ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh - Chapter Twelve

Show content in:

Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh - Chapter Twelve

1

When an animal, a beast or a fowl has been bitten by a snake or another poisonous animal, or it ate a poison that could kill a person, and the nature of the poison has not changed in the animal's body, it is forbidden to partake of meat from that animal, because of the deadly danger involved.

For this reason, if an animal, a beast, or a fowl was found with its feet cut off, although it is permitted and it is not considered taref because its feet were cut off, it is forbidden because of the possible danger, unless it is checked, because of the possibility that a poisonous crawling animal bit it.

How should such meat be checked? If should be roasted in an oven. If the meat does not break into pieces or react differently from ordinary roasted meat, it is acceptable.

א

בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף שֶׁנְּשָׁכָן הַנָּחָשׁ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁאָכְלוּ סַם הַמֵּמִית הָאָדָם קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּנֶּה בְּגוּפָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִים מִשּׁוּם סַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ חֲתוּכֵי רַגְלַיִם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מֻתָּרִין מִשּׁוּם טְרֵפָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִין מִשּׁוּם סַכָּנָה שֶׁמָּא אֶחָד מִזּוֹחֲלֵי עָפָר נְשָׁכָן עַד שֶׁיִּבָּדְקוּ. כֵּיצַד בּוֹדְקָן. צוֹלֶה אוֹתָן בְּתַנּוּר. אִם לֹא נִתְחַתֵּךְ הַבָּשָׂר וְלֹא נִשְׁתַּנָּה מִשְּׁאָר הַצָּלִי הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִין:

2

Similarly, figs, grapes, zucchini, squash, watermelons and cucumbers that have holes are forbidden, lest a snake or other poisonous animal have bitten them. This applies even if the produce was very large, and regardless of whether it was still growing or detached, even if it was placed within a container, as long as it has moisture, and it is discovered that it was bitten it is forbidden.

Even if one saw a bird or a rat sitting and making holes in the fruit, it is still forbidden. Perhaps they made the hole in the place of an existing hole.

ב

וְכֵן נִקּוּרֵי תְּאֵנִים וַעֲנָבִים וְהַקִּשּׁוּאִים וְהַדִּלּוּעִין וְהָאֲבַטִּיחִין וְהַמְּלָפְפוֹנוֹת אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ גְּדוֹלִים בְּיוֹתֵר בֵּין תְּלוּשִׁין בֵּין מְחֻבָּרִין וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בְּתוֹךְ הַכְּלִי כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ לֵחָה וְנִמְצָא נָשׁוּךְ אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא נָחָשׁ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ נְשָׁכוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ רָאָה צִפּוֹר אוֹ עַכְבָּר יוֹשֵׁב וּמְנַקֵּר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִין שֶׁמָּא בִּמְקוֹם נֶקֶב נִקַּב:

3

When the stem of a grape or a fig has been removed, the produce is not considered to have been left uncovered. Therefore, a person may eat figs and grapes at night without concern.

A fig that had a hole, but dried to the extent that it can be considered a dried fig, and a date that had a hole and dries, are both permitted.

ג

תְּאֵנָה אוֹ עֵנָב שֶׁנִּטַּל הָעֹקֶץ שֶׁלָּהֶן אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם גִּלּוּי. לְפִיכָךְ אוֹכֵל אָדָם תְּאֵנִים וַעֲנָבִים בַּלַּיְלָה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ. תְּאֵנָה נְקוּרָה שֶׁיָּבְשָׁה וְנַעֲשֵׂית גְּרוֹגֶרֶת וּתְמָרָה נְקוּרָה שֶׁיָּבְשָׁה שְׁתֵּיהֶן מֻתָּרוֹת:

4

It is forbidden for a person to place coins or dinarim in his mouth, lest there be the remnants of dried spittle from a leper or a metzora, or sweat on them. For all sweat from a person is like poisonous venom, except sweat from one's face.

ד

אָסוּר לְאָדָם לִתֵּן מָעוֹת אוֹ דִּינָרִים לְתוֹךְ פִּיו שֶׁמָּא יֵשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן רֹק יָבֵשׁ שֶׁל מֻכֵּי שְׁחִין אוֹ מְצֹרָעִין אוֹ זֵעָה. שֶׁכָּל זֵעַת אָדָם סַם הַמָּוֶת חוּץ מִזֵּעַת הַפָּנִים:

5

Similarly, a person should not place the palm of his hand under his armpits, lest his hands have touched a leper or a poisonous substance, for "hands are active."

A person should not place a cooked dish under the couch on which he is reclining, even though he is in the midst of his meal, lest an entity that could harm him fall into the food without his noticing.

