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Daily Mitzvah

Day 9: Positive Commandment 207; Negative Commandment 302; Positive Commandment 205; Negative Commandment 303

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Positive Commandment 207 (Digest)
Loving a Convert

"Love the convert"—Deuteronomy 10:19.

Although we are commanded to love every Jew – a commandment that certainly includes the convert – the Torah added a special mitzvah to love an individual who has taken the pain and effort to embrace and adopt the true belief.

Negative Commandment 302 (Digest)
Harboring Hate

"You shall not hate your brother in your heart"Leviticus 19:17.

We are forbidden to harbor hate for a fellow Jew in our heart. Instead, if someone has wronged you, confront him and tell him that you've been hurt, and demand an explanation and/or an apology.

Positive Commandment 205 (Digest)

"You shall certainly rebuke your neighbor"Leviticus 19:17.

We are commanded to verbally rebuke a fellow Jew who has sinned, and to rebuke and attempt to prevent an individual who is about to sin. This commandment applies to everyone, even if the one who has sinned (or is about to sin) is a great individual. To say, "I shall not sin; what another does is G‑d's concern," is contrary to the Torah's viewpoint. And if the first rebuke has not accomplished its goal, we must do so again and again. We must be careful, however, to rebuke in a pleasant manner—not to embarrass our fellow, G‑d forbid.

Included in this commandment is the obligation to rebuke someone who has wronged you, as opposed to silently harboring a grudge against that individual.

Negative Commandment 303 (Digest)

"And don't bear sin because of him"Leviticus 19:17.

It is forbidden to shame or embarrass one another. We derive this from the verse: "You shall certainly rebuke your neighbor, and don't bear sin because of him." Even when we rebuke a fellow for a sin he has done, which itself is a Torah command, we must be careful not to embarrass the individual—lest we "bear sin because of him."

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
"And the pit was empty; there was no water in it" (Genesis 37:24). From the implication of what is said, "And the pit was empty," do I not know that there was no water in it? What then is taught by, "there was no water in it"? There was no water, but there were snakes and scorpions in it...
  –Talmud, Shabbat 22a
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