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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 89; Negative Commandment 145, 149

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Positive Commandment 89 (Digest)
Consumption of the Sacrificial Flesh

"And they shall eat [the sacrifices] with which atonement was made"Exodus 29:33.

The kohanim (priests) are commanded to eat the flesh of the sacrifices. This includes the flesh of the Sin and Guilt offerings—for which the priests' consumption actually effects the desired atonement—as well as all the other sacrifices and even the Terumah tithe.

There are two types of sacrifices: the "holy of holies" and the "holy." [Examples of the "holy of holies" are the Sin and Guilt Offerings. Examples of the "holy" are the Peace Offering and the Firstborn.] The former class of sacrifices must be eaten by male priests only, on the day when the sacrifice was offered or the night that follows. The latter class can be eaten by priests and their wives and children, until the nightfall of the day following the offering of the sacrifice (with the exception of the Thanksgiving Offering and the Nazirite Ram, which though they are of the "holy" class, they share the more stringent time restriction of the "holy of holies").

Negative Commandment 145 (Digest)
Consuming Offerings outside their Prescribed Boundary

"You may not eat within your gates..."Deuteronomy 12:17.

It is forbidden – even for a priest – to consume of the flesh of a Sin or Guilt Offering outside the Temple Courtyard. Similarly, it is forbidden for anyone to consume of the flesh of other sacrifices outside the walls of Jerusalem.

Negative Commandment 149 (Digest)
A Non-Priest Partaking of the Holiest Sacrifices

"But a stranger shall not eat of them because they are holy"Exodus 29:33.

A non-priest may not eat of the "Holy of Holies" sacrifices (e.g., the flesh of the Sin Offering).


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
"The soul of man is a lamp of G-d" (Proverbs 20:27). Just like the flame of the lamp strains upwards, seeking to tear free of the wick and rise heavenward - though this would spell its own demise - so, too, does the G-dly soul in man constantly strive to tear free of the body and the material existence and be nullified within its source in G-d.
  –Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi
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