Saturday, December 10, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Sunday, December 11, 2005


Kislev 10, 5766 * December 11, 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 100 of 339):

Negative Mitzvot 193, 153, 194; Positive Mitzvah 146

Negative Mitzvah 193: It is forbidden to eat fruit grown in
a vineyard which has been planted with
different types of seeds

-Deuteronomy 22:9 "You shall not plant your vineyard with different
species of seeds; otherwise the fruit of the
seed which you have planted and the fruit of the
vineyard will be forfeited"

This Negative Mitzvah prohibits the planting of grain seeds and
grape seeds together in the same vineyard.

We are forbidden to eat any grapes or crops that grow in such
a vineyard and the produce must be burned.


Negative Mitzvah 153: We are forbidden to eat "Tevel"

-Leviticus 22:15. "And they shall not profane the holy things of
the children of Israel, which they offer to the

It is necessary to peel an orange before eating it, or cut it open
so the fruit can be separated from the peel.

Did you ever try getting at the fruit without removing or cutting
through the peel?!

In the same way, the Torah teaches us that we must we must "peel
away" - set aside the Terumah and Ma'aser to be given to the
Priests and Levites.

Only after we "peel away" the portion that we may not eat, can
we enjoy the rest of the fruit, which is our portion.

Produce which has not had the Terumah and Ma'aser separated from
it, is called "Tevel".

We are forbidden to eat such food until the Terumah and Ma'aser
are separated.

Today, even though the Beit Hamikdash has not yet been rebuilt,
this Negative Mitzvah still applies in Eretz Yisrael.

We must still separate the amount that we would have been required
to give to the Priests and Levites, and only then are we are
allowed to eat the food.

In Eretz Yisrael, many food products are stamped with the seal of
the Rabbinate or Beit Din, which assures us that the food is not

The food industry hires Rabbis to fulfill this Negative Mitzvah
by separating the portions required from the large amount of food
brought straight from the farms before it is sold or packaged.

This makes it easy to shop in the supermarkets and grocery stores,
because we no longer need to separate the portions of Terumah and
Ma'aser from each package, since it has already been done for us.

However, in order to be sure, remember to look on the package for
a stamp or seal from the Rabbinate or Beit Din.


Negative Mitzvah 194: It is forbidden to drink "Yayin Nesech"

-Deuteronomy 32:38 "Who eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drink
the wine of their libations"

This Negative Mitzvah prohibits us from drinking the wine of non-
Jews that has been used for idol worship.

Our Rabbis added to this commandment and forbade the drinking of
any wine which has been made or touched by non-Jews. Such wine is
called "S'tam Yaynum".

Through this Negative Mitzvah, as with some others, we can see that
"kosher" does not only mean the ingredients that go into a product.
Food can become non-kosher in the way it is prepared or handled.


Positive Mitzvah 146: "Shechitah" - Slaughtering Animals for Food

-Deuteronomy 12:21 "And you shall slaughter of your cattle and of your I have commanded you"

If you received a new computerized game as a gift for your birthday,
you would be anxious to use it. Before beginning, you would have to
read the instructions and follow them precisely, otherwise the game
might not work properly.

In the Torah, HaShem gave us certain laws which, when followed
correctly, enable man to eat animals and get proper nourishment.

The Torah allows us to eat these animals only after specific
preparation, involving proper slaughtering and koshering.

This special type of slaughtering is called Shechitah.

We may not eat any meat unless it has undergone a proper Shechitah,
by a qualified individual who is called a "Shochet."


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