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Sunday, 29 Kislev 5775 / December 21, 2014
Today

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Part 1

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Part 1

1. The first mitzvah of the negative command­ments is not to consider the thought that there is another divinity aside from God, as [Exodus 20:13] states: "You shall have no other gods before Me."

2. Not to make an idol - not to make one oneself or have one made for oneself by others - as [Exodus 20:4] states: "Do not make an idol for yourselves."

3. Not to make false gods even for others, as [Leviticus 19:4] states: "Do not make molten gods for yourselves."

4. Not to make images for decoration, even when one does not worship them, as [Exodus 20:20] states: "Do not make a representation of anything that is with Me."

5. Not to bow down to any false gods, even though they are not generally worshiped by bowing down before them, as [Exodus 20:13] states: "Do not bow down to them."

6. Not to worship false gods with the types of ser­vice with which it is customary to worship them, as [Exodus 20:3] states: "Do not serve them."

7. Not to offer one's son to Molech, as [Leviticus 18:21] states: "Do not give [any] of your children to offer to Molech."

8. Not to perform the deeds associated with an ov, as [Leviticus 19:31] states: "Do not turn to the ovot."

9. Not to perform the deeds associated with a yid'oni, as [Leviticus 19:31] states: "Do not turn to... the yid'onim."

10. Not to take interest in the worship of false gods, as [Leviticus 19:4] states: "Do not turn to false gods."

11. Not to erect a pillar [for purposes of worship], as [Deuteronomy 16:22] states: "Do not erect a pillar for yourselves."

12. Not to make hewn stones [upon which to prostrate oneself], as [Leviticus 26:1] states: "You shall not place hewn stones..."

13. Not to plant a tree on the Temple [premises], as [Deuteronomy 16:21] states: "Do not plant an asherah or any other tree...."

14. Not to take an oath on a false god [as requested by] one of its worshipers, nor to have one of them take an oath on [their false god], as [Exodus 23:13] states: "And the name of other gods you shall not mention, nor should it be heard from your mouth."

15. Not to act as a missionary [madiach] to per­suade the Jews to worship false gods], as [Exodus 23:13] states: "And the name of other gods... shall not be heard from your mouth." [Our Sages taught that] this is a prohibition against acting as a missionary for the worship of false gods.

16. Not to act as a missionary [mesit] to persuade an individual Jew to worship false gods, as [Deuteronomy 13:12] states with regard to such missionaries: "And they shall not continue to do so."

17. Not to show affection for a mesit, as [Deuteron­omy 13:9] states: "Do not show appreciation for him."

18. Not to reduce one's hatred for a mesit, as [Deuteronomy 13:9] states: "Do not listen to him."

19. Not to [try to] save a mesit, but rather to see to it that he is executed, as [Deuteronomy 13:9] states: "Do not have mercy upon him."

20. For the person whom a mesit tried to convince not to advance any arguments on behalf of the mesit, as [Deuteronomy 13:9] states: "Do not have pity... [upon him]."

21. For the person whom a mesit tried to convince not to withhold any evidence he is aware of that would incriminate the mesit, as [Deuteronomy 13:9] states: "And do not try to cover up for him."

22. Not to benefit from ornaments that have adorned false gods, as [Deuteronomy 7:25] states: "Do not covet the gold or silver which is upon them...."

23. Not to rebuild an apostate city to its former stature, as [Deuteronomy 13:17] states: "It shall never be rebuilt."

24. Not to benefit from the property of an apostate city, as [Deuteronomy 13:18] states: "Let nothing that has been condemned cling to your hand."

25. Not to benefit from false gods, from any of their accessories, anything offered to them, or any wine brought as a libation for them, as [Deuteronomy 7:26] states: "Do not bring an abomination into your house."

26. Not to prophesy in the name of false gods, as [Deuteronomy 18:20] states: "[The prophet]... who speaks in the name of other gods [shall die]."

27. Not to relate false prophecies, as [Deuteron­omy 18:20] states: "When a prophet presumptu­ously makes a declaration in My name which I have not commanded him...."

28. Not to listen to someone who prophesies in the name of false gods, as [Deuteronomy 13:4] states: "Do not listen to the words of that prophet."a

29. Not to refrain from executing a false prophet, nor to fear him, as [Deuteronomy 18:22] states: "Do not fear him."

30. Not to follow the laws or customs of the worshipers of false gods, as [Leviticus 20:23] states: "Do not follow the practices of the nation [that I am driving out before you]...."

31. Not to practice black magic, as [Deuteronomy 18:10] states: "There shall not be found among you... a magician."

32. Not to practice divination, as [Leviticus 19:26] states: "Do not practice divination."

33. Not to act as a soothsayer, as [Leviticus, ibid.] states: "Do not act as a soothsayer."

34. Not to practice sorcery, as [Deuteronomy 18:10] states: "There shall not be found among you... a sorcerer."

35. Not to cast spells, as [Deuteronomy 18:11] states: "[There shall not be found among you...] one who casts spells."

36. Not to consult an ov, as [Deuteronomy, ibid.] states: "[There shall not be found among you...] one who consults an ov."

37. Not to consult a yid'oni, as [Deuteronomy, ibid.] states: "[There shall not be found among you...] one who consults an ov or a yid'oni."

38. Not to seek information from the dead in dreams, as [Deuteronomy, ibid.] states: "[There shall not be found among you...] one who attempts to communicate with the dead."

39. For a woman not to wear articles appropriate for men, as [Deuteronomy 22:5] states: "A woman should not wear a man's clothing."

40. For a man not to wear articles appropriate for women, as [Deuteronomy 22:5] states: "A man should not wear a woman's clothing." [This prohibition was instituted] because this is an idolatrous custom. Explicit statements to this effect are found in the texts describing their worship.

41. Not to tattoo our bodies like the worshipers of false gods, as [Leviticus 19:28] states: "Do not tattoo your flesh."

42. Not to wear sha'atnez, as do the priests of false gods, as [Deuteronomy 22:11] states: "Do not wear sha'atnez."

43. Not to shave the temples of our heads, as do the worshipers of false gods, as [Leviticus 19:27] states: "Do not shave your temples."b

44. Not to shave off our beards entirely, as do the priests of false gods, as [Leviticus 19:27] states: "Do not shave the corners of your beard."

45. Not to make cuts in our flesh, as the worshipers of false gods do, as [Deuteronomy 14:1] states: "Do not cut yourselves." Gedidah is another term for cutting.

46. Not to ever dwell in the land of Egypt, as [Deuteronomy 17:16] states: "Do not ever return on this path again."

47. Not to stray after the thoughts of one's heart or the sights one's eyes behold, as [Numbers 15:39] states: "Do not stray after your heart and eyes."

48. Not to establish a covenant with the seven [Canaanite] nations, as [Deuteronomy 7:2] states: "Do not establish a covenant with them."

49. Not to allow a single member of the seven [Canaanite] nations to live, as [Deuteronomy 20:16] states: "Do not allow a soul to live."

50. Not to show favor to the worshipers of false gods, as [Deuteronomy 7:2] states: "Do not show them favor."

51. Not to allow the worshipers of false gods to settle in our land, as [Exodus 23:33] states: "They shall not settle in your land."

52. Not to marry gentiles, as [Deuteronomy 7:3] states: "Do not marry among them."

53. For a Jewish woman never to marry an Am­monite or Moabite [even after conversion], as [Deuteronomy 23:4] states: "An Ammonite or a Moabite shall never enter the congregation of God."

54. Not to prevent the third generation of [converts from] the descendants of Esau from marrying among [the Jewish people], as [Deuteronomy 23:8] states: "Do not [utterly] despise an Edomite."

