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Philosophy of Mitzvot

Intentional Mistakes - I've been enjoying the philosophy articles on The approach to life resonates with me much more than the Western style of consumerism and media hype. Regarding the obligatory nature of mitzvot,... More
Kosher Bacon Bits - I have recently begun keeping kosher, and had a philosophical debate with a friend who does not. I want to use soybean "sausage and bacon" products that have kosher symbols, because as long as they're... More
Learning and not Observing - I am a woman who was a Reform Jew my entire life and have begun Jewish learning over the past few years. Now that I am learning, I am feeling bad about some things I’m not observing. For example, I now... More
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613 Mitzvot

613 Mitzvot - What is the earliest reference to the Torah having 613 mitzvot? Where does this list come from? This is a matter of dispute here in South Africa, where a radio talk show host made some inaccurate... More


Is Jewish Law Unchanging? - I am writing to take issue with some language in your Ask the Rabbi answers that I personally believe is loaded in a way designed to lend a degree of certitude to one viewpoint that I don't believe... More
Jephthah Sacrificing Daughter - My Bible class is studying the Book of Judges and we recently covered the story of Jephthah (Judges 11). Jephthah promises to God that if the Amonites would be delivered into his hands, then on his return... More
Listening to the Rabbis - The Torah instructs us to “do everything according to what the rabbis say... do not deviate to the right or left." This raises a basic and important question. I'll listen to God. But why should I listen... More
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Big 3 Cardinal Sins - I am intrigued by which of the "Big 3 mitzvahs" a Jew is expected to give his life for rather than transgress. What exactly are they, and where do they come from? More
Eye for an Eye - I recently heard a talk explaining "an eye for an eye" in the Torah. As society has become less barbaric, the rabbis reinterpreted the verse to mean one pays the damages for the eye, instead of actually... More
Hitler's Level of Accountability - I have been wondering about the status of someone like Hitler who did not actually kill the 6 million with his own hands, but ordered it done by his emissaries. Does murder by his agents put him into the... More

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