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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 89; Positive Commandment 39, 29; Negative Commandment 81; Positive Commandment 30

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Negative Commandment 89 (Digest)
Offering Sacrifices outside the Holy Temple

"Take heed for yourself lest you offer your burnt-offerings in every place that you may see"Deuteronomy 12:13.

We are forbidden from offering sacrifices in any location other than the Holy Temple.

Positive Commandment 39 (Digest)
The Daily Offering

"Two [lambs] each day for a continuous burnt offering"Numbers 28:3.

We are commanded to offer every day in the Holy Temple the Tamid sacrifice, consisting of two lambs [one offered in the morning and the second in the afternoon].

Positive Commandment 29 (Digest)
The Perpetual Fire

"Fire shall be kept burning continuously upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished"Leviticus 6:6.

We are commanded to cause fire to burn on the Temple's altar every day. This is accomplished through placing new wood on the altar every morning and afternoon. Though a fire would miraculously descend from the heavens to consume the sacrifices, we are commanded to introduce our own fire too.

Negative Commandment 81 (Digest)
Extinguishing the Fire on the Altar

"Fire shall be kept burning continuously upon the altar; it shall not be extinguished"Leviticus 6:6.

It is forbidden to extinguish the fire on the Holy Temple's altar—even to extinguish one coal from the fire.

Positive Commandment 30 (Digest)
Removing the Ashes from the Altar

"And the priest shall don his linen tunic, and linen trousers . . . and he shall lift the ashes"Leviticus 6:3.

The kohanim (priests) are commanded to remove the ash from upon the Temple's altar every day.


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
O how she sits alone, the city once so populous, has become like a widow... She that was great among the nations, a princess among the provinces, has become tributary...
  –Opening verse of the the Book of Lamentations (Jeremiah's lament on the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, read on the eve of Tisha B'Av)
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