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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvot 241, 242

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Negative Mitzvah 241: It is forbidden to take a security from a widow
Deuteronomy 24:17 "Nor shall you take a widow's garment as security"

We must be very careful when dealing with a widow.

She is alone and we must consider the difficulties that she faces.

The Torah forbids us to demand any security from her for a loan she has taken. Rather, we should be kind and trust that HaShem will help her repay.

This Negative Mitzvah applies regardless of whether a widow is poor or wealthy.

Negative Mitzvah 242: It is forbidden to take utensils used for the preparation of food as security
Deuteronomy 24:6 "No man shall take the upper or lower millstone for a pledge, for he take a man's life as a pledge"

Even though the Torah allows us to take items from the borrower as security for a loan, this does not include all items.

It is not permitted to demand utensils or dishes that are used for preparing food as security. A borrower must not go hungry just because he owes someone money!

You can live in a palace filled with treasures and still be poor. To be wealthy you must own the things you have. So too with poverty of the mind: You may have all the knowledge and brilliant ideas in the world, but you are still poor until they have become part of you.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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