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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
Whoever has faith in individual Divine Providence knows that "Man's steps are established by G-d" (Psalms 37:23)--that this particular soul must purify and improve something specific in a particular place. For centuries, or even since the world's creation, that which needs purification or improvement waits for this soul to come and purify or improve it. The soul too, has been waiting - ever since it came into being - for its time to descend, so that it can discharge the tasks of purification and improvement assigned to it...
  –Hayom Yom, Elul 3
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