10

Sefer HaChinuch #16 explains breaking bones was the way of the poor and at the table of the seder we act as free and wealthy men (e.g., reclining) For it is not honorable for the sons of kings and the advisers of the land to drag the bones and break them like dogs. Except for the impoverished among the people and the starving, it is not a proper ...


9

In Guide for the Perplexed 3:46 Rambam writes: The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev. xvi. 20, seq.) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt,...


7

According to the "Klei Yakar" (Vayikra 17-13): The main reason for the Mitzvah of "Kisui Ha'Dam" is to make a distinction that one should not come to eat blood - "Dam Ha'Nefesh" (violating the prohibition of eating blood). but for Beheimot there is no such need, because they are sacrificed on the Mizbeach, and that's already a sign (and a reminder) that the ...


6

The Sefer HaChinuch explains (§95) that the two goats of Yom Kippur are symbolic for the choice presented to a sinner – the goat for Hashem representing one who repents, and the goat for Azazel representing one who doesn’t. ובקרבן עזאזל שנשלח חי אל מקום החרבן והכליון נאמר בפשט הענין לבל ידמה החוטא הגמור שאחר שתקבל נפשו ענש על חטאים, התשוב לעמוד במקום ...


5

The Chinuch explains that the blood domestic animals is offered on the altar so cannot be covered, and God didn't trouble us to distinguish in this way between animals offered on the altar and animals slaughtered privately. Yes, birds are also offered on the altar, but very few, so we cover their blood and wild animals'.


5

The Sefer Hachinuch in Mitzvah 477 says that the main reasons for this Mitzvah are in order to instill a sense of compassion in the person foregoing the loan, as well as to help train him to have more faith in God. כבר כתבתי במשפטים במצות שמטת קרקעות (מצוה פד), מה שידעתי בשרש המצוה, ושמיטת כספים גם כן, אחר אותו הטעם נמשך, ללמד נפשנו במדות מעלות מדת ...


4

Waving the lulav represents our victorious emergence from the judgment of Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur. The following Midrash appears in Midrash Tanchuma on Parshat Emor # 18: ולקחתם לכם ביום הראשון זה שאמר הכתוב אז ירננו כל עצי יער לפני ה' כי בא כי בא לשפוט הארץ במי הכתוב מדבר בישראל ובאומות העולם שהקדוש ברוך הוא דן אותן ביום הכפורים אלו ואלו נכנסין ...


4

Others were somewhat troubled by this explanation as well. R. Yechiel Michel Epstein explains it as follows: Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 473:3 ובשם מהרי"ל ראיתי טעם מפני שהיא מצוה הכתובה בתורה ואין מברכין שעשה נסים אלא אמצוה דרבנן כגון חנוכה ופורים [פרישה] ולכאורה אין הדברים מובנים והאמת דה"פ דהנה כל הברכות תקנו רבנן ולא שייך ברכה אלא לברך להקב"ה אשר צוונו ...


4

The ספר החינוך / Sefer Hachinuch / Book of the Initiation (Wikipedia article, Sefaria text) includes scientific rationales for many commands. Here's an example.


4

I saw a nice answer in a sefer named Maadanei Yom Tov. Why is it that we celebrate Shuvuos on the 6th of Sivan, and call it Zeman Matan Toraseinu -- the time of the giving of our Torah, when the Torah was actually given on the 7th? Also, why is the Torah ambiguous about how many days to count? Quoting Vayiqra 23:15-16: וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת ...


4

Ketubot 19b: אתמר ספר שאינו מוגה אמר רבי אמי עד ל' יום מותר לשהותו מכאן ואילך אסור לשהותו משום שנא' אל תשכן באהליך עולה It is stated: With regard to a Torah scroll that is not proofread [and therefore contains errors] Rabbi Ami says: It is permitted to keep it without emending the mistakes for up to thirty days, and from that time onward it is ...


3

Ramban writes about this in his commentary to Vayikra 16:8. Rather than translate the whole piece, I will link to this summary and analysis by R. Ezra Bick. Some key quotes: The Ramban begins by explaining that azazel refers to some sort of evil power (as opposed to the explanation of Rashi that it means a "hard and rocky place"). He first cites the Ibn ...


3

As @user15464 mentions in the comments, the Rambam defines "porech", or the torture that you quote as being permitted, in Avadim 1:6: ואיזו היא עבודת פרך זו עבודה שאין לה קצבה ועבודה שאינו צריך לה אלא תהיה מחשבתו להעבידו בלבד שלא יבטל What is "porech" labor? Labor that has no limit, or labor that is unnecessary and is asked of the servant with the ...


3

The Chasam Sofer (Derashos HaShalem Shemini Atzeres VeSimchas Torah § 10, first printed in Chiddushei Chasam Sofer Sugyos (5653) § 2) says we're celebrating the completion of all the mitzvos of the month: Rosh Hashanah with Shofar, Yom Kippur with the Avodah and Teshuvah, Sukkos with the Sukkah and Arbah Minim, and of course all the korbonos. He says a ...


2

The more philosophically-inclined rishonim apparently didn't think this commandment was not understandable. For instance, Rambam explains it in Guide for the Perplexed 3:47: The red heifer is called a sin-offering, because it effects the purification of persons that have become unclean through the dead body of a human being, and enables them to enter the ...


