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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shevitat Yom Tov - Chapter Eight

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Shevitat Yom Tov - Chapter Eight

1

When streams flow from a pond, it is permitted to irrigate parched land from them during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, provided they do not cease flowing.1 Similarly, it is permissible to irrigate [fields] from a pool through which an irrigation ditch flows.2

Similarly, if a pool [was created from water] dripping from parched land, one may irrigate another portion of parched land from it, provided the stream that irrigated the first portion of parched land has not ceased flowing.

א

נְּהָרוֹת הַמּוֹשְׁכִין מִן הָאֲגַמִּים מֻתָּר לְהַשְׁקוֹת מֵהֶן בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין בַּמּוֹעֵד וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא פָּסְקוּ. וְכֵן הַבְּרֵכוֹת שֶׁאַמַּת הַמַּיִם עוֹבֶרֶת בֵּינֵיהֶן מֻתָּר לְהַשְׁקוֹת מֵהֶן. וְכֵן בְּרֵכָה שֶׁנָּטְפָה מִבֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין וַעֲדַיִן הִיא נוֹטֶפֶת מֻתָּר לְהַשְׁקוֹת מִמֶּנָּה בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין אַחֶרֶת. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא פָּסַק הַמַּעְיָן הַמַּשְׁקֶה בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין הָעֶלְיוֹנָה:

2

When half a row of crops is located on low land and half on higher land, one should not draw water from the lower land to irrigate the higher land, for this involves very strenuous activity.

It is permitted to draw water to irrigate vegetables so that they will be fit to be eaten3 during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.4 If, however, [one does not desire to use them until after Chol HaMo'ed, irrigating them] to improve their quality is forbidden.5

ב

עֲרוּגָה שֶׁחֶצְיָהּ נָמוּךְ וְחֶצְיָהּ גָּבוֹהַּ לֹא יִדְלֶה מִמָּקוֹם נָמוּךְ לְהַשְׁקוֹת מָקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא טֹרַח גָּדוֹל. וּמֻתָּר לִדְלוֹת מַיִם לְהַשְׁקוֹת הַיְרָקוֹת כְּדֵי לְאָכְלָן בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְאִם בִּשְׁבִיל לְיַפּוֹתָן אָסוּר:

3

One should not dig a pit at the roots of a grapevine to collect water. If such pits have already been dug, and they have become impaired, one may fix them during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. Similarly, one may fix an irrigation ditch that has become impaired6 during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.

What is implied? If the ditch was only one handbreadth deep, one may dig until it is six handbreadths deep.7 If it was two handbreadths deep, one may dig until it is seven.8

One may cause water to flow from one tree to another,9 provided one does not irrigate the entire field.10 If the field has already been watered, it is permitted to irrigate the entire field.11 One may sprinkle a field during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. For all these activities do not involve very strenuous effort.

ג

אֵין עוֹשִׂין עוּגִיּוֹת בְּעִקְּרֵי הַגְּפָנִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְמַלְּאוּ מַיִם. וְאִם הָיוּ עֲשׂוּיוֹת וְנִתְקַלְקְלוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מְתַקְּנָם בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְכֵן אַמַּת הַמַּיִם שֶׁנִּתְקַלְקְלָה מְתַקְּנִין אוֹתָהּ בַּמּוֹעֵד. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה עֲמֻקָּה טֶפַח חוֹפֵר בָּהּ עַד שִׁשָּׁה. הָיְתָה עֲמֻקָּה טְפָחַיִם מַעֲמִיקָהּ עַד שִׁבְעָה. וּמוֹשְׁכִין אֶת הַמַּיִם מֵאִילָן לְאִילָן וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַשְׁקֶה אֶת כָּל הַשָּׂדֶה. וְאִם הָיְתָה שָׂדֶה לָחָה מֻתָּר לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת כֻּלָּהּ. וּמַרְבִּיצִין אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה בַּמּוֹעֵד. שֶׁכָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֵין בָּהֶן טֹרַח יוֹתֵר:

4

When plants have not been watered before [the beginning of] the festival, they should not be watered during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, for [in this situation] they require much water, and this will lead to strenuous effort.12

It is permitted to change [the direction of] a river from one place to another and to open a river that has been dammed. [The following rules apply to] cisterns, trenches, and grottos that belong to a private individual:13 If he needs them,14 they may be cleaned and their breaches sealed. One may not, however, dig new ones.15 One may cause water to flow into them, even when one has no [immediate] need for them. One may make a small pool [for soaking flax]16 during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.17

ד

זְרָעִים שֶׁלֹּא שָׁתוּ מִלִּפְנֵי הַמּוֹעֵד לֹא יַשְׁקֵם בַּמּוֹעֵד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן צְרִיכִין מַיִם רַבִּים וְיָבוֹא לִידֵי טֹרַח יוֹתֵר. וּמֻתָּר לְהָסֵב אֶת הַנָּהָר מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְלִפְתֹּחַ נָהָר שֶׁנִּסְתַּם. בּוֹרוֹת שִׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת שֶׁל יָחִיד אִם הָיָה צָרִיךְ לָהֶם חוֹטְטִין אוֹתָן וְשָׁפִין אֶת סִדְקֵיהֶם אֲבָל אֵין חוֹפְרִין אוֹתָן לְכַתְּחִלָּה. וְכוֹנְסִים לְתוֹכָהּ מַיִם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לָהֶן. וְעוֹשִׂין נִבְרֶכֶת בַּמּוֹעֵד:

5

Mice which damage trees may be snared during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. In an orchard, one may snare them in one's ordinary fashion. What is implied? One may dig a hole and hang a net.

