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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
Like a burning candle from which many candles are lit yet its own light is not diminished, so, too, Moses lost nothing that was his
  –Midrash rabbah
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