Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 174; Negative Commandment 312, 313, 314

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Positive Commandment 174 (Digest)
Obeying the High Court

"According to the Torah which they shall teach you..."Deuteronomy 17:11.

We are commanded to obey the High Court (Sanhedrin) and heed all their decisions with regards to what is permitted or prohibited. This is true whether their decision is based on oral tradition, they arrived at their decision via extrapolation from the words of the Torah, or if the rule was issued in order to address a contemporary concern, i.e., the court saw the need to impose a certain law in order to safeguard a Torah law.

Negative Commandment 312 (Digest)
Disobeying Torah Authorities

"You shall not deviate from that which they shall tell you"Deuteronomy 17:11.

We are forbidden to dispute the rulings of the sages who are the transmitters of the Oral Tradition and to deviate from their rulings with all that pertains to Torah law.

Negative Commandment 313 (Digest)
Adding to the Torah

"You shall not add to it"Deuteronomy 13:1.

We are forbidden to add anything to the Torah—both the Written and Oral Laws.

Negative Commandment 314 (Digest)
Subtracting from the Torah

"You shall not subtract from it"Deuteronomy 13:1.

We are forbidden to subtract anything from the Torah—both the Written and Oral Laws.


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
Not only the tribe of Levi, but any man of all the inhabitants of the earth, whose spirit has moved him and whose mind has given him to understand to set himself aside to stand before G-d to serve Him, to worship Him, to know G-d and walk justly as G-d has created him, and he cast from his neck the yoke of the many calculations that men seek -- this man has become sanctified, a holy of holies, and G-d shall be his portion and his lot forever, and shall grant him his needs in this world, as He has granted the Kohanim and the Levites.
  –Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Laws of the Shemittah and Jubilee Cycles, 13:13
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