If an unplowed field18 is located close to an orchard, one may snare the mice in the unplowed field using a technique that departs from one's ordinary practice,19 so that they do not enter the orchard and ruin it. What is meant by snaring them using a different technique? [Instead of digging a hole,] one should implant a shaft in the ground and strike it with a hatchet. Afterwards, one should remove it, leaving a hole in its place.

ה

עַכְבָּרִים שֶׁהֵן מַפְסִידִין אֶת הָאִילָנוֹת צָדִין אוֹתָן בַּמּוֹעֵד. בִּשְׂדֵה הָאִילָן צָד כְּדַרְכּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. חוֹפֵר וְתוֹלֶה הַמְּצוּדָה. וְאִם הָיָה שָׂדֶה לָבָן סָמוּךְ לִשְׂדֵה הָאִילָן צָדִין אוֹתָן בַּשָּׂדֶה הַלָּבָן בְּשִׁנּוּי כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ לִשְׂדֵה הָאִילָן וְיַחְרִיבוּהָ. וְכֵיצַד צָד, בְּשִׁנּוּי. נוֹעֵץ שִׁפּוּד בָּאָרֶץ וּמַכֶּה בְּקוֹרְדוֹם וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְנַתְּקוֹ וְנִמְצָא מְקוֹמוֹ גּוּמָא:

6

When the wall to a garden falls, one may build it as would an amateur,20 put up a divider of reeds, bullrushes, or the like. Similarly, if one erects a guardrail for one's roof, one should build it as would an amateur.21

When, by contrast, the wall to a courtyard falls, one may rebuild it in an ordinary manner.22 If it is deteriorating [and likely to fall], one should tear it down because of the danger and rebuild it in an ordinary manner.

ו

כֹּתֶל גִּנָּה שֶׁנָּפַל בּוֹנֵהוּ מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט אוֹ גּוֹדֵר אוֹתוֹ בְּקָנִים וְגֹמֶא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְכֵן אִם עָשָׂה מַעֲקֶה לַגַּג בּוֹנֶה אוֹתוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט. אֲבָל כֹּתֶל חָצֵר שֶׁנָּפַל בּוֹנֵהוּ כְּדַרְכּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה גּוֹהֶה סוֹתְרוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה וּבוֹנֵהוּ כְּדַרְכּוֹ:

7

A person may build a bench23 to sit on or to sleep on. If a hinge, a drainpipe,24 a lintel, a lock, or a key becomes broken, one may fix it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed in an ordinary manner.25 [This ruling applies] whether they are made of iron or of wood - [the rationale is that] this [could result in] a great loss. For if a person leaves the entrance to his house open and the doors broken, he will lose everything within the house. As explained previously,26 whenever [the failure to perform a task will result] in a loss, one need not deviate from one's ordinary practice.

ז

בּוֹנֶה אָדָם אִצְטַבָּא לֵישֵׁב אוֹ לִישֹׁן עָלֶיהָ. הַצִּיר וְהַצִּנּוֹר וְהַקּוֹרָה וְהַמַּנְעוּל וְהַמַּפְתֵּחַ שֶׁנִּשְׁבְּרוּ מְתַקְּנָן בַּמּוֹעֵד כְּדַרְכּוֹ בֵּין בְּשֶׁל בַּרְזֶל בֵּין בְּשֶׁל עֵץ. שֶׁזֶּה הֶפְסֵד גָּדוֹל הוּא שֶׁאִם יָנִיחַ הַפֶּתַח פָּתוּחַ וּדְלָתוֹת שְׁבוּרוֹת נִמְצָא מְאַבֵּד כָּל מַה שֶּׁבַּבַּיִת. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ הֶפְסֵד אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ שִׁנּוּי:

8

One may not dig a grave [during Chol HaMo'ed] so that it will be ready for a person should he die; nor may one build a structure for this purpose.27 If [a grave] is already prepared, one may modify it during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. What is implied? One may increase or decrease its size, so that it will be ready when it is necessary to bury [the intended] in it.

ח

אֵין חוֹפְרִין קֶבֶר לִהְיוֹת מוּכָן לְמֵת שֶׁיָּמוּת וְאֵין בּוֹנִין אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עָשׂוּי הֲרֵי זֶה מְתַקְּנוֹ בַּמּוֹעֵד. כֵּיצַד. מוֹסִיף בְּמִדָּתוֹ אוֹ מְקַצֵּר מִמִּדָּתוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נָכוֹן לְעֵת שֶׁיִּקְבֹּר בּוֹ:

9

We may not move a corpse or bones from one grave to another - neither from a more esteemed grave to one of lesser esteem, nor from one of lesser esteem to one of greater esteem. [Indeed,] it is always forbidden to do so, even on ordinary weekdays,28 unless one moves the corpse to an ancestral plot.29 [In such an instance,] on ordinary days, one may move the corpse [even] from an esteemed grave to one of lesser esteem.30

ט

אֵין מְפַנִּין אֶת הַמֵּת וְלֹא אֶת הָעֲצָמוֹת מִקֶּבֶר לְקֶבֶר לֹא מִמְּכֻבָּד לְבָזוּי וְלֹא מִבָּזוּי לִמְכֻבָּד. וְאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן לְעוֹלָם בִּשְׁאָר הַיָּמִים אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה מְפַנֵּהוּ בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ מְפַנֵּהוּ בִּשְׁאָר הַיָּמִים אֲפִלּוּ מִמְּכֻבָּד לְבָזוּי:

10

We may not remove worms from trees, nor apply waste to saplings,31 nor may we prune trees.32 We may, however, apply oil to trees and their fruit.33

We may dig flax, for it is fit to use as a cover [for produce]34 during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. We may harvest hops, because they are fit for use in making beer during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.35 The same laws apply to other similar situations.

