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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvah 109;
Positive Mitzvah 69

  Day 185Day 187  

Negative Mitzvah 109: We are forbidden to sell the animal tithe
Leviticus 27:33 "It shall not be redeemed"

When a cowboy takes his herd of cows out to graze in the pasture, he counts the heads of his cattle to make sure that he will not lose any of them.

As the cattle moves from place to place, he counts them again to be positive that none stray away. As he leads them back to their barns, the animals are counted once again. The cowboy does all this in order to insure that he will not lose any of his valuable herd.

The Torah encourages us to count our flocks, as well.

HaShem wants us to remember that He is the One who provides us with all our needs and possessions. When we count our herds, every tenth animal (known as the "animal tithe") must be set aside for HaShem.

Those animals are then brought as sacrifices in the Beit HaMikdash (see Positive Mitzvah 78).

Unlike the cowboy who counts his herd so as not to lose any cattle, we count our flocks with thanks, in order to donate a tenth of the flock to the Beit HaMikdash.

This Negative Mitzvah regards those animals counted as a tithe and as sacred to HaShem. They must not be sold or redeemed.

Introduction to Positive Mitzvot 69 - 72:

Sacrifices to Atone for Individual Sins

A Jew who did not fulfill the will of HaShem must atone and ask for forgiveness. He must try to come close to HaShem once again.

The further he has gone away, the greater the distance he must come back.

From the direction that he went astray, he must return and take the right path.

HaShem gave us the opportunity to atone by bringing sacrifices.

Different kinds of sacrifices atone for particular types of sins.

We are commanded to bring the proper offering when atoning, as instructed in the Torah.

Positive Mitzvah 69: The Sin-offering
Leviticus 4:27 "And if anyone of the people sin unintentionally"

A person who disobeys HaShem's commandments on purpose will be punished. Among the six hundred and thirteen Mitzvot, the Torah lists forty-three forbidden acts that are punishable by Karet - premature death.

We are responsible for our deeds and must be cautious and aware of our actions. Even if a person commits any of these forbidden acts unintentionally, he must atone by bringing a sin-offering.

A glimmer of the soul descends to enclothe itself within your blood and flesh. The core of the soul remains above. Somehow, the two must be kept engaged. Torah connects. When you throw your entire being into penetrating the depths of a word of Torah, meditating upon it until it penetrates to your bones -- Then a circuit has opened, connecting Above and Below to be as one.


Studying Torah and following its instructions takes Man beyond the bounds of a created being, into the limitless realm of the Creator.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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