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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 174; Negative Commandment 312, 313, 314

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Positive Commandment 174 (Digest)
Obeying the High Court

"According to the Torah which they shall teach you..."Deuteronomy 17:11.

We are commanded to obey the High Court (Sanhedrin) and heed all their decisions with regards to what is permitted or prohibited. This is true whether their decision is based on oral tradition, they arrived at their decision via extrapolation from the words of the Torah, or if the rule was issued in order to address a contemporary concern, i.e., the court saw the need to impose a certain law in order to safeguard a Torah law.

Negative Commandment 312 (Digest)
Disobeying Torah Authorities

"You shall not deviate from that which they shall tell you"Deuteronomy 17:11.

We are forbidden to dispute the rulings of the sages who are the transmitters of the Oral Tradition and to deviate from their rulings with all that pertains to Torah law.

Negative Commandment 313 (Digest)
Adding to the Torah

"You shall not add to it"Deuteronomy 13:1.

We are forbidden to add anything to the Torah—both the Written and Oral Laws.

Negative Commandment 314 (Digest)
Subtracting from the Torah

"You shall not subtract from it"Deuteronomy 13:1.

We are forbidden to subtract anything from the Torah—both the Written and Oral Laws.


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
A gathering of the righteous is a joy for them and a joy for the world; a gathering of the wicked is an ruination for them and a ruination for the world
  –Talmud, Sanhedrin 71b
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