י

אֵין מַתְלִיעִין אֶת הָאִילָנוֹת וְלֹא מַזְהִימִין אֶת הַנְּטִיעוֹת וְלֹא מְגַזְּמִין. אֲבָל סָכִין אֶת הָאִילָנוֹת וְאֶת הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁבָּהֶן בְּשֶׁמֶן וְעוֹקְרִין אֶת הַפִּשְׁתָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לַחֲפֹף בָּהּ בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְקוֹצְרִין אֶת הַכִּשּׁוּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לְהַטִּילָהּ לְשֵׁכָר בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

We may not bring sheep to pasture [on a field] so that they will fertilize the land [with their manure], for in this way one is enriching one's field during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed. If the sheep come to the field on their own accord,36 it is permitted [to allow them to remain].

We may not help them [enter the field], nor may we entrust them to a shepherd37 who will cause [the herd of] sheep to proceed [from place to place within the field].38 If [a shepherd] is hired on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis, on a yearly basis, or on a seven-year basis [to fertilize one's fields by pasturing sheep within them], one may help them enter the field.39 One may also hire40 a shepherd [on such a basis during Chol HaMo'ed] to cause [the herd of] sheep to proceed from place to place.

One may move manure in a courtyard to the side.41 If [the manure accumulates to the extent that] the courtyard becomes like a barn, one may take the manure out to the waste heap.

יא

אֵין מְכַנְּסִין אֶת הַצֹּאן לַדִּיר כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּזַבְּלוּ אֶת הַקַּרְקַע. שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא מְדַיֵּיר שָׂדֵהוּ בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְאִם בָּאוּ מֵאֲלֵיהֶן מֻתָּר. וְאֵין מְסַיְּעִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מוֹסְרִין לָהֶן שׁוֹמֵר לְנַעֵר אֶת הַצֹּאן. הָיָה שְׂכִיר שַׁבָּת שְׂכִיר חֹדֶשׁ שְׂכִיר שָׁנָה שְׂכִיר שָׁבוּעַ מְסַיְּעִין אוֹתָן וְשׂוֹכְרִין שׁוֹמֵר לְנַעֵר אֶת צֹאנָם מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּזַבְּלוּ כָּל הַשָּׂדֶה. הַזֶּבֶל שֶׁבֶּחָצֵר מְסַלְּקִין אוֹתוֹ לַצְּדָדִין. וְאִם נַעֲשָׂה חָצֵר כְּרֶפֶת בָּקָר מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לָאַשְׁפָּה:

12

[The following rules apply when a person] levels the surface of the earth [in his field]: If his intent is to prepare a place to store a mound of grain or to thresh there, it is permitted. If his intent is to till his land, it is forbidden.42

Similarly, if a person gathers wood from his field because he needs the wood, it is permitted. If his purpose is to improve the land, it is forbidden. Similarly, when a person opens [a dam, letting] water into his garden, if his intent is that fish will enter,43 it is permitted. If [his intent is] to irrigate the land, it is forbidden.

By the same token, when one trims branches from a date palm, if one's intent is to feed them to an animal, it is permitted. If one's intent is to cultivate the tree, it is forbidden. From the person's deeds, the nature of his intent becomes obvious.44

יב

הַמַּשְׁוֶה פְּנֵי הַקַּרְקַע אִם נִתְכַּוֵּן לְתַקֵּן מָקוֹם שֶׁיַּעֲמִיד בּוֹ כְּרִי שֶׁל תְּבוּאָה אוֹ שֶׁיָּדוּשׁ בּוֹ מֻתָּר. וְאִם נִתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲבוֹדַת הָאָרֶץ אָסוּר. וְכֵן הַמְלַקֵּט עֵצִים מִתּוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ אִם לְצֹרֶךְ עֵצִים מֻתָּר וְאִם לְתַקֵּן הַקַּרְקַע אָסוּר. וְכֵן הַפּוֹתֵק מַיִם לְגִנָּה אִם נִתְכַּוֵּן שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ הַדָּגִים מֻתָּר וְאִם לְהַשְׁקוֹת הָאָרֶץ אָסוּר. וְכֵן הַקּוֹצֵץ חֲרָיוֹת מִן הַדֶּקֶל אִם נִתְכַּוֵּן לְהַאֲכִיל לַבְּהֵמָה מֻתָּר וְאִם נִתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲבוֹדַת הָאִילָן אָסוּר. וּמִמַּעֲשָׂיו יֻכַּר לְאֵי זֶה דָּבָר הוּא מִתְכַּוֵּן:

13

If it is possible that an oven or a range45 will dry and [food] can be baked within it during the festival, it may be fashioned [during Chol HaMo'ed].46 If not, it may not be fashioned.

