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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvot 133, 134

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Introduction to Mitzvot 133-137:

The Priests who serve in the Beit HaMikdash are entitled to special portions of food which are given to them by the people.

HaShem declared that they deserve these presents because they spend many of their days in the Beit Hamikdash, devoting their time to represent the people before HaShem, while fulfilling their holy tasks.

One of the presents granted to the priests is "Terumah" which is a portion of every Jew's harvest and agriculture products (see Positive Mitzvah 126).

The priests support themselves and their families with these portions.

The portions given to the priests are considered special and may be eaten only in a specific manner. The following Mitzvot teach us who may not eat from the priests portions.

Negative Mitzvah 133: A person who is not a Priest is forbidden to eat "Terumah"
Leviticus 22:10 "No common man shall eat of the holy [food]"

The words "holy food" mean the Terumah and this Negative Mitzvah tells us that any person who is not a priest may not eat "Terumah."

Negative Mitzvah 134: A hired servant in a Priest's household may not eat "Terumah"
Leviticus 22:10 "A tenant of the priest or a hired servant may not eat of the holy [food]"

A Priest may have hired a person to work for him on a long or short term basis, or he may have rented out a room in his house to an individual or family.

This Negative Mitzvah cautions us that even though these people live in his house, they are still forbidden to eat from the Terumah.

A person is happy when he knows something worthwhile belongs to him. A person is very happy when he feels he is small and yet he owns something very great. We are all finite owners of the Infinite.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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