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Daily Mitzvah

Day 106: Negative Commandment 62

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Negative Commandment 62 (Digest)
Vain Oaths

"You shall not take the name of the L-rd, your G‑d, in vain"Exodus 20:7.

It is forbidden to needlessly swear in the name of G‑d.

Examples:

  • To swear falsely regarding something that is an obvious untruth [e.g., to swear regarding a simple pebble that it is made of gold].
  • To swear that a phenomenon that is known to be impossible has occurred.
  • To swear to do something that violates a Torah commandment.
  • To swear in attestation of an obvious truth, e.g., to swear that all that are slaughtered die.

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
Our Sages greatly extolled the virtue of charity, declaring it equal to all the other mitzvot together; throughout the Jerusalem Talmud, charity is called simply "The Mitzvah"... Because in all other mitzvot, only one faculty of the vital soul is invested in the action, and only while the mitzvah is being performed. In the case of charity, however, which one gives from the proceeds of the toil of his hands, all the energy of his vital soul is invested in the effort of his labor, or in any other occupation by which he earned this money. Thus, when he gives to charity this money, his entire vital soul ascends to G d with this action. Also, even one who does not earn his livelihood from his labors, nevertheless, since he could have purchased with this money his life's sustenance, he is actually giving his soul’s life to G d...
  –Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya ch. 37)
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