Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 322

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Important Message Regarding This Lesson

The Daily Mitzvah schedule runs parallel to the daily study of 3 chapters of Maimonides' 14-volume code. There are instances when the Mitzvah is repeated a few days consecutively while the exploration of the same Mitzvah continues in the in-depth track.

Negative Commandment 322 (Digest)
Administering the Death Penalty on Shabbat

"You shall not kindle fire throughout your settlements on the Shabbat day"Exodus 35:3.

It is forbidden for the courts to administer punishments on Shabbat. The Sages interpreted the above verse as an injunction against executing a criminal via burning (one of the four methods of capital punishment employed by the courts) on Shabbat—and the same rule applies to all other forms of capital punishment. From this verse the Sages also extrapolated the prohibition against holding any court proceedings on Shabbat.


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
Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Do not give anyone special recognition when rendering judgment; hear the small as well as the great; fear no man; for the judgment is G-d's. And the thing that is too hard for you, bring it to me, and I will hear it
  –Moses' instruction to the magistrates, Deuteronomy 1:16-17
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