Monday, December 05, 2005

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Tuesday, December 6, 2005


Kislev 5, 5766 * December 6, 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 95 of 339):

Positive Mitzvot 150, 151, 152; Negative Mitzvot 172, 174

Positive Mitzvah 150: Checking for Signs in Birds

-Deuteronomy 14:11 "You may eat all clean (kosher) birds"

The Torah lists all the non-kosher birds that are not to be eaten.

Research of that list has shown some common characteristics between
the birds that are forbidden as food. Almost all the prohibited birds
are hunters. We are commanded to check that list and eat only those
which are kosher (see Negative Mitzvah 174).


Positive Mitzvah 151: Checking for Signs in Grasshoppers

-Leviticus 11:21 "Yet these you may eat of every flying creeping thing"

The Torah describes the flying insects that use four legs for walking,
as non-kosher. Only those with the special signs - knees extending
above their feet, using these longer legs to hop on, are allowed to
be eaten.

We are commanded to check for these signs before eating these
grasshoppers. Today, we are unable to determine which grasshoppers
are kosher and which are not.


Positive Mitzvah 152: Checking for Signs in Fish

-Leviticus 11:9 "These you shall eat of all that is in the water"

We are commanded to check for the kosher signs in fish.
These signs are:

1) fins; and
2) scales (see Negative Mitzvah 173).


Introduction to Mitzvot 172-188:

Kosher & Non-Kosher - Different Types of Animals and Meats

Eli had a rash that wouldn't go away.

It itched and irritated him constantly and made him very
uncomfortable. His doctor had prescribed some different creams
for him to put on the rash, but none of them helped.

Finally, the doctor suggested that Eli's mother take him to an
Allergy specialist to do some tests. After a complete examination
and blood tests, the specialist discovered that Eli was allergic
to some foods that he ate.

"You mean I can't eat those foods any more?" Eli asked the doctor.
"No," the doctor answered gently. "They're not good for your

"But all my friends eat them and they don't get these rashes!"
Eli objected.

"Every person's body functions differently - and some people are
more sensitive than others to certain things" the doctor
explained. "These foods are just not right for your body, Eli."

We take our bodies for granted.

When we wake up every morning we expect our hands and feet to
move, our eyes to see and everything to work just fine. Even while
we are sleeping, we are sure that our hearts won't stop beating.

But what is it that makes all our limbs work? Muscles? Oxygen?
Blood cells? Even a person who is not alive has a heart, a brain,
hands, feet, muscles, and cells - and there is plenty of air
around for him to breathe! So why can't he breathe?

Each part of our body has a function and works in a special way.

We have to provide the proper "fuel" and the body works - food,
liquids, air and more. What makes the air activate the lungs? What
makes our stomach digest the food?

The answer is, the "Life force"!

This is the power that makes the body work the way it should.

A person's body may be strong and healthy and function fine to the
tiniest detail - but if the Life Force is taken away - he is not

HaShem gives us this Life Force. It is called our "Neshamah"
our soul.

It keeps our bodies alive and enables us to understand things even
if we can't see, hear or touch them. It helps us to come closer to
HaShem and His Torah and Mitzvot.

Our Neshamah needs "fuel" to keep it going! A different kind of
fuel - something we cannot see or touch. This fuel is spiritual.
When we keep Torah and Mitzvot we are nurturing our Neshamah.

HaShem gives us our Neshamah, and teaches us what is good for it.

The Torah tells us that some types of food are just not right for
us. Our Neshamah is, in a sense, "allergic" to these foods. The
Neshamah of non-Jews are not affected by eating these foods.

This is the way HaShem created the world!

The following Mitzvot concern certain types of meat and foods
which we are forbidden to eat. We must remember that even Kosher
animals must still be slaughtered, prepared cooked and eaten in
a specific way required by Torah.


Negative Mitzvah 172: It is forbidden to eat non-kosher animals

-Deuteronomy 14:7 "These you shall not eat of those that only chew
the cud, or of those that only have the cloven

The Torah gives us two signs to look for in animals (see Positive
Mitzvah 149) in order to determine if the animal is kosher.

They must chew their cud and have split hooves. Any animal which
does not have both these signs (even if it does have one of them)
is not considered to be kosher.


Negative Mitzvah 174: It is forbidden to eat non-kosher birds

-Leviticus 11:13. "And these are they which you shall detest among
the birds, they shall not be eaten"

The Torah lists the types of birds that are not kosher and,
therefore, may not be eaten. We are forbidden to eat any of those
birds that are mentioned. (For a complete list of those birds that
are not kosher see Leviticus 11:13-20.)


Featured on!

Miracles - A Chanukah Film

A morning sun rises in fiery splendor; a newborn baby enters the world. We witness miracles everyday and may sometimes take them for granted.

Watch this inspiring film:


Brought to you by

To listen to an audio version of today's lesson, please click one of the following links:


To view this lesson online with its many features please visit:

For more daily Torah study, please visit:


** Enjoyed this email? Please help us continue sharing the
study of Torah and Jewish traditions:

Dedicate or sponsor an email to mark your special occasion!
Please click here:

Please click here to make a donation to

** To subscribe to more email lists please click here:

** To be removed from this email list please click here:,15,261645,0,217
If you would just like your email suspended and resumed at a later
date, please let us know here:

** You are subscribed as: If your e-mail address is changing
please send us your new email address here:

Part of the Chabad Online Network

A division of Chabad Lubavitch Media Center
770 Eastern Parkway * Brooklyn, NY * 11213


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails