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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 150, 151, 152; Negative Commandment 172, 174

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Positive Commandment 150 (Digest)
Inspecting Birds for Kosher Signs

"You may eat all clean birds"Deuteronomy 14:11.

We are commanded to inspect fowl before consuming them, to ascertain whether they possess the signs that characterize non-kosher birds. Though the Torah doesn't specify signs for non-kosher fowl, rather it supplies us with a list of forbidden fowl species, nevertheless, when studying the group of the listed birds, we can isolate certain common signs that they all share.

Positive Commandment 151 (Digest)
Inspecting Grasshoppers for Kosher Signs

"Yet these you may eat of every flying creeping thing"Leviticus 11:21.

We are commanded to inspect grasshoppers before consuming them, to ascertain whether they possess the kosher sign: "jointed [leg like] extensions above their [regular] legs."

Positive Commandment 152 (Digest)
Inspecting Fish for Kosher Signs

"These you shall eat of all that is in the water"—Leviticus 11:9.

We are commanded to inspect fish before consuming them, to ascertain whether they possess the kosher signs [—fins and scales].

Negative Commandment 172 (Digest)
Non-Kosher Mammals

"These you shall not eat of those that [only] chew the cud or of those that [only] have the cloven hoof..."Deuteronomy 14:7.

It is forbidden to eat any mammal that doesn't possess both kosher signs—split hooves and chewing cud.

Negative Commandment 174 (Digest)
Non-Kosher Birds

"And these you shall detest among the birds, they shall not be eaten"—Leviticus 11:13.

It is forbidden to eat any non-kosher bird.


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
Fire is one sixtieth of purgatory, honey is one sixtieth of manna, Shabbat is one sixtieth of the World to Come, sleep is one sixtieth of death, a dream is one sixtieth of prophesy
  –Talmud, Berachot 57b
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