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Daily Mitzvah

Day 127: Negative Commandment 154

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Negative Commandment 154 (Digest)
Following the Prescribed Order of Tithes

"The fullness of your [harvest] and of the outflow of your [presses] you shall not delay"Exodus 22:28.

It is forbidden to deviate from the order of the harvest's tithes prescribed by the Torah.

Bikkurim [the first fruits taken to Jerusalem and given to the priest] is the first gift that is given from the harvest. Afterwards one separates 1/50 of the remaining crop for Terumah. Then one separates 1/10 of the remainder, the First Tithe. Then one separates 1/10 of the remainder, the Second Tithe. The Terumah is given to the priest, the First Tithe to the Levite, and the Second Tithe is eaten by the owners in Jerusalem.

If this order was not followed, i.e., if one separated a later tithe before one that should have preceded it – though the action is valid – he has transgressed this prohibition.

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
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch once met a watercarrier carrying full buckets and remarked: "When one encounters water there is an appropriate maxim of the Baal Shem Tov that one should say, namely: 'When encountering water one should say that the Baal Shem says that it is a sign of blessing'"
  –Hayom Yom, Tevet 21
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