One may place an upper layer of mortar on an oven or a range whether or not [it will dry].47 Similarly, one may tie the cords of a bed.48 One may clean a mill, open the hole made in its center, set it up, and build a water conduit for a mill.49

יג

תַּנּוּר וְכִירַיִם שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִיבְשׁוּ וְיֹאפֶה בָּהֶן בַּמּוֹעֵד עוֹשִׂין וְאִם לָאו אֵין עוֹשִׂין אוֹתָן. ובֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ בּוֹנִין עַל חֶרֶשׂ שֶׁל תַּנּוּר וְעַל הִכִּירָה הַטְּפֵלָה שֶׁלָּהֶן וּמְסָרְגִין אֶת הַמִּטּוֹת. וְנוֹקְרִין אֶת הָרֵחָיִם וּפוֹתְחִים לָהֶן עַיִן וּמַעֲמִידִין אוֹתָן וּבוֹנִין אַמַּת הַמַּיִם שֶׁל רֵחַיִם:

14

We may seal a jug with tar so that the wine [it contains] will not spoil.50 Similarly, we may seal a bottle with tar, since this does not involve strenuous activity. We may seal the mouth of a jug of beer so that it will not spoil.

We may cover figs [that have been left to dry] with straw so that they will not deteriorate.51 One may soften a garment by hand [after laundering it],52 because this does not involve professional expertise. One may not tie the cuffs [of a garment], because this involves a professional activity. The same principles apply in all similar situations.

יד

זוֹפְתִין אֶת הֶחָבִית כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפָּסֵד הַיַּיִן. וְזוֹפְתִין אֶת הַבַּקְבּוּק מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ טֹרַח. וְסוֹתְמִין פִּי הֶחָבִית שֶׁל שֵׁכָר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּפָּסֵד. וּמְחַפִּין אֶת הַקְּצִיעוֹת בְּקַשׁ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאבְדוּ. וּמְרַכְּכִין אֶת הַבְּגָדִים בַּיָּדַיִם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט. אֲבָל אֵין עוֹשִׂין קִשְׁרֵי בֵּית הַיָּדַיִם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה אֻמָּן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

15

We may cut the nails of a donkey that works in a mill53 and we may build a feeding-trough for an animal.54 It is permitted to cut the nails of a horse upon which one rides and to comb its hair so that it will look attractive.

We may not mate animals during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed,55 but we may let their blood. We do not prevent them from receiving any medical treatment.

Any food or drink that is not usually eaten by healthy people and is taken only for therapeutic purposes may be eaten or drunk during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed.56

טו

קוֹצְצִין צִפָּרְנֵי חֲמוֹר שֶׁל רֵחַיִם וּבוֹנִין אֵבוּס לַבְּהֵמָה. וְסוּס שֶׁיִּרְכַּב עָלָיו מֻתָּר לִטּל צִפָּרְנָיו וּלְסָרְקוֹ כְּדֵי לְיַפּוֹתוֹ. וְאֵין מַרְבִּיעִין בְּהֵמָה בַּמּוֹעֵד. אֲבָל מַקִּיזִין לָהּ דָּם. וְאֵין מוֹנְעִין מִמֶּנָּה רְפוּאָה. וְכָל מַאֲכָלוֹת וּמַשְׁקִים שֶׁאֵינָן מַאֲכַל בְּרִיאִים אֶלָּא לִרְפוּאָה מֻתָּר לָאָדָם לְאָכְלָן וְלִשְׁתּוֹתָן בַּמּוֹעֵד:

16

We may not move from [a dwelling in] one courtyard to [one in] another courtyard during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed - neither from an unpleasant one to a pleasant one, nor from a pleasant one to an unpleasant one.57 We may, however, move from house to house within the same courtyard.

We may bring articles that will be used during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed from the premises of the craftsman [who made them] - e.g., pillows, blankets, and cups. But articles that are not necessary for the sake of the festival may not be brought [during Chol HaMo'ed]58 - e.g., [we may not bring] a plow from an ironmonger or wool from a dyer.

If the craftsman has nothing to eat, we may pay him and leave the articles in his care.59 If one does not trust him, we may deposit them in the house next to his. If we fear that they might be stolen, we may move them to another courtyard, but we should not bring them home unless [this can be done] in a discreet manner.60

טז

אֵין מְפַנִּין מֵחָצֵר לְחָצֵר בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְלֹא מִכְּעוּרָה לְנָאָה וְלֹא מִנָּאָה לִכְעוּרָה. אֲבָל מְפַנֶּה הוּא מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת בְּאוֹתָהּ חָצֵר. וּמְבִיאִין כֵּלִים שֶׁהֵן לְצֹרֶךְ הַמּוֹעֵד מִבֵּית הָאֻמָּן. כְּגוֹן כָּרִים וּכְסָתוֹת וּצְלוֹחִיּוֹת. אֲבָל כֵּלִים שֶׁאֵינָן לְצֹרֶךְ הַמּוֹעֵד כְּגוֹן מַחְרֵשָׁה מִן הַלּוֹטֵשׁ אוֹ צֶמֶר מִבֵּית הַצַּבָּע אֵין מְבִיאִין. וְאִם אֵין לָאֻמָּן מַה יֹּאכַל נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ וּמַנִּיחָן אֶצְלוֹ. וְאִם אֵינוֹ מַאֲמִינוֹ מַנִּיחָן בַּבַּיִת הַסָּמוּךְ לוֹ. וְאִם חוֹשֵׁשׁ לָהֶם שֶׁמָּא יִגָּנְבוּ מְפַנָּן לְחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת אֲבָל לֹא יָבִיא לְבֵיתוֹ אֶלָּא בְּצִנְעָה:

17

It is forbidden to perform labor61 on the day before a holiday from mid-afternoon62 onward, as this is forbidden on Friday [afternoons].63

If a person ever performs work during this time, he will never see a sign of blessing from it. We should rebuke him, and force him to stop against his will. He should not, however, be punished with stripes for rebelliousness,64 nor should he placed under a ban of ostracism.

