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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 166

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Important Message Regarding This Lesson

The Daily Mitzvah schedule runs parallel to the daily study of 3 chapters of Maimonides' 14-volume code. There are instances when the Mitzvah is repeated a few days consecutively while the exploration of the same Mitzvah continues in the in-depth track.

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
Said Rabbi Yitzchak: The Torah ought to have started with "This month shall be to you..." (Exodus 12:2), which is the first mitzvah commanded to the people of Israel. Why, then, does it begin with, "In the beginning [G-d created the heavens and the earth]"? ... So that if the nations of the world say to Israel, "You are thieves, for having conquered the lands of the seven nations", they would reply to them: "The entire world is G-d's; He created it, and He grants it to whoever He desires. It was His will to give it to them, and it was His will to take it from them and give it to us"
  –Rashi's commentary on Genesis 1:1
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