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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 299; Positive Commandment 202, 203; Negative Commandment 270

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Negative Commandment 299 (Digest)
Misleading Advice

"You shall not put a stumbling block before the blind"Leviticus 19:14.

It is forbidden to mislead another. I.e., if one person approaches another and requests advice in an area in which he, the questioner, is unfamiliar, it is forbidden for the responder to deceptively offer damaging counsel.

This prohibition also includes assisting another in the commission of a sin—for the one who desires to sin is considered "blind," his rational sight blinded by his impulse and desire. The same holds true for one who facilitates another's sin. E.g., in the event that money is borrowed with interest, both the borrower and lender have transgressed this sin (in addition to the sin of lending/borrowing with interest)—for each of them has facilitated the other's sin too.

Positive Commandment 202 (Digest)
Unloading the Burden from a Tired Animal

"If you see your enemy's donkey lying...you shall surely unload with him"Exodus 23:5.

If one encounters in the field his fellow's animal falling under a large burden, he is required to help unload the affected animal.

Positive Commandment 203 (Digest)
Reloading an Animal whose Burden has Fallen

"You shall surely help him lift it up again"Deuteronomy 22:4.

After helping a person unload his animal that is falling under its heavy load, we are commanded to assist him to properly reload the animal. Similarly, we are required to assist a person reload a burden that he himself is carrying.

Negative Commandment 270 (Digest)
Aiding a Person in Need of Assistance

"You shall not refrain from helping him"Exodus 23:5.

It is forbidden to ignore one who is held up on his way because the burden he or his animal is carrying is too heavy or improperly loaded. Rather, in such an instance we are required to help the affected individual unload himself or his animal and then to assist him in properly reloading the burden.


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
How manifold are Your works, O G-d; You have made them all with wisdom
  –Psalms 104:24
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