55. Not to prevent the third generation of Egyptian [converts] from marrying among [the Jewish peo­ple], as [Deuteronomy 23:8] states: "Do not [ut­terly] despise an Egyptian."

56. Not to make an offer of peace to Ammon and Moav at the outbreak of war, as is done for other nations, as [Deuteronomy 23:7] states: "Do not seek their peace and welfare...."

57. Not to destroy fruit trees nor to destroy any-thing else of value, as [Deuteronomy 20:19] states: "Do not destroy its trees."

58. For soldiers not to fear or become frightened of the enemy during war, as [Deuteronomy 7:21] states: "Do not panic before them," and [Deuteronomy 3:22] states: "Do not fear them."a,b

59. Not to forget the wicked deeds which Amalek perpetrated against us, as [Deuteronomy 25:19] states: "Do not forget."

60. The prohibition against blessing [i.e., cursing] God's name, as [Exodus 22:27] states: "Do not curse God." [Leviticus 27:16] mentions the pun­ishment: "One who curses the name of God shall surely die." This is a general principle: A negative commandment is involved whenever the Torah mentions the punishments of karet or execution - with the exception of circumcision and the Paschal sacrifice which are positive commandments pun­ishable by karet.

61. Not to violate an oath, as [Leviticus 19:12] states: "Do not swear falsely in My name."

62. Not to take an oath in vain, as [Exodus 20:7] states: "Do not take the name of God, your Lord, in vain."

63. Not to profane the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, as [Leviticus 22:32] states: "Do not profane My holy name."

64. Not to test the promises of God, as [Deuteron­omy 6:15] states: "Do not test God, your Lord."

65. Not to destroy the Temple, synagogues, or houses of study; and similarly, not to erase any of [God’s] sacred names, nor to destroy any sacred texts, as [Deuteronomy 12:3-4] states: "You shall surely destroy them. Do not do this to God, your Lord."1

66. Not to leave a corpse that was hung on the gallows, as [Deuteronomy 21:23] states: "Do not leave his body on the gallows."

67. Not to interrupt the watch held around the Temple, as [Leviticus 18:30] states: "And you shall keep My watch."2

68. For a priest not to enter the Temple building at all times, as [Leviticus 16:2] states: "And he shall not enter the sanctuary at all times."

69. For a priest with a disqualifying physical de­formity not to proceed beyond [the beginning of] the altar, as [Leviticus 21:23] states: "However, to the parochet3 he shall not approach."a

70. For a priest with a disqualifying physical de­formity not to serve [in the Temple], as [Leviticus 21:17] states: "[Anyone...] who has a blemish [may not approach to present]...."

71. For a priest with a disqualifying physical de­formity of a temporary nature not to serve [in the Temple], as [Leviticus 21:18] states: "Anyone who has a blemish may not approach [to offer a sacrifice]."a

72. For the Levites not to perform the services of the priests, and for the priests not to perform the services of the Levites, as [Numbers 18:3] states with regard to the Levites: "Neither to the sacred vessels nor to the altar shall they approach, so that they do not die, neither they nor you."

73. For a person who is intoxicated not to enter the Temple nor to render a halachic decision, as [Leviticus 10:9] states: "Do not drink wine or strong drink when you enter the Tent of Testi­mony," and [ibid., 10:11] states: "or when you render a decision for the children of Israel."a

74. For a non-priest not to serve in the Temple, as [Numbers 18:4] states: "An unauthorized person shall not approach them."

75. For a priest who is ritually impure not to serve [in the Temple], as [Leviticus 22:2] states: "And they shall separate themselves from the sacred offerings of the children of Israel."

76. For a priest who has immersed himself in a mikveh in order to purify himself from ritual impurity not to serve [in the Temple] until the conclusion, of that day, as [Leviticus 21:6] states: "And they shall not profane...."

77. For a priest who is ritually impure not to enter the Temple courtyard, as [Numbers 5:3] states: "And they shall not make your camp impure." This refers to the camp of the Divine Presence.

78. For a person who is impure not to enter the camp of the Levites, the parallel for all time being the Temple Mount, as [Deuteronomy 23:11] states: "Do not enter the camp." This refers to the camp of the Levites.

79. Not to build the altar with hewn stones, as [Exodus 20:22] states: "Do not make them hewn."

80. Not to ascend to the altar using steps, as [Exodus 20:23] states: "Do not ascend My altar with steps."

81. Not to offer any [undesired] incense offering or any sacrifices on the golden altar, as [Exodus 30:9] states: "Do not offer any unauthorized incense upon it."

82. Not to extinguish the fire of the altar, as [Leviticus 6:6] states: "Burn a continuous fire on the altar. Do not extinguish it."

83. Not to duplicate the composition of the anointing oil, as [Exodus 30:32] states: "And do not duplicate its formula."

84. Not to anoint an unauthorized person with the anointing oil, as [Exodus 30:32] states: "Do not anoint the flesh of a person with it."

85. Not to duplicate the composition of the incense offering, as [Exodus 30:37] states: "Do not dupli­cate its formula."

86. Not to remove the staves of the ark, as [Exodus 25:16] states: "They shall not be removed from it."

87. For the [High Priest's] breastplate not to come loose from the ephod, as [Exodus 28:28] states: "The breastplate shall not come loose from the ephod."

88. For the [High Priest's] cloak not to tear, as [Exodus 28:32] states: "It shall have a woven border around it. It shall not tear."

89. Not to offer sacred offerings outside [the Tem­ple], as [Deuteronomy 12:13] states: "Be careful, lest you offer your burnt offerings...."

90. Not to slaughter sacred offerings outside [the Temple], as [Leviticus 17:3-4] states: "A person who slaughters an ox or a sheep without bringing it to the Tent of Testimony. He shall be punished by karet."

91. Not to consecrate animals with disqualifying physical blemishes [as sacrifices to be offered on] the altar, as [Leviticus 22:20] states: "Any [animal] which has a blemish shall not be sacrificed." This prohibition involves [the animal's] consecration.

92. Not to slaughter animals with disqualifying physical blemishes as sacrifices, as [Leviticus 22:22] states: "Do not sacrifice these to God."

93. Not to sprinkle the blood of animals with disqualifying physical blemishes on the altar, as [Leviticus 22:24] states: "Do not sacrifice to God...." This prohibition involves sprinkling [the animal's] blood."

94. Not to burn the sacrificial portions of animals with disqualifying physical blemishes [as sacrifices on the altar], as [Leviticus 22:22] states: "Do not make a fire offering of them."

95. Not to offer a animals with disqualifying phys­ical blemishes of a temporary nature as sacrifices, as [Deuteronomy 17:1] states: "Do not sacrifice to God, your Lord, an ox or a sheep that has a blemish." This refers to a blemish of a temporary nature.a

96. Not to offer an animal with a disqualifying physical blemish as a sacrifice when it was brought by gentiles, as [Leviticus 22:25] states: "Do not offer sacrifices [from these animals] when they are given by gentiles."

97. Not to inflict a disqualifying physical blemish upon a consecrated animal, as [Leviticus 22:21] states: "It shall not have a blemish."This can be interpreted to mean: Do not inflict a blemish upon it.

98. Not to burn as an offering anything which is sweetened or leavened, as [Leviticus 2:11] states: "You may not burn anything leavened or sweet [as a fire offering]."a

99. Not to offer a sacrifice which is unsalted, as [Leviticus 2:13] states: "Do not omit the salt of God's covenant."

100. Not to offer as a sacrifice an animal received by a prostitute as her fee, or an animal received in exchange for a dog, as [Deuteronomy 23:19] states: "Do not bring a prostitute's fee or the price of a dog...."

101. Not to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day, as [Leviticus 22:25] states: "Do not slaughter it and its offspring on the same day."

