 records the rule that someone guilty of involuntary manslaughter (who had to be exiled to a ‘city of refuge’) is allowed to return home upon the death of the High Priest.
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  • 38.5k
6 votes

Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

The Beis Yosef Y.D 158, followed by the Rema (Darkei Moshe 158:2) and the Shach (158:2) understand, based on Tosefos to Avoda Zara 26a s.v. ולא מורידים, that when the Mishna says אין מורידים, it means ...
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6 votes

Why should you be seeking medical attention?

Tosefos to Bava Kamma 85a says this is exactly what the Torah comes to teach with the repetition of the words "רפא ירפא": שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל ...
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6 votes

Are thoughts of sin punished halachically?

The Gemara in Masechet Yoma (29A) says: הרהורי עבירה קשין מעבירה וסימניך ריחא דבישרא (Thoughts of sin are harder than sin itself, as smell of meat is more attractive than taste of meat) ...
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  • 22.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Does Moshiach bear our sins, in any sense?

The source may be Sanhedrin 98a. ר' יהושע בן לוי אשכח לאליהו דהוי קיימי אפיתחא דמערתא דרבי שמעון בן יוחאי אמר ליה אתינא לעלמא דאתי אמר ליה אם ירצה אדון הזה אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי שנים ראיתי וקול ג' ...
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  • 1,693
6 votes
Accepted

Yom Kippur more lenient than Shabbos?

The Gemara in Megila 22b inform us: נקוט האי כללא בידך כל דטפי ליה מילתא מחבריה טפי ליה גברא יתירא הלכך בר''ח ומועד דאיכא קרבן מוסף קורין ארבעה ביו''ט דאסור בעשיית מלאכה חמשה ביוה''כ דענוש כרת ששה ...
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