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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvot 133, 143, 144

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Positive Mitzvah 133: Challah: Dough Offering
Numbers 15:20 "You shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough as a gift"

Man's most staple food is bread.

HaShem granted us a Mitzvah which shows how our basic foods can be connected with holiness.

The Torah commands us to separate a portion of the dough which we use to bake bread and present it to the priest.

Does your mother bake her own Challah for Shabbat? If she does, she can fulfill this Mitzvah by separating a portion of the dough.

Since the Beit HaMikdash has not yet been rebuilt, and the priests are unfit to serve in it, this portion cannot be given.

However, it is still considered holy and must be treated accordingly.

There are laws concerning the types of dough used, the blessing to be recited, and what to do with the separated portion.

These laws should be studied and followed.

This Positive Mitzvah is a very special one for women and girls and brings great blessing into the Jewish home.

Positive Mitzvah 143: The Priestly Portion of Meat
Deuteronomy 18:3 "And this shall be the priests' portion from the people"

The priests dedicate their life to the service of HaShem in the Beit HaMikdash. It is proper for the people, whom they represent and benefit, to supply them with their needs.

In addition to the portions they receive from the sacrifices, this Positive Mitzvah commands us to give the priest certain portions of every animal slaughtered.

Positive Mitzvah 144: The Priestly Portion of Fleece
Deuteronomy 18:4 "And the first of the fleece of your sheep (shearing), you shall give him"

It takes quite a while for a newborn lamb to grow and develop into a full grown sheep.

The owner tends gently and patiently to his flock until the time arrives for him to benefit from their wool.

Carefully, he does the shearing, thinking about the profit he will make from the wool.

This Positive Mitzvah makes him stop and think about others who do not tend to their own private livelihoods, but are committed to the service of HaShem.

The Torah commands us to give the first portion of the wool to the priests.

Your soul is in captivity when you know what is right, but you allow the world to stop you.

For example, say you are the leader of a country. You decide what is the right thing to do, and you begin to do it. The newspapers, of course, condemn you. Your own people tell you you've made a mistake. You are being called wicked, immoral and compared to the worst villains of history. The United Nations convenes to unanimously protest your actions. The President of the United States calls you up to tell you to stop or forego further financial and military support. But you know what you are doing is right. If you give in, your soul is in captivity.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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