Saturday, January 14, 2006

DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Sunday, January 15, 2006


Tevet 15, 5766 * January 15, 2006

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 135 of 339):

Positive Mitzvah 127, 128; Negative Mitzvah 152

Positive Mitzvah 127: The First Tithe

-Numbers 18:24 "But the tithes of the Children of Israel which
they offer as a gift"

We are commanded to give a tenth of all the land's produce to the

The Levites were not given an inheritance of land as were the other

Instead, this share of our crop is considered their inheritance.

Since there are other types of "tithes," (which means: a tenth of
the amount), this one is called: "The First Tithe."


Positive Mitzvah 128: The Second Tithe

-Deuteronomy 14:22 "You shall surely tithe all the produce of your

After the first tithe was given to the Levites, a second tithe had
to be separated.

In certain years (See Mitzvah 130), this portion was to be taken to
Jerusalem and eaten there.

When a Jew would arrive in Jerusalem and behold the Beit HaMikdash
and the many centers for learning Torah, he would be inspired and
resolve to commit himself and family to a proper Torah lifestyle.

If for some reason the fruit cannot be brought to Jerusalem, he may
"redeem" the fruits by setting aside their value plus an added fifth.

At a future date, when he comes to Jerusalem, he must spend that
money in the city on food and drink.


Negative Mitzvah 152: We are forbidden to spend the money of
Ma'aser Sheini on anything but food and

-Deuteronomy 26:14 "Nor given (of) it for the dead."

Ma'aser Sheini must be brought up to Jerusalem and eaten there.

A person may find it difficult to carry all his Ma'aser Sheyni to
Jerusalem over a long distance.

In this case, the Torah allows that person to redeem his Ma'aser
Sheini and use the acquired money in Jerusalem.

The Torah also allows him to use this money in Jerusalem at time
that is convenient for him, (but no later than three years after
he has redeemed his produce).

Upon reaching Jerusalem, he may buy food or drink with the money
and then he must eat the food in Jerusalem.

This Negative Mitzvah cautions us not to spend this money on
anything else but food and drink.


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