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Daily Mitzvah

Day 42: Negative Commandment 322

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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 322 (Digest)
Administering the Death Penalty on Shabbat

"You shall not kindle fire throughout your settlements on the Shabbat day"Exodus 35:3.

It is forbidden for the courts to administer punishments on Shabbat. The Sages interpreted the above verse as an injunction against executing a criminal via burning (one of the four methods of capital punishment employed by the courts) on Shabbat—and the same rule applies to all other forms of capital punishment. From this verse the Sages also extrapolated the prohibition against holding any court proceedings on Shabbat.

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
People differ in their intellect, character, talents and sensitivities. But all are equal in the very basis of their bond with G-d: their intrinsic commitment to Him. So while every individual contributed to the making of the various components of the Sanctuary in accordance with his or her individual capacity, regarding the foundation of the Sanctuary it is said (Exodus 30:15), "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half of a shekel..."
  –The Lubavitcher Rebbe
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