Friday, December 02, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Shabbat, December 3, 2005


Due to Shabbat observance, the Shabbat edition of Daily Mitzvah (Maimonides) is sent on Friday. Shabbat Shalom!

Kislev 2, 5766 * December 3, 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 92 of 339):

Negative Mitzvot 52, 53, 55, 54, 354, 360, 361

Negative Mitzvah 52: The prohibition of intermarriage

-Deuteronomy 7:3 "Neither shall you make marriages with them"

We are forbidden to marry non-Jews.


Negative Mitzvah 53: We are forbidden to marry a man from the
Ammonite or Moabite nations

-Deuteronomy 23:4 "An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter
the congregation of G-d"

We are not allowed to marry a man from the nations of Ammon
or Moab even if he has converted to Judaism.

However, it is permissible to marry a woman from Ammon or
Moab after she has converted to Judaism.

These nations refused to offer bread and water to the Jewish
people when they passed by their borders and because of this
act of cruelty, they were excluded from ever being able to
join the Jewish people in marriage.


Negative Mitzvah 55: We are forbidden to reject an Egyptian if
he converts to Judaism

-Deuteronomy 23:8 "Do not despise an Egyptian because you were
a stranger in his land"

The Torah forbids an Egyptian convert from marrying freely into
the Jewish people until the third generation.

The hundreds of years of cruel slavery in Egypt affected both
nations. Nevertheless, despite the hardships in Egypt, the
Torah appreciates that Jacob and his sons were given refuge in
Egypt. Also, it was in Egypt that the Jewish people developed
into a nation to be chosen by HaShem.

Therefore, we are commanded not to totally reject an Egyptian
that converts to Judaism. The third generation of such converts
may marry freely among the Jewish people.


Negative Mitzvah 54: We are forbidden to reject an Edomite if
he converts to Judaism

-Deuteronomy 23:8 "Do not despise the Edomite, since he is
your brother"

The Edomite nation descends from Esau, Jacob's brother.

Esau left his descendants a heritage of murder and theft.

Therefore, different laws apply to converts from the Edomite
nation than to converts from other nations.

They may not marry freely among the Jewish people until the
third generation. Nevertheless, since they descended from our
forefathers and they are, in essence, our brothers, we may not
totally reject them.

Therefore, the third generation of Edomite converts may marry
freely among the Jews. We are prohibited from refusing to
intermarry with them.


Negative Mitzvah 354: A "Mamzer" may not marry freely within
the Jewish community

-Deuteronomy 23:3 "A Mamzer shall not enter into the assembly
of the L-rd"

A "Mamzer" is a child that is born as a result of certain
forbidden relationships.

This Negative Mitzvah forbids a Mamzer from marrying freely
among Jews.


Negative Mitzvah 360: Restriction on a disabled man

-Deuteronomy 23:2 "He that is crushed or maimed in his private
parts shall not enter the assembly of the L-rd"

A male whose manhood is so physically disabled that he cannot
have children is cautioned not to marry a Jewish woman.

This prohibition only applies to those disabilities that a man
brings upon himself and not those caused by illness or other
afflictions that are not his fault.


Negative Mitzvah 361: It is forbidden to disable males from
fathering children

-Leviticus 22:24 "Neither shall you do this in your land"

We are forbidden to disable a male - man or animal - from
fathering children.


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