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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvot 28, 25, 40, 41, 27, 42

  Day 165Day 167  

Positive Mitzvah 28: Burning the Incense
Exodus 30:7 "And Aaron shall burn upon it (the altar) sweet incense every morning"

HaShem wants us to appreciate the greatness of the Beit HaMikdash with all our senses.

Looking at its majestic structure; listening to the Levites' music; and presenting sacrifices sharpens our awareness of the holiness of the Beit HaMikdash.

Through our sense of smell, we are also inspired by the sacredness in the Beit HaMikdash.

The priests are commanded to burn incense on the golden altar. This fine mixture of herbs fills the air with an exceptional aroma.

Positive Mitzvah 25: Kindling the lights of the Menorah in the Beit HaMikdash
Exodus 27:21 "Aaron and his sons shall order it (the burning of the lamps)"

In the main hall of the Beit HaMikdash stood a magnificent golden Menorah.

The priests are commanded to arrange the wicks and kindle the oil lamps every day.

The light of the Menorah would shine brilliantly, enabling it to be seen far beyond the Temple's grounds.

Introduction to Mitzvot 39 - 75


When you feel close to someone, you think of ways to show that you care.

Sometimes, you express your feelings by giving that person a present.

As you are shopping for the gift, you try to choose something your friend would appreciate.

The Jewish people love HaShem and feel close to Him.

In the Torah, HaShem tells us that we can express that love by offering sacrifices.

It is this means of expression chosen by HaShem that brings us closer to him.

The Hebrew word for sacrifice is Korban. The root of this word is Karev, which means "to come close."

Through the different kinds of sacrifices - animal or meal offerings - we come close to HaShem.

The sacrifices also atone for our sins.

It is a Jew's way of asking for forgiveness from HaShem.

Positive Mitzvah 40: The High Priest's Daily Offering
Leviticus 6:13 "This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to the L-rd"

The High Priest occupies a much higher position than others.

His particular responsibilities and tasks - leading the people in the ways of HaShem - calls for much dedication.

He is commanded to bring a daily meal offering, reminding him of his important duty.

Introduction to Mitzvot 41- 58:

Shabbat and Festival Sacrifices

On special occasions and festive days, our closeness to HaShem is reinforced by offering additional sacrifices.

The Torah tells us that we must offer different offerings for each of these special days.

Positive Mitzvah 41: The Additional Shabbat Offering
Numbers 28:9 "And on the Sabbath day, two lambs"

On Shabbat, two sheep and a meal offering are to be brought in addition to the regular daily burnt offering.

Positive Mitzvah 27: The Show-Bread
Exodus 25:30 "And you shall put show-bread upon the table, for Me, always"

Have you ever heard of bread that stayed fresh for over a week?!

It may sound strange, but at the time of the Beit HaMikdash, this miracle took place every week.

HaShem commanded that twelve show-breads be baked and offered each week. They are to be arranged on a golden table specially designed to hold them.

Each Shabbat, these breads are to be replaced with newly baked loaves while the old ones - still fresh - are eaten by the priests.

Positive Mitzvah 42: The Additional Rosh Chodesh (First of the month) Offering
Numbers 28:11 "And on the beginning of your months, you shall offer..."

On the first day of every lunar (Jewish calendar) month, certain sacrifices are to be brought in addition to the daily burnt offering.

Humility has to be real. Real humility means transcendence of the self. Moses, it is written, was the most humble of all men. Obviously, he knew who he was. He knew that of all men, he alone was chosen to accomplish the greatest tasks of history -- to lead an entire nation out from bondage and bring them to the greatest revelation that would ever be. He was the loftiest of all prophets, who spoke directly to G-d whenever he wished. He knew all this and yet he was humble. Because Moses told himself, "This is not my own achievement. This is what I have done with the powers G-d has granted me. Perhaps had someone else been given these same powers, perhaps that someone else would have done a better job."

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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