There is an exception: after midday on Pesach afternoon. A person who works at that time should be placed under a ban of ostracism. Needless to say, if he was not placed under a ban of ostracism, he should be given stripes for rebelliousness.65 For the fourteenth of Nisan differs from the day preceding other holidays, because at that time the festive offering is brought and [the Paschal offering] is slaughtered.66

יז

אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּעַרְבֵי יָמִים טוֹבִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה כְּמוֹ עַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת. וְכָל הָעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בָּהֶן אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימָן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם. וְגוֹעֲרִין בּוֹ וּמְבַטְּלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ. אֲבָל אֵין מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵין מְנַדִּין אוֹתוֹ. חוּץ מֵעֶרֶב הַפֶּסַח אַחַר חֲצוֹת שֶׁהָעוֹשֶׂה בּוֹ מְלָאכָה אַחַר חֲצוֹת מְנַדִּין אוֹתוֹ. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁמַּכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת אִם לֹא נִדּוּהוּ. לְפִי שֶׁיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר בְּנִיסָן אֵינוֹ כִּשְׁאָר עַרְבֵי יָמִים טוֹבִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ חֲגִיגָה וּשְׁחִיטַת קָרְבָּן:

18

Therefore, the performance of labor on the fourteenth of Nisan is forbidden by Rabbinical decree67, as on Chol HaMo'ed. [The rulings pertaining to the fourteenth of Nisan] are, however, more lenient than [those pertaining to] Chol HaMo'ed.68

Moreover, it is forbidden to perform labor on [the fourteenth of Nisan] only from midday onward, for this is the time when the sacrifice is offered. From sunrise69 until noon, [the practice] is dependent on [local] custom. In places where it is customary to perform labor, one may. In places where it is not customary to perform labor, one may not.70

יח

לְפִיכָךְ יוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר בְּנִיסָן אָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּמוֹ חֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד. וְהוּא קַל מֵחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד. וְאֵינוֹ אָסוּר אֶלָּא מֵחֲצִי הַיּוֹם וּלְמַעְלָה שֶׁהוּא זְמַן הַשְּׁחִיטָה. אֲבָל מֵהָנֵץ הַחַמָּה עַד חֲצִי הַיּוֹם תָּלוּי בַּמִּנְהָג. מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת עוֹשִׂין מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת אֵין עוֹשִׂין:

19

Even in a place where it is customary to perform labor, one should not begin the performance of a task on the fourteenth [of Nisan], even though one could complete it before noon.

There are, however, three exceptions to this principle: tailors, barbers, and launderers. With regard to other craftsmen, if they began before the fourteenth, they may finish before noon.71 [The rationale for this distinction is that] the people at large do not have a great need for other labors [for the sake of the holiday].

יט

וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת לֹא יַתְחִיל בַּתְּחִלָּה לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לְגָמְרָהּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת. אֶלָּא שָׁלֹשׁ אֻמָּנֻיּוֹת בִּלְבַד הֵן שֶׁמַּתְחִילִין בָּהֶם בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת וְעוֹשִׂין עַד חֲצוֹת. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַחַיָּטִין. וְהַסַּפָּרִין. וְהַכּוֹבְסִין. אֲבָל שְׁאָר אֻמָּנֻיּוֹת אִם הִתְחִיל בָּהֶן קֹדֶם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר הוּא שֶׁיִּגְמֹר עַד חֲצוֹת שֶׁאֵין הָעָם צְרִיכִין לִשְׁאָר אֻמָּנֻיּוֹת צֹרֶךְ הַרְבֵּה:

20

When a person journeys from a place where it is customary to perform [labor on the fourteenth] to a place where it is not customary to perform [labor], he should not perform [labor] in a settled region,72 lest [this cause] strife.73 He may, however, perform labor in the desert.74

When a person journeys from a place where it is not customary to perform [labor on the fourteenth] to a place where it is customary to perform [labor], he should not perform [labor at all].75 To a person [who journeys], we apply the stringencies observed in the place that he left and those observed in the place where he arrives.76

Even though [he is prohibited to perform work], he should not make it appear to [the local people] that he is idle because of a prohibition.77 For a person should never deviate [from local custom], lest strife arise.

Similarly, a person who intends to return to his place should follow the customs of the inhabitants of his place, whether stringent or lenient. He should not, however, be seen [conducting himself contrary to the local custom] by the inhabitants of the place where he is located, lest strife arise.78

כ

הַהוֹלֵךְ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בַּיִּשּׁוּב מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת אֲבָל עוֹשֶׂה הוּא בַּמִּדְבָּר. וְהַהוֹלֵךְ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין לְמָקוֹם שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה. נוֹתְנִין עָלָיו חֻמְרֵי מָקוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא מִשָּׁם וְחֻמְרֵי מָקוֹם שֶׁהָלַךְ לְשָׁם. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא יִתְרָאֶה בִּפְנֵיהֶם שֶׁהוּא בָּטֵל מִפְּנֵי הָאִסּוּר. לְעוֹלָם אַל יְשַׁנֶּה אָדָם מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ לַחֲזֹר לִמְקוֹמוֹ נוֹהֵג כְּאַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹמוֹ בֵּין לְהָקֵל בֵּין לְהַחֲמִיר. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִתְרָאֶה בִּפְנֵי אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהוּא בּוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת:

