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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 200;
Negative Mitzvah 238

  Day 288Day 290  

Positive Mitzvah 200: Paying Wages on Time
Deuteronomy 24:15 "Give him his wage on the day it is due"

When you baby-sit or mow the lawn for someone, you appreciate getting paid for your time and effort. Even if you do not receive your payment upon completing the job, you feel confident that you will get paid at some later time. Nonetheless, you're much happier when you are paid immediately after you finish the work.

The Torah warns us to be careful when paying people who work for us. We are commanded to pay them on time and not withhold their wages.

Negative Mitzvah 238: It is forbidden to delay payment to a hired worker
Leviticus 19:13 "The wages of a hired worker shall not be left with you overnight until the morning"

Manny's father works in a firm and gets a monthly salary.

Ricky's mother is a teacher and receives her check every two weeks.

Bassi's father is a self-employed painter and charges by the hour.

No one would think of paying him a month later for his day's work.

The Torah cautions us not to delay payment that is owed to a hired worker.

If he worked during the day, we must pay him by the next morning. If he is employed on a night job, he must be paid by the end of the next day.

Before the experience at Mount Sinai, there was earth and there was heaven. If you wanted one, you were obliged to abandon the other. At Mount Sinai, the boundaries of heaven and earth were broken and Man was empowered to fuse the two: To raise the earthly into the realm of the spirit, and to bring heaven down to earth.


Before the experience of Mount Sinai, the coarse material of which the world is made could not be elevated. It could be used as a medium, an aid in achieving enlightenment, but it itself could not be enlightened. Jacob used sticks for meditation. Isaac dug wells. But neither the sticks nor the wells became imbued with G-dliness. All that changed at Mount Sinai. When you take a piece of leather and write upon it a Torah scroll, you have transformed the material into spiritual. And the same with flour used for matzah for Passover night, and branches used to cover a succah, and even the earnings which you tithe for good causes. And so you may do in every aspect of your life.

Our forefathers task was to enlighten the souls of men. Ours is to transform the material darkness into light.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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