ה

וְכֵן לֹא יִתֵּן אָדָם פַּס יָדוֹ תַּחַת שֶׁחְיוֹ שֶׁמָּא נָגַע בְּיָדוֹ בִּמְצֹרָע אוֹ בְּסַם רַע שֶׁהַיָּדַיִם עַסְקָנִיּוֹת. וְלֹא יִתֵּן הַתַּבְשִׁיל תַּחַת הַמִּטָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא עוֹסֵק בִּסְעוּדָה שֶׁמָּא יִפּל בּוֹ דָּבָר הַמַּזִּיק וְהוּא אֵינוֹ רוֹאֵהוּ:

6

Similarly, one should not stick a knife into an etrog or into a radish, lest a person fall on its point and die.

Similarly, it is forbidden for a person to pass under a wall that is leaning, or over a shaky bridge or to enter a ruin. Similarly, it is forbidden to enter all other places that are dangerous for these or other reasons.

ו

וְכֵן לֹא יִנְעֹץ הַסַּכִּין בְּתוֹךְ הָאֶתְרוֹג אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַצְּנוֹן שֶׁמָּא יִפּל אָדָם עַל חֻדָּהּ וְיָמוּת. וְכֵן אָסוּר לָאָדָם לַעֲבֹר תַּחַת קִיר נָטוּי אוֹ עַל גֶּשֶׁר רָעוּעַ אוֹ לִכָּנֵס לְחֻרְבָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ מִשְּׁאָר הַסַּכָּנוֹת אָסוּר לַעֲבֹר בִּמְקוֹמָן:

7

Similarly, it is forbidden for a Jew to enter into privacy with a gentile, for they are suspected of bloodshed. Nor should one accompany gentiles on a journey. If a Jew encounters a gentile on a journey, he should make sure the gentile is at his right.

If they are making an ascent or a descent together, the Jew should be careful that he should be in the higher position and the gentile in the lower position, but not vice versa, lest the gentile fall on him with the intent of killing him. Nor should a Jew bend down before a gentile, lest he crush his skull.

ז

וְכֵן אָסוּר לִיהוּדִי לְהִתְיַחֵד עִם הָעַכּוּ''ם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן חֲשׁוּדִים עַל שְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים. וְלֹא יִתְלַוֶּה עִמָּהֶן בַּדֶּרֶךְ. פָּגַע עַכּוּ''ם בַּדֶּרֶךְ מַחְזִירוֹ לִימִינוֹ. הָיוּ עוֹלִין בְּמַעֲלֶה אוֹ יוֹרְדִים בִּירִידָה לֹא יִהְיֶה יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַטָּה וְעַכּוּ''ם לְמַעְלָה אֶלָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַעְלָה וְעַכּוּ''ם לְמַטָּה שֶׁמָּא יִפּל עָלָיו לַהֲמִיתוֹ. וְאַל יָשֹׁחַ לְפָנָיו שֶׁמָּא יָרֹץ אֶת גֻּלְגָּלְתּוֹ:

8

If a gentile asks a Jew where he is going, he should give him a misleading answer, as Jacob gave a misleading answer to Esau, as Genesis 33:14 states: "Until I come to my master, in Seir."

ח

אִם שְׁאָלוֹ לְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ יַרְחִיב לוֹ אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהִרְחִיב יַעֲקֹב לְעֵשָׂו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית לג יד) "עַד אֲשֶׁר אָבֹא אֶל אֲדֹנִי שֵׂעִירָה":

9

It is forbidden to take medication from a gentile, unless there is no hope that the sick person will live. It is forbidden to be healed by a heretic, even if there is no hope that the person will live.

It is permitted to take a medication from a gentile for an animal, or for an external affliction - e.g., a compress or a bandage. If, however, the affliction involves a danger to life, it is forbidden to take medication from them. The general rule is: One should not take medication from a gentile for any affliction for which one may desecrate the Sabbath.

ט

אָסוּר לִקַּח רְפוּאָה מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיִּחְיֶה. וְאָסוּר לְהִתְרַפְּאוֹת מִן הָאֶפִּיקוֹרוֹס וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁמָּא יִמָּשְׁכוּ אַחֲרָיו. וּמֻתָּר לִקַּח רְפוּאָה מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם לִבְהֵמָה אוֹ לְמַכָּה שֶׁבַּגּוּף מִבַּחוּץ כְּגוֹן מְלוּגְמָא וּרְטִיָּה. וְאִם הָיְתָה מַכָּה שֶׁל סַכָּנָה אָסוּר לִקַּח מִמֶּנּוּ. וְכָל מַכָּה שֶׁמְּחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת אֵין מִתְרַפְּאִין מֵהֶם:

10

It is permitted to ask the opinion of a gentile doctor and follow his directives if he says: "This drug is good for you; you should perform these and these treatments." One should not take the prescription from him directly.

י

וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁאוֹל לְרוֹפֵא עַכּוּ''ם וְיֹאמַר לוֹ סַם פְּלוֹנִי יָפֶה לְךָ וְכָךְ וְכָךְ תַּעֲשֶׂה אֲבָל לֹא יִקַּח מִמֶּנּוּ:

11

It is forbidden to have one's hair cut by a gentile in a private domain, lest the barber kill him. If the person whose hair is being cut is an important personage, it is permitted, because the gentile will be afraid to kill him.