102. Not to place olive oil on the meal offering brought by a sinner, as [Leviticus 5:11] states: "Do not place oil upon it."

103. Not to place frankincense on such a sacrifice, as [Leviticus, ibid.] continues: "...and do not place frankincense upon it."

104. Not to place oil on the meal offering brought by a sotah, as [Numbers 5:15] states: "Do not pour oil upon it."

105. Not to place frankincense on such a sacrifice, as [Numbers, ibid.] continues: "...and do not place frankincense upon it."

106. Not to substitute [another animal] for [one selected as] a sacred offering, as [Leviticus 27:10] states: "Do not exchange it or substitute another for it."

107. Not to change the designation of a conse­crated animal from one sacrifice to another, as [Leviticus 27:26] states regarding a firstling ani­mal: "A person should not consecrate it" - i.e., he should not consecrate it as another sacrifice.

108. Not to redeem a firstling kosher animal, as [Numbers 18:17] states: "Nevertheless, a firstling ox... do not redeem."

109. Not to sell the tithe of cattle, as [Leviticus 27:33] states: "It shall not be redeemed."

110. Not to sell a field that has been dedicated, as [Leviticus 27:28] states: "It shall not be sold."

111. Not to redeem a field that has been dedicated, as [Leviticus, ibid.] states: "It shall not be redeemed."

112. Not to sever the head of a bird [brought as] a sin offering, as [Leviticus 5:8] states: "He shall pinch off its head...[without separating it]."

113. Not to work with consecrated animals, as [Deuteronomy 15:19] states: "Do not work with your firstling ox."

114. Not to shear consecrated animals, as [Deuteronomy 15:19] states: "Do not shear your firstling sheep."

115. Not to slaughter the Paschal sacrifice while one possesses chametz, as [Exodus 23:18] states: "Do not sacrifice the blood of My offering in the presence of chametz."

116. Not to allow the sacrificial portions of the Paschal sacrifice to become disqualified by re­maining overnight, as [Exodus 23:18] states: "Do not allow the fat of My festive offering to remain until the morning."

117. Not to allow the meat of the Paschal sacrifice to remain [overnight], as [Exodus 12:10] states: "Do not leave over any of it until the morning."

118. Not to allow the meat of the Chaggigah sac­rifice to remain until the third day, as [Deuteron­omy 16:14] states: "Do not leave over any of the meat...." According to the oral tradition, we have learned that the verse refers to the Chaggigah sac­rifice offered on the fourteenth of Nisan. The phrase "until the morning" [in that verse] refers to the morning of the second day of Pesach, the third day after [the sacrifice] was offered.

119. Not to allow the meat of the second Paschal sacrifice to remain until the morning, as [Numbers 9:12] states: "Do not leave over any of it until the morning."

120. Not to allow the meat of the thanksgiving offering to remain until the morning, as [Leviticus 22:30] states: "Do not leave over any of it until the morning." The same law applies to all other sacrifices. They should not be left over beyond the time allotted for their consumption.

Note: We have marked with the letter “a” those mitzvot concerning which the Ramban (Nachmanides) differs with the Rambam in his Hasagot to Sefer HaMitzvot, and with the letter “b,” those mitzvot concerning which the Ra'avad, in his gloss to the Mishneh Torah, differs with the Rambam.
FOOTNOTES
1.

. Note the comments of the Kessef Mishneh, who differentiates between sacred texts whose destruction Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 6:8 considers a rabbinic offense, and the destruction of the other objects which are forbidden by the Torah itself.

2.

. Though this prooftext is quoted in the printed editions of the Mishneh Torah, it appears to be an error, because the passage it introduces deals with sexual offenses. In Sefer HaMitzvot, the Rambam quotes as a prooftext Numbers 18:5, "And you shall keep the watch over the holy articles."

3.

The parochet was the curtain separating the Temple sanctuary from the Holy of Holies.

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