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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvot 94, 95, 96, 97;
Positive Mitzvah 86


  Day 156Day 158  

Negative Mitzvah 94: We are forbidden to burn portions of a blemished animal upon the altar
Leviticus 22:22 "Nor (shall you) make an offering by fire of them upon the altar to the L-rd"

Certain parts of an animal that is sacrificed must be consumed by fire on the altar.

We are forbidden to place any portion of a blemished animal on the altar to be burned.

(It should be noted that the Negative Mitzvot mentioned in 91-94 deal with an animal that has permanent blemishes.)


Negative Mitzvah 95: We are forbidden to offer animals with temporary blemishes as sacrifices
Deuteronomy 17:1 "You shall not sacrifice to the L-rd your G-d any ox or sheep in which there is a blemish"

This Negative Mitzvah forbids us to offer as a sacrifice even an animal whose blemish is temporary.


Negative Mitzvah 96: We are forbidden to offer blemished animals presented by a non-Jew as sacrifices
Leviticus 22:25 "Neither from a foreigner's hand may you offer the bread of your G-d from any of these"

HaShem gave seven basic Mitzvot to the non-Jewish people, which are known as "the Seven Commandments of the Children of Noah".

Among these Mitzvot is the Mitzvah in which they are commanded to believe in one G-d, Creator of the Universe.

Many non-Jewish people do believe in HaShem.

The Torah gave them the opportunity to express their belief by offering sacrifices in the Beit HaMikdash.

In this Negative Mitzvah the Torah tells us that animals which have been brought by non-Jews for sacrifice in the Beit HaMikdash may not have any blemishes.

Just as we are forbidden to offer a blemished animal presented by a Jew as a sacrifice, so, too, we are forbidden to offer a blemished animal presented by a non-Jew as a sacrifice.


Negative Mitzvah 97: We are forbidden to cause blemishes in animals that have been designated for sacrifice
Leviticus 22:21 "No blemish shall be in it"

We are cautioned not to make a blemish in an animal that has been designated to be offered as a sacrifice.


Positive Mitzvah 86: Redeeming a Blemished Animal designated for an Offering
Deuteronomy 12:15 "Nonetheless, you may slaughter animals and eat their meat to your heart's desire"

An animal that was designated to be sacrificed to HaShem is considered special and holy.

It must not have any type of blemish, since a blemish makes it unfit for sacrifice. Should it develop a blemish, it cannot be offered as a sacrifice.

Since the blemished animal was considered special, because it was originally designated as a sacrifice, it must be redeemed. (See Negative Mitzvot 92-97.)

The Torah commands us to choose a different animal for the sacrifice in place of the first. This is called "redeeming" the first animal. Afterwards, the first one can be eaten like any other animal.


Ask the advice of a doctor who is a friend. Being a friend makes a big difference.

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


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