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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 82, 135; Negative Commandment 220, 221, 222

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Positive Commandment 82 (Digest)
The Unredeemed Firstborn Donkey

"And if you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck"Exodus 34:20.

We are commanded to break the neck of a firstborn male donkey—if the owner does not wish to redeem it.

Positive Commandment 135 (Digest)
Abstaining from Agricultural Work during the Sabbatical Year

"During the plowing and harvest [seasons] you shall rest"Exodus 34:21.

We are commanded to abstain from agricultural work during the Shemitah (Sabbatical) Year. This command is repeated in the Torah several times.

This mitzvah, according to biblical law, applies only in the Land of Israel.

Negative Commandment 220 (Digest)
Working the Fields during the Sabbatical Year

"You shall not sow your field"Leviticus 25:4.

It is forbidden to sow the fields during the Shemitah (Sabbatical) Year.

Negative Commandment 221 (Digest)
Working the Orchards during the Sabbatical Year

"You shall not prune your vineyard"Leviticus 25:4.

It is forbidden to do agricultural work on fruit trees during the Shemitah (Sabbatical) Year.

Negative Commandment 222 (Digest)
Harvesting Wild Field Crops during the Sabbatical Year

"That which grows of its own accord of your harvest, you shall not reap"Leviticus 25:5.

It is forbidden to harvest – in normal fashion – that which grows wild in the fields during the Shemitah (Sabbatical) Year. One may only harvest it as if it was ownerless, i.e. without extensive preparation or arrangement, and not in bulk.


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
When laying siege on a city to conquer it, we do not surround it from all four sides, but only from three sides, leaving a way to escape for anyone who wishes to flee for his life. As it is written: "And they warred against Midian, as G-d commanded Moses" (Numbers 31:7)--it has been handed down by tradition that this is what G-d had commanded him.
  –Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings and their Wars, 6:7
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