2

In general, there seems to be a theme of Israel and its land never being enslaved in perpetuity, specifically not for more than six units (days/years depending on the context), corresponding to the six days of creation of the physical universe. כִּֽי־לִ֤י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ עֲבָדִ֔ים עֲבָדַ֣י הֵ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אוֹתָ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲנִ֖י ה' ...


2

I heard Moishe Bane quote his rebbi Rav Yaakov Weinberg, former Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel, that these two sources don’t contradict each other because there’s two positive types of eternal, spiritual relationship with Hashem. One is when you focus on your personal relationship and one is when you focus on the national relationship with Hashem. Mesilas ...


2

Tosafot Yom Tov to Berachot 7:3 explains (based on Rif, based on a Yerushalmi) that adding the word ‘hamevorach’ to barechu said by one getting an aliyah (or, presumably, during tefillah) obviates the appearance of exclusion from the blessing. He suggests that we don’t add ‘hamevorach’ to birchat hamazon because it’s long enough already, but want to add it ...


2

I'm not 100% sure if this is the answer I'm looking for. If someone has a comment to confirm, or a better answer, please feel free. I'm not really sure what he is saying; it sounds more like the place fixes the character traits than the Leviim who are there, but one could be a byproduct of the other. I found the Shem MiShmuel (the son of the Avnei Nezer), ...


2

ויקרא כג, טז: עַ֣ד מִֽמׇּחֳרַ֤ת הַשַּׁבָּת֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת תִּסְפְּר֖וּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים י֑וֹם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֛ם מִנְחָ֥ה חֲדָשָׁ֖ה לַיהֹוָֽה׃ We need to count 50 days (a quantity, a count) :one, two, three...


2

במדבר ו ה כָּל־יְמֵי֙ נֶ֣דֶר נִזְר֔וֹ תַּ֖עַר לֹא־יַעֲבֹ֣ר עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ עַד־מְלֹ֨את הַיָּמִ֜ם אֲשֶׁר־יַזִּ֤יר לַיהוָה֙ קָדֹ֣שׁ יִהְיֶ֔ה גַּדֵּ֥ל פֶּ֖רַע שְׂעַ֥ר רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃ Bamidbar p6 5 Throughout the term of his vow as nazirite, no razor shall touch his head; it shall remain consecrated until the completion of his term as nazirite of the LORD, the ...


1

My premise -- the second bullet -- was flawed: it appears that the only people whose death ends the exile are those who had ever served as kohen gadol at the time the exile was decreed. (And not the time of the fatal accident, but the time of the verdict.) Rambam Murderer & Preservation of Life 7:10--11 explain that everything is determined by the time ...


1

Sefer HaChinuch 307 refers to what he wrote in 302 (regarding the Omer): It is from the roots of the commandment [that it is] in order that we contemplate, through [this] deed, the great kindness that God, blessed be He, does for His creatures, to renew the grain each year for [our] nourishment. Therefore it is fitting for us that we should sacrifice to ...


1

Welcome, and great question! This is one of the many questions that Ramban (Shemot 28:31) asks on Rashi (and others), and he therefore rejects their opinion. However, in responding to Ramban, Mizrachi (28:33) asks right back - what's wrong with pomegranates? If it had said another fruit, you would have asked the same question: ואיני רואה מקום לאלה ...


1

In Bamidbar Rabba 19,1 it describes that the Kohen that sprinkles the Mei Chattas (solution of red cow Ashes) on the Tamei whereby the _tamei becomes tahor and the sprinkler who was Tahor becomes Tamei is The "decree which is impossible to understand" as only G-d can bringing purity out of the ritually contaminated: "זֹאת חֻקַּת" זש"ה (איוב יד, ד): "מי ...


1

Menachot 44a ואמר ר"ל כל המניח תפילין מאריך ימים שנאמר (ישעיהו לח, טז) ה' עליהם יחיו ולכל בהן חיי רוחי ותחלימני והחייני: And Reish Lakish says: Anyone who dons phylacteries lives a long life, as it is stated: “The Lord is upon them, they will live, and altogether therein is the life of my spirit; and have me recover, and make me to live” (Isaiah 38:...


1

Divrey Yirmiyahu, Tefilah 7 (ד״ה ובפי׳): When a person is asleep it’s as if he is tied up with ropes [חבלי שנה], because he can’t move his limbs whatsoever. That’s why we say מתיר אסורים in the morning. During sleep all bodily strength and strength of the soul are tied up in that one cannot use them freely. ובפי' המפיל חבלי שינה וכו' עיין באבודרהם ...


1

The rule that women are exempt from time-bound positive mitzvot is derived by the Talmud in Kiddushin 34a: ומצות עשה שהזמן גרמא נשים פטורות: מנלן גמר מתפילין מה תפילין נשים פטורות אף כל מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא נשים פטורות ותפילין גמר לה מתלמוד תורה מה תלמוד תורה נשים פטורות אף תפילין נשים פטורות AND AFFIRMATIVE PRECEPTS LIMITED TO TIME, WOMEN ARE ...


1

This view is not sourced from Rabbinic commentary, as far as I know, however one possible reason why G-d would have Moshe write the commandments on stone as opposed to parchment is that stone lasts forever, whereas parchment eventually wears out or decays. Consider the condition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. With the commandments written on stone, this ensures ...


1

THe intimate relations are the most sacred relations in Judaism, as the Shir Hashirim suggests and signifies the closest relations between two entities. A misconduct in those relations (as prescribed by G-d in the Torah, with or without our understanding) is automatically the most hateful transgression. In my personal understanding, similarly to Gezel that ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible