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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 166

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Negative Commandment 166 (Digest)
A Priest's Ritual Purity

"He shall not become impure for the dead among his people"Leviticus 21:1.

A kohen (priest) may not contract ritual impurity through contact with a human corpse. The exception to this rule are his next of kin [—his father, mother, brother, unmarried sister, son and daughter. The Sages added his wife to the list].

This prohibition only applies to male priests.

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
Come, see the doings of G-d, His awesome plot upon the children of man
  –Psalms 66:5; according to the Chassidic masters, this refers to G-d's creation of free choice and the possibility of sin
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