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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 107, 113

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Positive Mitzvah 107: Impurity of coming in contact with a Dead Body
Numbers 19:11 "He that touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean"

Contact with a dead body makes a person impure.


Positive Mitzvah 113: The Red Cow
Numbers 19:1-9 "Have them bring you a red cow...It shall be kept for the congregation of the Children of Israel"

This animal is one you won't spot even in the largest zoo.

A completely red cow is very rare. The Torah commands us to use it for a unique Mitzvah - the purification of a Jew from the impurity of contact with a dead body.

This cow must have no blemishes and have never been used for other purposes.

It is burnt and its ashes are mixed with the Niddah water (see Positive Mitzvah 108). This water is sprinkled on the person purifying himself.

This Positive Mitzvah calls for an act of unselfishness. Would you lend someone in need, your bus-fare and walk home?

Would you help a friend catch up on his homework during recess and miss the ball game?

The next time you have to make such a decision, think of the Mitzvah of the Parah Adumah.

The person who burns the cow helps purify someone else, but, at the same time, he himself becomes impure.

Since creation, only nine red cows have been used for purification.

Moses prepared the first one. The tenth will be prepared by Mashiach.


There is a G-d discovered by induction, a G-d of deduction, and there is something beyond all that.

You look at the world and see there is life within it. You have induced that there is a harmonious force within the creation.

You look at the world again and know that its Creator could have none of these constrictions -- He must be an infinite G-d -- and you have deduced a G-d entirely transcendent of all things you know.

But both these paths define G-d by the things you know -- whether by finding Him within them, or by deducing that He is none of these and transcends them all. And that is as far as the mind can reach. It can reach upwards and upwards forever, but it can never grasp Him. Deep inside, however, is a knowledge of a Being that is not defined, neither by what it is nor by what it is not.

As the Zohar says, "No thought can grasp Him. Yet He is grasped in the innermost stirrings of the heart."

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


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