Friday, December 23, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Shabbat, December 24, 2005


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

Kislev 23, 5766 * December 24, 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 113 of 339):

Positive Mitzvot 95, 92 Negative Mitzvah 209

Positive Mitzvah 95: The Nullification of Vows

(The exact source for this commandment is considered a matter of
question by our Rabbinic Sages.)

Sometimes, a person just cannot keep his promise or finds himself
unable to fulfill his obligation. The Torah commands us to examine
the situation. By dealing properly with the incident and judging
the circumstances, it may be possible to absolve the vow.


Positive Mitzvah 92: The "Nazir" - Growing his Hair

-Numbers 6:5 "And he shall let the locks of the hair on his head grow"

The Nazir is commanded to let his hair grow long during the entire
time he has declared himself a Nazir.


Introduction to Negative Mitzvot 202-209: The "Nazir"

When a gardener wants to protect his vegetables, he builds
a fence around his field.

The fence keeps harmful animals out of his garden.

He makes sure to shut the latch every time he enters or leaves
and feels confident that nothing will harm his vegetables.

The same applies to us as Jews.

A person may begin to feel that he might make a mistake and
not fulfill a Mitzvah properly. Therefore, he builds a "fence"
to protect himself from anything that may cause him to disobey
or not fulfill the Mitzvah.

That "fence" will keep out anything "harmful" to fulfilling the

HaShem created many wonderful things in this world which He wants
us to enjoy and use properly.

If used improperly they can cause us harm.

Take wine, for example:

HaShem gave wine a special delicate taste that makes a person feel
good. He commanded us to use it for Kiddush or festive occasions.
It adds to the holiday spirit. A person who drinks too much wine
could become drunk and unable to think clearly. While in such
a state he may do the wrong thing.

A person who is worried that even a bit of wine can cause him
to become lightheaded and possibly lead him to sin, may decide
to build a "fence" around himself. In this way he will protect
himself from going against the Torah.

But how do you build a "fence" around yourself?

The person who wishes to do so, decides not to drink any wine
or even eat grapes. The "fence" that protects him from possibly
doing wrong, is his decision not to drink any wine at all.

A person who makes such a decision is called a "Nazir."

He abstains from wine and grapes for a certain amount of time.
When that time is over, he must follow the Torah guidelines for
ending his "Nazirite" period.

Although the Torah does not encourage us to avoid things which
HaShem allows us to enjoy and use properly, still, the "Nazir"
is appreciated for his good intentions and strong will.

The Torah regards him as special and commands him to stick to
his decision, considering him holy during this period.

The following Mitzvot apply to the "Nazir," (see also Positive
Mitzvot 92 and 93).


Negative Mitzvah 209: A Nazir may not cut his hair or shave

-Numbers 6:5 "No razor shall touch his head"

A Nazir is not allowed to cut his hair or shave during the time
of his Nazirite period.


Chanukah is just around the corner!

Our extensive Chanukah website has how-to’s, stories, lessons, games and even recipes! It's sure to make your holiday more meaningful and insightful! All this at:

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Wishing you and your family a Happy Chanukah!


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