23

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 ...


19

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 ...


16

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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? ...


11

The laws of Shabbat apply only to Jews, so someone who isn't Jewish is doing no wrong whatsoever when they watch TV on Friday night. For Jews, as pointed out in the comments, there is a difference between turning on a television and watching it. Turning on the TV directly activates a flow of electricity, which mainstream halachic opinion (certainly as I ...


10

According the Chida, who says it in the name of the Rokeach (Brought in Vedibarta Bam): According to an opinion in the Gemara (Gittin 43a), when one sells a Jew as a slave to a non-Jew, he is fined to redeem him for up to 100 times his value. In the Torah we find a slave to be valued at 30 silver pieces (Shemot 21:32). Since Yosef was sold as a slave to ...


10

here is something I wrote on the subject -- I hope it gives a basis and provides avenues for future investigation. Kam lei b’deraba minei – During the commission of an aveirah, an individual may invoke more than one penalty. Should he have to be subject to more than one or not? In many situations, the gemara holds kam lei – the transgressor stays subject ...


10

If a man and a woman married to a different man have sexual intercourse, they are both liable to the death penalty by strangulation (Leviticus 20:10; Mishna Sanhedrin 11:1). The death penalty has not been administered since the Sanhedrin left their court room on the Temple mount in the years preceding the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (nor ...


10

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 ...


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 ...


10

The Kabalistic work "Tikunei Zohar" (14) 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 in ...


10

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 ...


9

As for your third point, the Aruch HaShulchan (OC 3:10) and the Mishna Berura (OC 3:31) both rule that it is permissible to delay until one can find an appropriate place to relieve oneself. Additionally, the Mishna Berura explicitly includes all other cases of Kavod Habriyot (human dignity) in this exception.


9

According to Exodus 32: 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, ...


9

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 ...


8

I agree with @ba, but will approach this slightly differently: We certainly understand how people with physical ailments are restricted from physical circumstances. You have to be in good health to go on roller-coasters, to go sky diving, etc. But Judaism is not just a physical religion of doing acts, it is spiritual as well. A person who comes into ...


8

A non-Jew is accountable because he should have learned the laws and he didn't (Bava Kama 92a; Rambam, Melachim 10:1). Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman (Kovetz Maamarim, Maamar Al Emunah; available in the preview here and partially translated to English online here) explains that a person naturally should think about the purpose of life, and even a drunkard shouldn'...


8

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

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. ...


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