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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 196; Negative Commandment 233; Positive Commandment 234, 233; Negative Commandment 261

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Positive Commandment 196 (Digest)
Gifts upon the Discharge of a Jewish Bondsperson

"You shall surely provide him from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your vat, you shall give him from what G‑d, your G‑d, has blessed you"Deuteronomy 15:14.

Upon the discharge of a Jewish bondsperson, we are commanded to give him [or her] gifts, to assist him in his newfound freedom. We must not allow him to leave empty-handed.

Negative Commandment 233 (Digest)
Discharging a Jewish Bondsman Empty-Handed

"When you send him away free, you shall not let him go away empty-handed"Deuteronomy 15:13.

When a bondsman is discharged after six years of service, his master is forbidden to let him leave empty-handed. Rather, he must give him gifts.

Positive Commandment 234 (Digest)
Redemption of a Jewish Maidservant

"He must let her be redeemed"Exodus 21:8.

A person who acquires a Jewish maidservant must allow for her redemption through the various methods prescribed by the Torah.

Positive Commandment 233 (Digest)
Marrying a Jewish Maidservant

"If he did not designate her [for himself], then he shall enable her to be redeemed"—Exodus 21:8.

It is a [non-binding] mitzvah for the master of a Jewish maidservant to marry her [if she consents], or to wed her to his son. This mitzvah takes precedence over the master's obligation to allow for the maidservants redemption.

This mitzvah, along with all the mitzvot that apply to Jewish bondspeople, only apply while the Jubilee is practiced in the Holy Land.

Negative Commandment 261 (Digest)
Reselling a Jewish Maidservant

"He shall have no power to sell her"Exodus 21:8.

One who acquires a Jewish maidservant is not empowered to then sell her to another master.


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 dove returned to him at eventide, and behold it had plucked an olive leaf in its mouth; so Noah knew that the water had abated from upon the earth.
  –Genesis 8:11
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