Friday, December 09, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Shabbat, December 10, 2005


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

Kislev 9, 5766 * December 10, 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 99 of 339):

Negative Mitzvot 187, 186, 189, 190, 191, 192

Negative Mitzvah 187: It is forbidden to eat meat and milk

-Exodus 34:26 "You shall not boil a kid in the milk of its mother"

This time, the verse teaches us that we are not allowed to eat
meat and dairy foods together.

We must wait a certain amount of time after eating meat, before
we may eat milk products. (Usually the waiting time is six hours,
though some families have different traditions about the amount of
time which they wait between meat and milk.)

After eating milk products, we should wait at least one-half an
hour (30 minutes) or rinse our mouths thoroughly before eating


Negative Mitzvah 186: It is forbidden to cook meat and milk

-Exodus 23:19 "You shall not boil a kid in milk of its mother"

This Negative Mitzvah forbids us to cook milk and meat together.

All kosher kitchens should have separate counters, dishes, pots
and silverware for meat and milk, in order not to mix the two

The verse from which this Negative Mitzvah is learned is repeated
three times in the Torah and each time refers to a specific
instance of using meat and milk together, (see Negative Mitzvah


Introduction to Negative Mitzvot 189-191:

Laws regarding eating from Newly Grown Produce.

After a long cold winter we all await the spring. The farmers
are even more eager for spring than those who live in the city.

They can't wait to see the first crops begin to grow, after the
many long days of hard work in the muddy fields.

When the first stalks of grain are ready to be harvested and
ground into flour and baked - everyone is anxious to enjoy the
fresh food.

However, at this point the Torah reminds us: "Wait!" - It is
HaShem that allowed those crops to grow in the first place.

He caused the rain to fall, the rich soil to nurture the seeds,
and the strong, large crops to grow from the ground.

The Torah tells us that we must show our appreciation for HaShem's

Before we can enjoy the fresh produce, we must first offer
a sacrifice from this newly grown grain to HaShem.

This offering is first brought on the sixteenth day of Nissan.

This date officially marks the moment in the spring season when
the first crops can be harvested.

We are forbidden to eat from the new grain until that offering
is brought.


Negative Mitzvah 189: It is forbidden to eat bread baked from new
grain before the sixteenth of Nissan

-Leviticus 23:14 "And you shall neither eat bread...until that
very day"

This Negative Mitzvah cautions us not to eat bread baked from that
first new grain, until the sacrifice is offered to HaShem on the
sixteenth day of Nissan.

We may still eat bread baked out of the previous year's grain.


Negative Mitzvah 190: It is forbidden to eat roasted grain from
the new crop before the sixteenth of Nissan

-Leviticus 23:14 "And you shall neither eat... roasted grain until
that very day"

This Negative Mitzvah cautions us not to eat roasted grain from
the newly grown crop until the sacrifice is offered to HaShem on
the sixteenth day of Nissan.


Negative Mitzvah 191: It is forbidden to eat fresh ears of grain
or kernels from the new crop before the
sixteenth of Nissan

-Leviticus 23:14 "And you shall neither eat... fresh grain until
that very day"

This Negative Mitzvah refers to the "Karmel" of the new crop.

These are fresh kernels that have not yet become hard and dry.

We are cautioned not to eat them until the sacrifice is offered on
the sixteenth day of Nissan.


Negative Mitzvah 192: It is forbidden to eat "Orlah"

-Leviticus 19:23 "For three years it be forbidden to you;
it shall not be eaten"

Shevi's class went on a visit to the Museum of Art where there
was an open workshop on pottery making.

Shevi and her classmates crowded around the pottery maker,
watching him at work.

The man sat on a stool, hunched over a wooden table, with a deep
bowl upon it. He pressed on a pedal which made the bowl twirl
round and round, carefully shaping the bowl, using his long
fingers to press out any bumps.

The girls were fascinated by the potter and applauded him when
the bowl was molded. Much to their surprise, the potter looked
disappointed and set the bowl aside. He took another piece of
clay and started all over again.

The potter worked quickly and soon enough another new bowl was

Again the potter wasn't satisfied with his bowl.

After completing the third bowl, the potter held it up proudly
and nodded gently as the girls complimented his art.

"Mrs. Cohen," Shevi asked her teacher as they moved onto another
exhibit, "the first two bowls looked fine to me. Why didn't the
potter like them?"

"I don't really know," answered Mrs. Cohen. "They looked all right
to me, too. But every craftsman has his own standard. I suppose he
knows his art best and probably decided that the first two were
not exactly what he wanted."

HaShem, the "Master Craftsman" of this world created many things
for us to use and enjoy.

In His wisdom, HaShem gave certain laws and rules.

One of these rules concerns eating from the fruit of trees.

We are forbidden to eat the fruits which grow upon a tree during
the first three years after the tree is planted.

This fruit is called "Orlah".

Like the potter who cast aside his work until he was satisfied,
so too, the Torah commands us to cast aside this fruit that grew
during the first three years.

The Torah does not give us a reason for this Negative Mitzvah.

We must understand and accept that the "Master Craftsman," HaShem,
has declared them unfit to eat.


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