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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvot 279, 277, 275, 278, 273

  Day 317Day 319  

Negative Mitzvah 279: It is forbidden to reduce fines or a penalty out of pity for one who has killed or maimed another person
Deuteronomy 19:21 "And your eye shall not have pity"

When a judge must administer fines or penalties, he may not have pity on the person who has to pay them.

The guilty person must be punished for his action and the judge is forbidden to excuse him or reduce the amount.

Negative Mitzvah 277: It is forbidden to favor a poor man out of pity
Exodus 23:3 "You shall not favor a poor man in his cause"

A judge must not let pity interfere with the honest and proper judgment. He is not allowed to declare a poor man as not guilty because he feels sorry for him.

Negative Mitzvah 275: It is forbidden to be impressed by important people while sitting in judgment over them
Leviticus 19:15 "Nor honor an important person"

A judge must rule according to the law.

He should be careful not to be impressed and persuaded by the character and nature of the people he is judging.

He must concentrate on the facts and decide according to the Torah's laws.

This Negative Mitzvah cautions the judge not to show extra respect and consideration for a person who is being judged just because he may be important or rich.

Negative Mitzvah 278: It is forbidden to condemn an evil person unfairly
Exodus 23:6 "You shall not pervert the judgment of the needy in his cause"

Even the most terrible criminal is entitled to a fair trial.

A judge must study the facts carefully and not be persuaded or impressed by the nature of the person he is judging.

This Negative Mitzvah cautions the judge not to declare a person guilty just because he is known to be dishonest or evil, without first looking at the facts of the case.

Negative Mitzvah 273: It is forbidden to distort justice
Leviticus 19:15 "You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment"

We expect a judge to carry out his job in a professional and faithful manner.

He is appointed to seek the truth and bring about justice.

The Torah cautions him to be extremely careful and not to judge unfairly.

You ask me, "Why did G-d allow it to happen?"

You recognize that everything in this world has purpose and meaning. Examine any aspect of His vast Creation, from the cosmos to the workings of the atom and you will see there must be a plan. And so you ask, where does this fit into the plan? How could it? I can only answer, painfully, G-d alone knows. But what I cannot know, I need not know. I need not know in order to fulfill that which my Creator has created me to do. And that is, to change the world so this could never happen again.


To one who's self is his body, death of the body is death of the self. But for a tzaddik, whose self is his love, awe and faith, there is no death, only a passing. From a state of confinement to the body he makes the passage to liberation. He continues to work within this world, and even more so than before.

The Talmud says that Jacob, our father, never died. Moses, also, never died. Neither did Rabbi Judah, the Prince. They were very high souls who were one with Truth in an ultimate bond -- and since Truth can never die, neither could they. Yes, in our eyes we see death A body is buried in the ground and we must mourn for his loss. But this is only part of the falseness of our world. In the World of Truth they are still here as before. And the proof: We are still here. For if these high souls would not be with us in our world, all that we know would cease to exist.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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