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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvah 114;
Positive Mitzvah 55;
Negative Mitzvot 115, 116


  Day 178Day 180  

Negative Mitzvah 114: We are forbidden to shear animals that have been designated for sacrifice
Deuteronomy 15:19 "And do not shear the first-born of your sheep"

Because of the special status of the first born, we are instructed to handle them in a specific way.

Animals that have been designated as sacrifices are also considered sacred. We are cautioned not to use and profit from these animals nor are we allowed to shear them for their wool.


Positive Mitzvah 55: Slaughtering the Passover Sacrifice
Exodus 12:6 "And the entire assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter it"

The holiday of Pesach commemorates the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.

They had to be physically freed from slavery.

Most important, they had to remove themselves from the idol worshiping Egyptian culture.

The Egyptians idolized sheep.

HaShem commanded the Jews of Egypt to take that very same symbol of idol worship and use it as a sacrifice.

Each year, we commemorate that event.

We are commanded to bring a sheep to the Beit HaMikdash on the fourteenth day of Nisan in the afternoon.

It is to be sacrificed there amid great rejoicing.


Negative Mitzvah 115: We are forbidden to offer the Passover sacrifice while still owning Chametz
Exodus 23:18 "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread"

Only after your mother has cleaned out the kitchen and stored away all the regular dishes which are chametz, does she unpack the Pesach dishes and start cooking for the holiday.

The Pascal sacrifice must be brought on the afternoon of the day before Pesach. However, before the sacrifice can be brought, all chametz must be removed from our possession.


Introduction To Negative Mitzvot 116-120:

Leftover Sacrificial Meat.

When Mindy came into the kitchen for dinner, a wonderful aroma greeted her. Mindy immediately recognized that smell.

"Mommy!" Mindy exclaimed. "You made exactly the food that I like!"

After thanking her mother for the special treat, Mindy sat down to eat. Even after she was quite satisfied, she continued eating until her plate was clean. She wanted to show her mother that she was grateful for her efforts and thoughtfulness. Leaving leftovers of the special dinner her mother made might make her mother feel that her work was not appreciated.

HaShem expresses his love for us by giving us Mitzvot that enable us to come close to Him. HaShem also gave us a special opportunity of expressing our close bond with Him by allowing us to bring sacrifices.

Sometimes, we are also commanded to eat from the meat of the sacrifice.

The Torah tells us that we must try not to leave any leftover meat from the sacrifice. If the meat is not finished, it can no longer be eaten. Instead, all leftover meat is burned and the ashes are discarded.

There are certain time limits for eating different sacrifices. If the meat has not been eaten by the specific time stated in the Torah, it is considered "notar", which means "leftover," and must then be burned.

The following Mitzvot apply to various sacrifices, instructing us not to leave leftovers (see also Positive Mitzvah 91).


Negative Mitzvah 116: We are forbidden to leave overnight, those portions of the Passover sacrifice which must be sacrificed
Exodus 23:18 "Neither shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until the morning"

The Passover sacrifice is offered on the fourteenth of Nissan, and is eaten that night, the first night of Passover, which is the fifteenth of Nisan (the first Seder Night).

This Negative Mitzvah refers to those portions of the Passover Sacrifice which are consumed by fire on the altar. We are cautioned not to leave these portions overnight without burning them on the altar.


The entire being of Moses was the Torah he brought to his people. The Torah was more than something he taught. It was what he was. It was his G-d within him. Yet when it came to a choice between the Torah or his people, he chose his people. He said, "And if you do not forgive them, then wipe me out from Your book that You have written!"

His whole being was the Torah, but deep into his essence, at the very core, was his oneness with his people. (The Rebbe wept profoundly as he spoke these words.)

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - tzvif@aol.com


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