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The Positive Commandments

1. The first of the positive commandments is the mitzvah to know that there is a God, as [Exodus 20:2] states: "I am God, your Lord."a

2. To unify Him, as [Deuteronomy 6:4] states: "God is our Lord, God is one."

3. To love Him, as [Deuteronomy 6:5] states: "And you shall love God, your Lord."

4. To fear Him, as [Deuteronomy 6:13] states: "Fear God, your Lord."

5. To pray, as [Exodus 23:25] states: "And you shall serve God, your Lord." This service is prayer.a

6. To cling to Him, as [Deuteronomy 10:2] states: "And you shall cling to Him."

7. To swear in His name, as [Deuteronomy 10:20] states: "And you shall swear in His name."a,b

8. To emulate His good and just ways, as [Deuteronomy 28:9] states: "And you shall walk in His ways."

9. To sanctify His name, as [Leviticus 22:32] states: "And I shall be sanctified amidst the children of Israel."

10. To recite the Shema twice daily, as [Deuteron­omy 6:2] states: "And you shall speak of them when you lie down and when you arise."

11. To study Torah and to teach it [to others], as [Deuteronomy 6:2] states: "And you shall teach them to your children."

12. To tie tefillin upon our heads, as [Deuteronomy 6:8] states: "And they shall be an emblem between your eyes."

13. To tie tefillin upon our arms, as [Deuteronomy 6:8] states: "And you shall tie them for a sign upon your arms."

14. To make tzitzit, as [Numbers 15:38] states: "And you shall make tzitzit for them."

15. To affix a mezuzah, as [Deuteronomy 6:9] states: "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your home."

16. To collect the people to hear the Torah [being read] in the year following the shemitah year, as [Deuteronomy 31:12] states: "Gather together the people."

17. For each man to write a Torah scroll for himself, as [Deuteronomy 31:19] states: "Write down this song."

18. For the king to write a second Torah scroll for himself in addition to the one which [he is required to write to fulfill the mitzvah incumbent upon] every man. Thus, he will have two Torah scrolls, as [Deuteronomy 17:19] states: "And he shall write for himself a copy of this Torah."

19. To bless [God] after eating, as [Deuteronomy 8:10] states: "[After] you eat and are satisfied, you shall bless God, your Lord."

20. To build [God's] chosen house, [the Temple,] as [Exodus 25:8] states: "And you shall make a sanctuary for Me."b

21. To revere this house, as [Leviticus 19:30] states: "And revere My sanctuary."

22. To keep watch over this house continuously, as [Numbers 18:2,4] states: "And you and- your descendants before the Tent of Testimony.... [And they shall keep the watch....]"

23. For the Levites to serve in the sanctuary, as [Numbers 18:23] states: "And the Levite shall serve...."

24. For a priest to sanctify his hands and feet at the time of service [in the Temple], as [Exodus 30:19] states: "And Aaron and his sons will wash...."

25. To prepare the candles of the Sanctuary, as [Exodus 27:21] states: "Aaron and his sons shall prepare it."

26. For the priests to bless the Jews, as [Numbers 6:23] states: "In this manner, you shall bless the children of Israel."

27. To arrange bread and frankincense before God [in the Temple] on every Sabbath, as [Exodus 25:30] states: "And you shall place the showbread on the table."b

28. To burn a spice offering twice [each] day, as [Exodus 30:7] states: "And Aaron shall burn incense upon it...."

29. To keep a fire burning on the altar for burnt offerings continually, as [Leviticus 6:6] states: "And you shall keep a fire burning continuously on the altar."

30. To remove the ashes from the altar, as [Leviti­cus 6:3] states: "And he shall remove the ashes...."

31. To send impure people out from the camp of the Divine Presence - i.e., the sanctuary - as [Numbers 5:2] states: "And you shall send from the camp all the leprous, any zav, and anyone who has contracted impurity because of a corpse."

32. To show honor to Aaron's descendants and to give them priority regarding all holy matters, as [Leviticus 21:8] states: "And you shall sanctify him."

33. To clothe the priests with the priestly garments for service [in the Temple], as [Exodus 28:2] states: "And you shall make holy garments...."a

34. To carry the ark upon our shoulders when it is to be carried, as [Numbers 7:9] states: "And they shall carry it on their shoulders."

