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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 181; Negative Commandment 309, 298; Positive Commandment 184

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Positive Commandment 181 (Digest)
The Decapitated Calf

"If one is found slain in the land"Deuteronomy 21:1.

If the corpse of a murdered individual is found lying in the field, and the killer remains unknown, the courts must decapitate a calf [as per the procedure described in the Book of Deuteronomy].

Negative Commandment 309 (Digest)
Working the Land near "the Stream of the Decapitated Calf"

"Which shall neither be plowed nor sown"Deuteronomy 21:4.

It is forbidden to sow or otherwise work the land [surrounding] the stream upon which the calf was decapitated.

Negative Commandment 298 (Digest)
Removing Hazards

"You shall not bring blood upon your house"Deuteronomy 22:8.

We must not leave unattended hazards and pitfalls in our cities and homes.

Positive Commandment 184 (Digest)
Removing Sources of Danger from our Property

"You shall place a guard-rail around your roof"Deuteronomy 22:8.

We are commanded to remove all dangers and hazards from our property. This includes constructing protective guardrails on the perimeters of roofs and wells, so that no one falls from them or in them. The same applies to all areas of potential danger—we must fix them so that they don't pose any danger.


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
Our Sages greatly extolled the virtue of charity, declaring it equal to all the other mitzvot together; throughout the Jerusalem Talmud, charity is called simply "The Mitzvah"... Because in all other mitzvot, only one faculty of the vital soul is invested in the action, and only while the mitzvah is being performed. In the case of charity, however, which one gives from the proceeds of the toil of his hands, all the energy of his vital soul is invested in the effort of his labor, or in any other occupation by which he earned this money. Thus, when he gives to charity this money, his entire vital soul ascends to G d with this action. Also, even one who does not earn his livelihood from his labors, nevertheless, since he could have purchased with this money his life's sustenance, he is actually giving his soul’s life to G d...
  –Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya ch. 37)
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