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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 241, 242

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Negative Commandment 241 (Digest)
Taking Collateral from a Widow

"Nor shall you take a widow's garment as security"Deuteronomy 24:17.

It is forbidden for a creditor to take collateral for a debt from a widow—whether she is wealthy or poor.

Negative Commandment 242 (Digest)
Taking Food Preparation Utensils as Collateral

"One shall not take the upper or lower millstone for a pledge, for he is taking a life as a pledge"Deuteronomy 24:6.

It is forbidden for a creditor to take food preparation utensils – e.g., grinders, kneading bowls, pots, and knives – as collateral for a debt.


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
Just as with the mitzva of tefillin, for example, there is a designated place for them on the head and arm, and one feels the weight of the head-tefilla and the tightness of the hand-tefilla, so too with the mitzvot of love and fear of G-d... the fulfillment of these mitzvot is that there be a bodily sensation, that the very flesh of the heart actually feel; just as, for example, [the love one feels] when one meets a truly devoted friend...
  –Hayom Yom, Av 20
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