35. To anoint the High Priests and kings with the anointing oil, as [Exodus 30:30-31] states: "[Anoint Aaron....] This shall be sacred anointing oil."

36. For the priests to serve in the sanctuary in individual watches; and for them to all serve as one on the festivals, as [Deuteronomy 18:6-8] states: "When the Levite shall come... [he can serve]...with the exception of that which is theirs by ancestral right."a

37. For the priests to become ritually impure and mourn for their relatives in the same manner as other Jews who are commanded to mourn, as [Leviticus 21:3] states: "He shall become impure for her."

38. For a High Priest to marry a virgin, as [Leviti‑cus 21:13] states: "And he shall marry a woman who is a virgin."

39. To offer the tamid offerings each day, as [Numbers 28:3] states: "[This is the fire offering...] two each day continuously."

40. For the High Priest to offer a meal offering each day, as [Leviticus 6:13] states: "This is the sacrifice of Aaron and his descendants."

41. To offer an additional sacrifice every Sabbath, as [Numbers 28:9] states: "On the Sabbath day, two lambs...."

42. To offer an additional sacrifice every Rosh Chodesh, as [Numbers 28:11] states: "On your Rashei Chodashim...."

43. To offer an additional sacrifice on Pesach, as [Leviticus 23:36] states: "For seven days, you will bring a fire offering unto God...."1

44. To bring the meal offering of the omer on the day after the first day of Pesach together with a single lamb, as [Leviticus 23:10] states: "And you shall bring the omer...."

45. To offer an additional sacrifice on Shavuot, as [Numbers 28:26] states: "On the day of the first fruits [Bikkurim]...."

46. To bring two loaves and the sacrifices which accompany the loaves on Shavuot, as [Leviticus 23:17] states: "From your dwellings, bring bread as a wave offering. And you shall offer upon the bread...."

47. To offer an additional sacrifice on Rosh HaShanah, as [Numbers 29:1] states: "And in the seventh month, on the first of the month...."

48. To offer an additional sacrifice on the fast [of Yom Kippur], as [Numbers 29:7] states: "On the tenth of the seventh month...."

49. To carry out the service of the fast [of Yom Kippur], as [Leviticus 16:3] states: "In this man­ner, Aaron will enter the [inner] sanctuary, with a young bull...." All the [particulars of] this service are stated in the parashah of Acharei Mot.

50. To offer an additional sacrifice on the holiday of Sukkot, as [Numbers 29:13] states: "And you shall present a burnt offering as a pleasing fra­grance...."

51. To offer an additional sacrifice on Shemini Atzeret, for it is a festival in its own right, as [Numbers 29:35] states: "And on the eighth day....

52. To celebrate on the festivals, as [Exodus 23:14] states: "And you shall celebrate three festivals for Me."

53. To appear [before God in the Temple] on the festivals, as [Deuteronomy 16:16] states: "On three occasions during the year, all your males shall appear...."

54. To rejoice on the festivals, as [Deuteronomy 16:14] states: "And you shall rejoice on your festivals."

55. To slaughter the Paschal lamb, as [Exodus 12:6] states: "And the entire congregation shall slaughter it...."

56. To eat the meat of the Paschal sacrifice roasted on the night of the fifteenth of Nisan, as [Exodus 12:8] states: "And they shall eat the meat...."

57. To offer the second Paschal sacrifice, as [Num­bers 9:11] states: "In the second month, on the fourteenth of the month...."

58. To eat the meat of the second Paschal offering together with matzot and bitter herbs, as [Numbers 9:11] states: "And you shall eat it with matzot and bitter herbs."

59. To sound the trumpets when the sacrifices [are offered] and in times of difficulty, as [Numbers 10:10] states: "And you shall sound the trum­pets...."

60. For all animals to be sacrificed after their eighth day [of life], as [Leviticus 22:27] states: "And on the eighth day and afterwards...."b

61. For all animal offerings to be unblemished, as [Leviticus 22:21] states: "[When it is] unblem­ished, it will be desirable...."

