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Daily Mitzvah

Day 83: Positive Commandment 217

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Positive Commandment 217 (Digest)
Circumventing Levirate Marriage

"And she shall remove his shoe off his foot"Deuteronomy 25:9.

If the brother of a married man who dies childless does not marry his widowed sister-in-law [See Positive Commandment 216], the widow is commanded to remove her brother-in-law's shoe [as part of the chalitzah ceremony described in the Torah, and she is then permitted to marry whomever she desires].

Our sages tell us that performing levirate marriage is preferable to employing chalitzah to release the widow and brother-in-law from their bond.

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
The people of Israel did not believe in Moses because of the miracles he performed. So why did they believe in him? Because when we stood at Sinai, our own eyes saw and our own ears heard the fire, the sounds and the flames, and how Moses approached the cloud and G-d's voice called to him...
  –Maimonides
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