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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 140, 136, 137; Negative Commandment 224, 225, 226

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Positive Commandment 140 (Digest)
Counting Down the Years to the Jubilee

"And you shall count seven Sabbatical years"Leviticus 25:8.

Starting when the Jews conquered Israel and settled therein, the high court is commanded to count down the years to the Jubilee Year. They count seven cycles of seven years [and then sanctify the fiftieth one as the Jubilee].

Positive Commandment 136 (Digest)
Sanctifying the Jubilee Year

"And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year"Leviticus 25:10.

We are commanded to sanctify the fiftieth year, the Jubilee Year, by abstaining from agricultural work and rendering all the land's produce ownerless and free for all to take—just as we are commanded to do during the Shemitah (Sabbatical) Year.

This mitzvah is only practiced in the Land of Israel, and only when all of the tribes are settled therein, each in their ancestral portion of the Land.

Positive Commandment 137 (Digest)
Emancipation of Slaves during the Jubilee Year

"You shall sound the shofar [ram's horn] on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom Kippur you shall sound the shofar throughout your land"Leviticus 25:9.

We are commanded to blow the shofar (ram's horn) on the tenth of Tishrei of the Jubilee Year—announcing the emancipation (without compensation) of all Hebrew slaves.

These shofar blasts parallel the annual sounding of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, both with regards to the actual blasts as well as the blessings that accompany them. (Though the purpose of the sounding of the shofar is different; the Jubilee blasts serving as an announcement regarding the liberation of the slaves.)

Negative Commandment 224 (Digest)
Planting during the Jubilee Year

"You shall not sow"Leviticus 25:11.

It is forbidden to sow the fields or do agricultural work on fruit trees during the Jubilee Year (similar to the Sabbatical Year).

Negative Commandment 225 (Digest)
Harvesting Field Crops during the Jubilee Year

"Nor shall you reap that which grows of itself in it"Leviticus 25:11.

It is forbidden to harvest – in normal fashion – that which grows wild in the fields during the Jubilee Year.

(As with the Sabbatical Year, one may only harvest them as if they were ownerless, i.e. without extensive preparation or arrangement, and not in bulk.)

Negative Commandment 226 (Digest)
Harvesting Fruit during the Jubilee Year

"Nor shall you gather in it the grapes from your un-pruned vine"Leviticus 25:11.

It is forbidden to harvest – in normal fashion – the fruit that grows during the Jubilee Year.

(As with the Sabbatical Year, one may only harvest them as if they were ownerless, i.e. without extensive preparation or arrangement, and not in bulk.)


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.
Daily Quote
Abraham personified the Divine attribute of Chessed (benevolence), Isaac personified Gevurah (severity) and Jacob personofied the attribute of Tiferet (harmony and truth)
  –The Zohar
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