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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 169, 170; Positive Commandment 183; Negative Commandment 228; Positive Commandment 20

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Negative Commandment 169 (Digest)
A Portion in the Land of Israel for the Tribe of Levi

"The Priests the Levites all the tribe of Levi shall have no portion or inheritance..."Deuteronomy 18:1.

The tribe of Levi [this includes the priests] are forbidden from taking a tribal portion in the Land of Israel.

Negative Commandment 170 (Digest)
The Levites Benefiting from Conquest Spoils

"The Priests the Levites all the tribe of Levi shall have no portion or inheritance..."Deuteronomy 18:1.

The tribe of Levi, including the priests, are forbidden from taking a portion of the spoils taken during the conquest of the Land of Israel.

Positive Commandment 183 (Digest)
Providing Cities for the Levites

"They shall give to the Levites . . . cities to dwell in"Numbers 35:2.

We are commanded to provide the Levites with cities in Israel in which to dwell—considering that they have no tribal portion in the Land.

These cities given to the Levites also serve as "Cities of Refuge" and provide refuge [to inadvertent murderers] under certain unique conditions.

Negative Commandment 228 (Digest)
Switching the Functions of the Levite Cities' Zones

"But the field of the pasture land of their cities may not be sold"Leviticus 25:34.

The cities that the Israelites grant the Levites each consist of the actual city, surrounding open areas (1,000 cubits to all directions) and then fields around the open areas (2,000 cubits to all directions).

It is forbidden for the Levites to switch these areas. They may not make the space allotted for a city into an open area, an open area into a city, a field into an open area, or an open area into a field.

Positive Commandment 20 (Digest)
Building a Temple

"And they shall make for Me a sanctuary"Exodus 25:8.

We are commanded to build a Sanctuary to serve [G‑d]. In it we offer sacrifices, burn the eter­nal flame, offer our prayers, and congregate for the festivals each year.

This is one of the three mitzvot the Jews were commanded to fulfill upon entering the Land—the other two being crowning a king and annihilating Amalek.

Included in this mitzvah are many details—e.g., building a menorah, a showbread table, altars.


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
Such is the way of creation: first comes darkness, then light
  –Talmud, Shabbat 77b
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