21

[In contrast to Chol HaMo'ed,] we may bring articles to and from the homes of craftsmen on the fourteenth of Nisan after midday, even though they are not needed for the festival.79 We may rake manure from under the feet of livestock and take it out to the dung heap.80

We may make a nest for chickens. When a chicken that sat on eggs for three days or more dies,81 we may place another chicken on the eggs on the fourteenth [of Nisan], so that they will not spoil.82 During [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, by contrast, we may not place [a chicken on the eggs]. If [a chicken] leaves the eggs on which it is sitting during [Chol Ha]Mo'ed, one may return it to its place.

כא

מוֹלִיכִין וּמְבִיאִין כֵּלִים מִבֵּית הָאֻמָּן בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר אַחַר חֲצוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן לְצֹרֶךְ הַמּוֹעֵד. וְגוֹרְפִין זֶבֶל מִתַּחַת רַגְלֵי בְּהֵמָה וּמוֹצִיאִים אוֹתוֹ לָאַשְׁפָּה. וּמוֹשִׁיבִין שׁוֹבָכִין לַתַּרְנְגוֹלִים. תַּרְנְגֹלֶת שֶׁיָּשְׁבָה עַל הַבֵּיצִים שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים אוֹ יֶתֶר וּמֵתָה מוֹשִׁיבִין אַחֶרֶת תַּחְתֶּיהָ בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפָּסְדוּ הַבֵּיצִים. וּבַמּוֹעֵד אֵין מוֹשִׁיבִין. אֲבָל אִם בָּרְחָה בַּמּוֹעֵד מֵעַל הַבֵּיצִים מַחְזִירִין אוֹתָהּ לִמְקוֹמָהּ: סְלִיקוּ לְהוּ הִלְכוֹת שְׁבִיתַת יוֹם טוֹב

Footnotes
1.

This halachah is based on the principle discussed in Chapter 7, Halachah 2, which states: "When a person irrigates [such land], he should not draw water and irrigate [the land, using water] from a pool or rain water, for this involves strenuous activity. He may, however, irrigate it [using water] from a spring." In all the instances mentioned in this halachah, the water is free-flowing. Hence, there is no need to fear that the person will draw the water using buckets.

2.

If, however, an irrigation ditch does not pass through these pools, it is forbidden to use their water during Chol HaMo'ed, for the person will have to refill them by bringing water from a far-removed place. The strenuous activity this involves is not appropriate for the festive spirit of Chol HaMo'ed.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that this applies even when the pool has enough water in it so that one would not have to draw water by hand throughout Chol HaMo'ed. This stringency was instituted to allow for a uniform ruling.

3.

Or sold to be eaten by others (Ritba; Mishnah Berurah 537:14).

4.

Since the preparation of food for the celebration of the festival is involved, this is permitted even though it involves strenuous effort (Maggid Mishneh).

5.

As mentioned in Chapter 7, Halachah 2, it is permitted to irrigate parched land during Chol HaMo'ed, because excessive effort is not involved. In this instance, however, excessive effort is involved. Therefore, it is forbidden to draw water for vegetables. If, however, the vegetables are necessary for use during the holiday, this activity is permitted (Maggid Mishneh).

6.

As the Rambam continues to explain [see also Rashi (Mo'ed Katan 4b)], this refers to the ditches becoming filled with silt and debris.

7.

The Hebrew word for irrigation ditch אמה also means "cubit." A cubit is six handbreadths high. The fact that the ditch is a handbreadth deep is significant enough to enable the person to be allowed to dig it to its full depth.

8.

This question is left unresolved by Mo'ed Katan (loc. cit.). Although the Nimukei Yosef and others differ with the Rambam, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 537:6) follows the Rambam's ruling.

9.

For trees, like parched land, require irrigation.

10.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that it reflects a minority opinion among the Sages. The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:7), however, follows the Rambam's decision.

11.

Since it has been watered already, irrigating it further does not require very strenuous activity.

12.

The Kessef Mishneh cites this as an expression of a principle of greater scope: Even when the failure to perform a labor will result in significant loss, labor that involves strenuous activity is not performed during Chol HaMo'ed.

13.

Compare to the laws pertaining to cisterns and the like constructed on behalf of the public, as described in Chapter 7, Halachah 10.

14.

For drinking water.

15.

Even when the person needs to dig a well because he lacks drinking water and would prefer to take water from a private well rather than carry water from a distant place. Needless to say, if the person has no water whatsoever to drink, he may dig a well during Chol HaMo'ed.

16.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Mo'ed Katan 1:6). The Ra'avad and Rabbenu Asher interpret the Hebrew term as referring to a pit similar to a grave, and hence forbid digging it unless a person has already died.

17.

I.e., the individuals who were given permission to do laundry. (See Chapter 7, Halachah 17.)

18.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Mo'ed Katan 1:4).

19.

Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi, Rabbenu Asher, and others allow one to snare mice in the ordinary manner in this instance as well. In his Kessef Mishneh and Beit Yosef (Orach Chayim 537), Rav Yosef Karo explains that the difference between these two rulings depends on a difference of opinion regarding the correct version of the text of Mo'ed Katan 6b. Although he quotes both views in his Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 537:13), it appears that Rav Karo favors the more lenient ruling.

