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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 322

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Important Message Regarding This Lesson

The Daily Mitzvah schedule runs parallel to the daily study of 3 chapters of Maimonides' 14-volume code. There are instances when the Mitzvah is repeated a few days consecutively while the exploration of the same Mitzvah continues in the in-depth track.

Negative Commandment 322 (Digest)
Administering the Death Penalty on Shabbat

"You shall not kindle fire throughout your settlements on the Shabbat day"Exodus 35:3.

It is forbidden for the courts to administer punishments on Shabbat. The Sages interpreted the above verse as an injunction against executing a criminal via burning (one of the four methods of capital punishment employed by the courts) on Shabbat—and the same rule applies to all other forms of capital punishment. From this verse the Sages also extrapolated the prohibition against holding any court proceedings on Shabbat.


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 Zohar states that "When the tzaddik departs, he is to be found in all worlds, more than during his lifetime." Now this needs to be understood. For, granted that he is to be found increasingly in the supernal worlds, because he ascends to there; but how is he found more in this world?
As is known, the life of a tzaddik is not a physical life but a spiritual life, consisting wholly of faith, awe, and love of G-d... While the tzaddik was alive on earth, these three attributes were contained in their physical vessel and garment on the plane of physical space... his disciples received but a reflection of these attributes, a ray radiating beyond this vessel by means of his holy utterances and thoughts... But after his passing... whoever is close to him can receive a [far loftier dimension] of these three attributes, since they are no longer confined within a [material] vessel, nor bounded by physical space...
  –Rabbi Schneur Zalman (Tanya, Iggeret HaKodesh 27)
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