62. To salt all the sacrifices, as [Leviticus 2:13] states: "Offer salt on all your sacrifices."

63. The burnt offering, as [Leviticus 1:3] states:"If his is a burnt offering...."

64. The sin offering, as [Leviticus 6:18] states: "These are the laws of the sin offering...."

65. The guilt offering, as [Leviticus 7:1] states: "These are the laws of the guilt offering...."

66. The peace offering, as [Leviticus 7:11] states: "These are the laws of the peace offering...."

67. The meal offering, as [Leviticus 2:1] states: "When a person presents a meal offering...."

68. For the [High] Court to offer a sacrifice if it renders an erroneous decision, as [Leviticus 4:13] states: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall err...."

69. For each individual to offer a sin offering if he unintentionally violates a negative commandment punishable by karet2, as [Leviticus 5:1] states: "When a person sins...."3

70. For an individual to offer a sacrifice if he is in doubt whether or not he transgressed a prohibition for which he would be liable for a sin offering, as [Leviticus 5:17-18] states: "If he does not know, he still bears responsibility...and he shall bring his guilt offering." This is referred to as "the conditional guilt offering."

71. For [the following individuals:] a person who unknowingly used sacred property, a person who sinned by stealing, one [who had relations with] a maidservant designated for another person, or one who denied possession of an entrusted object and took a [false] oath, to bring a guilt offering. This is referred to as "the unconditional guilt offering."4

72. To offer "the adjustable guilt offering" [as atonement for the violation of certain transgres­sions], as [Leviticus 5:1,11] states: "If his means are not sufficient.... If his means do not suffice...."

73. For a person to confess before God for any sin which he has committed. [This applies] when he brings a sacrifice [for atonement] and when he does not bring a sacrifice, as [Numbers 5:6] states: "And they shall confess the sins that they committed."5

74. For a zav to offer a sacrifice when he becomes purified [after his affliction], as [Leviticus 15:13] states: "When a zav will become pure...."

75. For a zavah to offer a sacrifice when she be-comes purified [after her affliction], as [Leviticus 15:28] states: "When she becomes pure from [the condition] of zavah...."

76. For a person afflicted with tzara’at to offer a sacrifice after he becomes purified, as [Leviticus 14:1] states: "On the eighth day, he shall take...."

77. For a woman who gave birth to offer a sacrifice after she becomes purified, as [Leviticus 12:6] states: "And after the conclusion of her pure days...."

78. To tithe one's herds, as [Leviticus 27:32] states: "And all the tithes of your cattle and sheep...."

79. To sanctify the firstborn of a kosher animal and offer it as a sacrifice, as [Deuteronomy 15:19] states: "Every firstling which shall be born...."

80. To redeem firstborn sons, as [Numbers 18:15] states: "However, you must surely redeem first-born humans."

81. To redeem a firstling donkey, as [Exodus 34:20] states: "Redeem a firstling donkey with a sheep."

82. To decapitate a firstling donkey [which is not redeemed], as [Exodus 34:20] states: "If you do not redeem it, you must decapitate it."

83. For a person to bring all the sacrifices for which he is liable, be they obligatory or voluntary offerings, on the first pilgrimage festival that oc­curs, as [Deuteronomy 12:5-6] states: "And you shall come there... and you shall bring there...."

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.
1. .

There is a slight difficulty with the Rambam's statements: The verse cited refers to the sacrifices offered on Sukkot, and not those offered on Pesach. Perhaps the intended prooftext is Leviticus 23:8: "And you shall offer a burnt offering for God for seven days."


Karet refers to premature death at the hand of God, the death of one's children, and a severe spiritual punishment for the soul. (See Hilchot Teshuvah 8:1.)


. Though this prooftext is quoted in the printed editions of the Mishneh Torah, it appears to be an error, for the passage it introduces deals with the adjustable guilt offering (Positive Mitzvah 72). The verse which introduces the laws of the sin offerings is Leviticus 4:27: "If one person sins...."


. Perhaps the Rambam does not cite a specific prooftext for this mitzvah because there is a different passage in the Torah which deals with each of the guilt offerings which he mentions.


. Note that in Hilchot Teshuvah, the Rambam defines this mitzvah as return to God and repentance, a more encompassing service, of which confession is only one facet.(See Hilchot Teshuvah 2:2.)

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