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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 130, 195; Negative Commandment 232

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Positive Commandment 130 (Digest)
Tithes for the Poor

"At the end of three years, you shall bring forth all the tithes of your produce"—Deuteronomy 14:28.

We are commanded to separate a tenth of our harvest [in addition to the First Tithe given to the Levites] on the third and sixth year of the seven-year Shemitah cycle, and give it to the poor.

[During these two years, this tithe substitutes the Second Tithe.]

This biblical precept only applies in the Land of Israel.

Positive Commandment 195 (Digest)
Charity

"You shall surely open your hand "Deuteronomy 15:8.

We are commanded to give charity to the indigent, to relieve them of their distress. We are commanded to feed the needy and provide them with whatever they lack.

Even a pauper who is sustained by charity is obligated to fulfill this mitzvah—by giving charity (even if only a pittance) to someone needier than himself, or someone in a similar predicament.

Negative Commandment 232 (Digest)
Ignoring a Needy Person

"Do not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your destitute brother"Deuteronomy 15:7.

It is forbidden to be stingy and withhold charity and relief from our needy brethren—if we are aware of their desperate situation and have the means to assist them.


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
People differ in their intellect, character, talents and sensitivities. But all are equal in the very basis of their bond with G-d: their intrinsic commitment to Him. So while every individual contributed to the making of the various components of the Sanctuary in accordance with his or her individual capacity, regarding the foundation of the Sanctuary it is said (Exodus 30:15), "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half of a shekel..."
  –The Lubavitcher Rebbe
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