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Wednesday, 22 Elul 5777 / September 13, 2017
The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.

Daily Mitzvah

Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 287

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Negative Commandment 287 (Digest)
Relatives' Testimony

"Fathers shall not be put to death on account of their children; neither shall children be put to death on account of their fathers"Deuteronomy 24:16.

A judge may not accept testimony from a litigant's close relative—whether the testimony is in support of the litigant or against him.

This law applies to all cases – capital and monetary – and all close relatives. The verse refers specifically to a capital case and the testimony of a father to demonstrate the extent of this mitzvah. For the Torah even forbids accepting the testimony of a father, who presumably loves his child dearly, against his child (or vice versa) in a capital case—though we'd presume that such testimony is eminently credible.

This mitzvah is a supra-rational decree from Above.


Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
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  –Rabbi Israel Salanter
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