20.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Mo'ed Katan 1:4, based on Mo'ed Katan 7a), the Rambam explains that this means that one may pile the stones one on top of the other, without placing mortar between them. One is not allowed to build it in an ordinary manner, because building involves professional craftsmanship, and there is not a possibility of great loss should others enter one's garden (Mishnah Berurah 440:1-2).

21.

Note the Be'ur Halachah, which cites the Ritba's commentary interpreting this as referring to a guardrail on a roof upon which people do not frequently walk. If the roof is used frequently, one should construct a guardrail and fulfill the mitzvah of the Torah (Deuteronomy 22:8). The Be'ur Halachah notes, however, that none of the other commentaries make such a distinction.

22.

A wall to one's courtyard protects one's house against thieves. Therefore, building it is considered necessary to prevent a loss and is permitted during Chol HaMo'ed.

23.

The Ramban states that this leniency is permitted only when one constructs the bench as would an amateur; it is forbidden to build it in a professional manner. This conception is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 540:6).

24.

Our translation is based on Rav Kappach's edition of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Mo'ed Katan 1:10). Rashi (Mo'ed Katan 11a), Rav David Arameah and the Mishnah Berurah 540:11 interpret the Hebrew term as referring to an attachment for the hinge.

25.

Even if doing so involves professional craftsmanship.

26.

Chapter 7, Halachah 3.

27.

The restrictions mentioned in this halachah stem from the fact that it is speaking about digging a grave for a person before his death. When the person has already died, there are no restrictions at all, as stated in Chapter 7, Halachah 15. The Ma'aseh Rokeach explains that the present halachah is speaking about a place where the cemetery is located on rocky terrain, and digging or building a grave takes several days.

28.

The Radbaz (in his gloss on Hilchot Eivel) explains that this is a disgrace to the deceased.

29.

For a person takes comfort in being buried together with his ancestors (Jerusalem Talmud, Mo'ed Katan 2:4).

30.

See Hilchot Eivel 14:15; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 363:1. In the latter source, other reasons why one may disinter a corpse are also mentioned, including a) to re-inter it in Eretz Yisrael, b) because water might destroy it, or c) because it was buried initially with the intent that it be moved.

31.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sh'vi'it 2:4), the Rambam explains that foul-smelling material was applied to saplings so that insects would stay away from them.

32.

These activities are forbidden because they involve strenuous activity (Mishnah Berurah 537:35).

33.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sh'vi'it 2:5), the Rambam explains that oil would be applied to trees and their fruit so that they would ripen more quickly. For this reason, this is permitted during Chol HaMo'ed, for it enables one to have fruit for the festival.

34.

Our translation follows the interpretation of Rashi (Mo'ed Katan 12b), who explains that it was common to cover figs and dates with flax while they were being dried.

35.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 8.

36.

Or they are brought by a gentile shepherd (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 537:14).

37.

The intent is that it is forbidden to hire even a gentile shepherd.

38.

In this way, manure will be deposited throughout the entire field and not only in one portion.

39.

Since the shepherd is not hired with the specific intent of working during Chol HaMo'ed, but rather Chol HaMo'ed is included within a responsibility of a greater scope (הבלעה), this is permitted.

40.

Based on the wording of the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.), the Mishnah Berurah 537:49 states that it is forbidden to hire a shepherd for this purpose during Chol HaMo'ed. (See also the Kessef Mishneh, where Rav Yosef Karo explains that the Rambam's interpretation of Mo'ed Katan 12a differs from that of Rashi and the other Ashkenazic authorities.)

41.

But one may not remove it unless a large amount accumulates (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 535:3).

42.

In this and the following instances, the permitted intent involves preparing food for oneself or one's beast that may be used during the festival. The forbidden intent involves performing a task that is not necessary for the festival and which will not necessarily lead to a loss if it is not performed.

43.

And then he will catch them for use during the festival.

44.

See Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 2:5-8, where the Rambam illustrates how the person's deeds reveal his intent. For example, when a person removes both thin twigs and larger logs, it is obvious that he desires to clean his field. If he removes only larger logs, we may assume that his intent is to gather firewood. If he opens a dam, but does not leave a place for water to flow out, he intends to water his field. If he also opens an outlet for the water, we may assume that his intent is to catch fish.

45.

Which were made of clay.

46.

Even if this involves professional activity, it is permitted, because it will enable a person to cook his food for the festival (Mishnah Berurah 540:18).

47.

This upper layer serves as insulation and maintains the oven's heat. It will serve this purpose even if it does not dry during the festival (Mishnah Berurah 540:20).

48.

In the Talmudic era, the beds resembled hammocks. This is permitted only when one's intent is to use the bed during the festival (Mishnah Berurah 541:4).

49.

For the mill can produce flour that is necessary for the festival.

50.

For we are allowed to perform labor during Chol HaMo'ed to prevent the occurrence of a loss.

51.

Because of rain or dew.

52.

For a garment often becomes stiff after it is laundered. (See Hilchot Shabbat 22:17.)

53.

Unless the donkey's nails are trimmed, they will cause it pain, and prevent it from working to its capacity (Mishnah Berurah 540:25).

54.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 540:5) specifies that the stall must be built without professional expertise.

55.

The Mishnah Berurah 536:6 states that although we may not take an active role in the mating process, we may put a male and a female animal in the same corral and allow them to mate.

56.

Although these activities are forbidden on the Sabbath (Hilchot Shabbat, Chapter 21). Moreover, one may perform any labors necessary to prepare drugs or medicines during Chol HaMo'ed (Mishnah Berurah 532:5).