It is also permitted for a person who creates an impression of being an important personage for a gentile barber, so that he will fear him and not kill him, to have his hair cut by him.

יא

וְאָסוּר לְהִסְתַּפֵּר מֵהֶן בִּרְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד שֶׁמָּא יַהַרְגֶנּוּ. אִם הָיָה אָדָם חָשׁוּב מֻתָּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּתְיָרֵא לְהָרְגוֹ. וְאִם דִּמָּה לְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהוּא אָדָם חָשׁוּב כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּפַחֵד מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא יַהַרְגֶנּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְהִסְתַּפֵּר מִמֶּנּוּ:

12

It is forbidden to sell gentiles any weaponry. We may not sharpen weapons for them or sell them a knife, chains put on the necks of prisoners, fetters, iron chains, raw Indian iron, bears, lions, or any other object that could cause danger to people at large. One may, however, sell them shields, for these serve only the purpose of defense.

יב

אָסוּר לִמְכֹּר לְעַכּוּ''ם כָּל כְּלֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה וְאֵין מַשְׁחִיזִין לָהֶם אֶת הַזַּיִן וְאֵין מוֹכְרִין לָהֶן לֹא סַכִּין וְלֹא קוֹלָרִין וְלֹא כְּבָלִים [שֶׁל בַּרְזֶל] וְלֹא שַׁלְשְׁלָאוֹת שֶׁל בַּרְזֶל הִינְדּוּאָה וְלֹא דֻּבִּים וַאֲרָיוֹת וְלֹא כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ נֵזֶק לָרַבִּים. אֲבָל מוֹכְרִין לָהֶן תְּרִיסִין שֶׁאֵינָן אֶלָּא לְהָגֵן:

13

Just as it is forbidden to sell such weaponry to a gentile, so too, is it forbidden to sell it to a Jew who will sell it to a gentile.

It is permitted to sell weapons to the soldiers of the country in which one lives, because they defend the Jewish inhabitants of the land.

יג

וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאָסְרוּ לִמְכֹּר לְעַכּוּ''ם כָּךְ אָסְרוּ לִמְכֹּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁמּוֹכֵר לְעַכּוּ''ם. וּמֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר כְּלֵי זַיִן לְחַיִל שֶׁל בְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מְגִנִּין עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:

14

Every article that is forbidden to be sold to a gentile is also forbidden to be sold to a Jewish robber, for by doing so one reinforces a transgressor and causes him to sin.

Similarly, anyone who causes a person who is blind with regard to a certain matter to stumble and gives him improper advice, or who reinforces a transgressor - who is spiritually blind, for he does not see the path of truth, because of the desires of his heart - transgresses a negative commandment, as Leviticus 19:14 states: "Do not place an obstacle in front of a blind man." When a person comes to ask advice from you, give him proper counsel.

יד

כָּל שֶׁאָסוּר לִמְכֹּר לְעַכּוּ''ם אָסוּר לִמְכֹּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהוּא לִסְטִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּמְצָא מַחֲזִיק יְדֵי עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה וּמַכְשִׁילוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל הַמַּכְשִׁיל עִוֵּר בְּדָבָר וְהִשִּׂיאוֹ עֵצָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ הוֹגֶנֶת אוֹ שֶׁחִזֵּק יְדֵי עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה שֶׁהוּא עִוֵּר וְאֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה דֶּרֶךְ הָאֱמֶת מִפְּנֵי תַּאֲוַת לִבּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט יד) "וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשׁל". הַבָּא לִטּל מִמְּךָ עֵצָה תֵּן לוֹ עֵצָה הַהוֹגֶנֶת לוֹ:

15

It is forbidden to give good advice to a wicked gentile or servant. It is even forbidden to counsel him to observe a mitzvah if he perseveres in his wickedness. Daniel was subjected to a test solely because he advised Nebuchadnezzar to give charity, as Daniel 4:24 states: "O King, let my counsel be acceptable to you. Redeem your sins through charity."

טו

וְאָסוּר לְהַשִּׂיא עֵצָה טוֹבָה לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לְעֶבֶד רָשָׁע. וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהַשִּׂיאוֹ עֵצָה שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה דְּבַר מִצְוָה וְהוּא עוֹמֵד בְּרִשְׁעוֹ אָסוּר. וְלֹא נִתְנַסָּה דָּנִיֵּאל אֶלָּא עַל שֶׁהִשִּׂיא עֵצָה לִנְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר לִתֵּן צְדָקָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לָהֶן (דניאל ד כד) "מַלְכָּא מִלְכִּי יִשְׁפַּר עֲלָךְ":

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah