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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvot 140, 136, 137;
Negative Mitzvot 224, 225, 226


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Positive Mitzvah 140: Counting the Yovel Cycle
Leviticus 25:8 "And you shall count seven Sabbatical years"

The Shemitah and Yovel cycle are very significant, each one setting specific times and dates for the many obligations that must be fulfilled accordingly.

Can you imagine different people keeping separate calendars and timetables?

In order to assure a calendar that would apply universally, the Beit-Din of the Great Sanhedrin (Assembly) are commanded to calculate the cycles providing the public with a fixed calendar for Shemitah and Yovel.


Positive Mitzvah 136: "Yovel" - The Jubilee Year
Leviticus 25:10 "And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year"

After seven cycles of Shemitah (see Positive Mitzvah 134), which amounts to seven times seven - forty nine years, comes the Yovel - the Jubilee Year.

We are commanded to consider this fiftieth year as special and holy.

Some laws of the Shemitah year apply to Yovel, as well.

We must refrain from working the land and make the produce of the fields available for all.

There are additional laws which must be kept during Yovel.

Just as Shemitah reminds us that the land belongs to HaShem, the lesson of Yovel implies that everything must return to its original owner.

This fiftieth year serves as a landmark on the calendar for returning ownership regarding possessions, loans and property, as will be listed in further Mitzvot.

The laws of Yovel apply only in Eretz Yisrael when each tribe lives on the original territory assigned to it.


Positive Mitzvah 137: Blowing the Shofar and Freeing Slaves in Yovel
Leviticus 25:9-10 "Then you shall cause the shofar to sound...and proclaim liberty throughout all the land"

HaShem created all men as free individuals.

Different situations arise and a person may end up being sold as a slave (See Positive Mitzvah 232).

He may have been serving his master for many years, but in the Yovel year he must be set free.

We are commanded to sound the Shofar on Yom Kippur of the Yovel year and proclaim all slaves free.

The blowing of the Shofar arouses and inspires everyone to remember that HaShem is Master of the Universe and He declared that all slaves must be freed.


Negative Mitzvah 224: It is forbidden to plant during Yovel
Leviticus 25:11 "You shall not sow"

We are forbidden to plant our fields during the Yovel, the Jubilee year.


Negative Mitzvah 225: It is forbidden to harvest crops during Yovel in the usual manner
Leviticus 25:11 "Neither reap that which grows of itself in it"

As is the case during Shemitah, we may collect the crops that grow on their own during Yovel. However, we must do so in a different way than we usually would.


Negative Mitzvah 226: It is forbidden to pick fruit during Yovel in the regular manner
Leviticus 25:11 "Nor gather in it the grapes from your unpruned vine"

As in Shemitah, we may pick fruit that grows during Yovel, but it must be done in a different manner than usual.

We are not permitted to pick the fruit in the regular way. (See Negative Mitzvah 223.)


Sometimes it may appear that there is a place where, according to all considerations, G-dliness can't come. An obstacle that prevents you from accomplishing something beneficial. A friend who cannot be approached to help do a favor. A gathering of people that seems meaningless. The appropriate thing to do in such a situation is to throw out all considerations and just do. Your job is not to determine if and where. Your job is to determine how. Do, and you will see miracles.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - tzvif@aol.com


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