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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvot 131 and 125

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Introduction to Mitzvot 125 - 135:

Agricultural Laws Applying in Eretz Yisrael

HaShem gave us many opportunities to show appreciation for the way He cares for us and enables us to live comfortably in His world.

When a person lives in Eretz Yisrael, G-d's hand is even more apparent. Eretz Yisrael is our holy land, chosen by HaShem.

A farmer, delighted in the produce of his land, or any person enjoying the fruit of the earth, must remember that it is HaShem who provides us with all our needs.

The Torah commands us to set aside certain portions of our produce to show our thanks for HaShem's generosity and goodness.

The Torah commands us to give these portions to our representatives, the priests and Levites, who serve G-d in the Beit HaMikdash.

The priests and Levites dedicate their lives to carrying out the service of HaShem, representing all the Jewish people.

They do not make their living as the rest of the people, working the land or dealing in business and trade. Therefore, it is appropriate that the people contribute to them in appreciation of their holy service.

(These Mitzvot only apply in Eretz Yisrael.)

Positive Mitzvah 131: Declaration for Tithes
Deuteronomy 26:13 "And you shall say before the L-rd your G-d, I have removed the holy things...and also have given to the Levite..."

David's mother assigned him specific chores and responsibilities around the house.

To be sure that David did not neglect his chores, his mother decided that every Friday, David would have to report to his father when he had completed his jobs.

The system proved effective!

David could not imagine himself standing before his father mumbling some lame excuse why he had not completed his tasks.

A Jew is obligated to give various kinds of tithes from his produce.

He may be very busy, live far from Jerusalem, or possibly forget.

The Torah commands him to stand before HaShem in the Beit HaMikdash and declare that he has fulfilled his obligations and given all the tithes required of him.

This declaration is done on Passover of the fourth and seventh year of the Shemitah cycle.

Positive Mitzvah 125: Presenting the First Fruit
Exodus 23:19 "You shall bring the first of the fruits of your land that ripen "

A farmer observes with pride and satisfaction the first-fruits that ripen on his trees.

As he sees the first juicy grapes growing, he is very anxious to taste them, but he knows that he must set them aside and bring them to the Beit HaMikdash. There, he presents them to the priest.

This Positive Mitzvah applies only to those seven kinds of foods that Eretz Yisrael was specifically blessed with.

They are: Wheat; Barley; Grapes; Figs; Pomegranates; Olives; Dates.

There's no such thing as defeat. There's always another chance. To believe in defeat is to believe that there is something, a certain point in time that did not come from Above.

Know that G-d doesn't have failures. If things appear to worsen, it is only as part of them getting better. We only fall down in order to bounce back even higher.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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