57.

The Ra'avad (based on the Jerusalem Talmud, Mo'ed Katan 2:4) states that one may move from a rented apartment into one's own home during Chol HaMo'ed, even if the rented apartment is more pleasant than one's own home, because it is comfortable for a person to dwell in his own home. The Maggid Mishneh states that the Rambam does not mention this ruling because it conflicts with the statements of the Babylonian Talmud. Generally, when there is a difference of opinion between the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud, the rulings of the former are followed.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 535:2) mentions the Ra'avad's opinion with the preface "There are those who say...." The Ramah (loc. cit.:1) mentions that if one lives in a dangerous neighborhood, one may move during Chol HaMo'ed. The Mishnah Berurah 535:7 states that leniency may also be granted to allow a person to move from a non-Jewish neighborhood to a Jewish one.

58.

This prohibition applies even when the articles were finished before the commencement of the festival. The Mishnah Berurah 534:16 mentions two reasons for this prohibition: a) because bringing these articles involves strenuous effort, b) because an observer might think that the person intended that they be repaired during Chol HaMo'ed.

59.

The Mishnah Berurah 534:17 explains that we may pay the craftsman whether or not he has food to eat. He interprets the wording as meaning that even when he has nothing to eat, and it is therefore necessary to pay him, we may not take the article from him.

60.

The Mishnah Berurah 534:18 explains that although he is permitted to work during Chol HaMo'ed, it is forbidden to carry the articles in public view because of the impression that it might create.

61.

Here also the intent is not the labors forbidden on Sabbaths and holidays, but rather involvement in tasks that are not for the sake of the festival.

62.

This refers to minchah k'tanah, nine and a half seasonal hours after sunrise (3:30 PM on a day when the sun rises at 6 AM and sets at 6 PM).

63.

See Hilchot Shabbat 5:19-20.

64.

This punishment is administered for violating a Rabbinic commandment, while the prohibition against doing work on these days is considered merely a custom.

65.

As reflected in Chapter 1, Halachah 22, being placed under a ban of ostracism is a more severe punishment that receiving stripes for rebelliousness.

66.

"It is not appropriate that a person should be involved in his everyday tasks while his sacrifice is being offered" (Jerusalem Talmud, Pesachim 4:1).

Although at present the Temple is destroyed and it is impossible to bring the Paschal sacrifice, the original decree is still in force and it is forbidden to perform labor at this time (Maggid Mishneh).

67.

Note Tosafot (Pesachim 50a) and the Tzalach, who consider the fourteenth of Nisan to be a holiday established by the Torah itself.

68.

As explained in Halachah 21.

69.

During the night [until sunrise], however, there are no restrictions against performing labor (Pesachim 2b, 55a).

70.

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 468:3) states that the Ashkenazic custom is not to perform labor before noon on this day. Nevertheless, subsequent authorities have not accepted this as a universal ruling, and maintain that everything is dependent on local custom.

71.

The Rambam's ruling is based on his interpretation of the Mishnah (Pesachim 4:7) as applying in a place where it is customary to perform labor on the fourteenth. Others (the Ra'avad and Rabbenu Asher) interpret the Mishnah as applying in a place where it is customary not to perform labor on the fourteenth.

This interpretation leads to a more lenient ruling: In a place where it is customary to perform labor, all labor may be performed on the fourteenth of Nisan. In a place where it is not customary to perform labor, any labor that was begun before the fourteenth and is intended for the sake of the holiday may be completed before dawn. The three labors mentioned may be begun on the fourteenth of Nisan if they are performed for the sake of the holiday, provided they can be completed before noon. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 468:5) quotes the Rambam's ruling, while the Ramah follows the more lenient approach.

72.

Where people will see his actions.

73.

I.e., people will see him departing from the local custom, and when he explains the reason for his actions an argument may arise.

74.

This leniency applies provided he intends to return to his original locale.

75.

In this instance as well, the ruling applies to a person who intends to return to his original locale. If he does not intend to return, he is not bound by the stringencies observed there (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 468:9).

76.

This is a general principle applying not only on the fourteenth of Nisan, but to the entire year, provided the person intends to settle permanently in the city.

This principle does not, however, apply in most contemporary Jewish communities, because they were settled by people with different customs, and a fixed practice was never adopted for the city at large. Accordingly, in such an instance, a person should follow the customs of his ancestral home (Orach Mishpat, Responsum 17).

77.

There are many idle people in the public thoroughfare who do not perform labor. He should conduct himself like one of these individuals and not like a person who refrains from performing labor because of a prohibition (Pesachim 51b).

78.

These are also principles whose scope extends beyond the particular laws of the fourteenth of Nisan (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 468:14; Mishnah Berurah 468:22). Shulchan Aruch HaRav goes further and explains that if it is impossible for the person not to perform work without calling attention to his actions, he should perform the work, because maintaining peaceful social relations overrides the importance of preserving the customs of one's native land.

79.

Compare to Halachah 16.

80.

Compare to Halachah 11.

81.

Before three days have passed, the eggs would still be eaten by a person who is not fastidious about his food. Therefore, leniency is not granted (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 468:19; Mishnah Berurah 468:34).

82.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav (loc. cit.) interprets the Rambam's decision as forbidding the placing a chicken on eggs at the outset on the fourteenth of Nisan. The Mishnah Berurah 468:36, however, mentions opinions that advise leniency in a case of need.

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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 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.
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