Thursday, December 08, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Friday, December 9, 2005


Kislev 8, 5766 * December 9, 2005

D A I L Y M I T Z V A H (M A I M O N I D E S )

Today's Mitzvot (Day 98 of 339):

Negative Mitzvot 181, 182, 184, 185, 183

Negative Mitzvah 181: It is forbidden to eat "Terefah"

-Exodus 22:30 "Neither shall you eat any meat that is torn
in the field"

An animal that is attacked and killed by another animal is called
a "terefah".

If it suffered a serious wound, we are forbidden to eat from
its meat, even though it continues to live and is then slaughtered

The same idea applies to an animal which suffers other serious
wounds. If they are likely to cause the animal's death, it is
considered terefah and may not be eaten, even if it is slaughtered

There are other instances where an animal may be considered
terefah and this Negative Mitzvah also forbids eating from them.


Negative Mitzvah 182: It is forbidden to eat meat that has been
cut from a living animal

-Deuteronomy 12:23 "And you may not eat the life with the meat"

We are forbidden to cut a limb or flesh off of a living animal
and then eat it.


Negative Mitzvah 184: It is forbidden to eat blood

-Leviticus 7:26 "You shall not eat any blood"

We are forbidden to eat any blood.

When an animal is slaughtered, its blood is poured away.

Afterwards, we must soak and salt the meat. This process drains
the blood which is in the meat. After the meat is soaked and
salted it is considered properly "koshered" and fit to eat.

Do you know that even eggs may have blood stains?

It is necessary to check eggs before eating or cooking them.

If blood spots are found, and cannot be removed, we should throw
out the egg.


Negative Mitzvah 185: It is forbidden to eat "Chelev"

-Leviticus 7:23 "You shall eat no fat of an ox, or sheep, or goat"

There are certain parts of a kosher animal which we are not
allowed to eat.

This Negative Mitzvah concerns the "chelev" or "hard fat" of the

We are forbidden to eat the chelev. The chelev was part of the
sacrifices that were offered in the Beit HaMikdash.


Negative Mitzvah 183: It is forbidden to eat the "Gid-HaNasheh"

-Genesis 32:33 "Therefore the children of Israel shall not eat
the sinew of the thigh-vein"

When Jacob fought with the angel, (see Genesis 32), the angel
pushed his hip out of place.

Despite this wound, Jacob continued his battle with the angel
and forced the angel to admit defeat.

This Negative Mitzvah commemorates that victory.

On the hind part of an animal, there is a large main nerve running
down the back of its leg. This is called the Gid-HaNasheh.

Before we eat meat from this part of the animal, we must remove
that nerve. Since it is difficult to do this, many Jews avoid
eating the meat that comes from that area.


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