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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
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Positive Mitzvah 236

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This is not an error of duplication. The full-fledged version of this Mitzvah are many and change for those who are learning the one/three chapter a day. The Message for the day from "Bringing Heaven Down to Earth" at the end of this Mitzvah is different than that of yesterday.
Positive Mitzvah 236: Personal Injury
Exodus 21:18 "And one man hits another..."

After a very close baseball match, two of Yossi's classmates were heatedly arguing about the last innings that decided the game. Soon, the locker room was filled with shouts and accusations.

As he was changing his shoes, Yossi caught sight of fists lifted to strike. He jumped up and pushed himself between the fighting boys.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" one of the boys shouted.

"Come on!" Yossi pleaded. "Calm down, it's only a game."

Yossi's brave act of Ahavat Yisrael convinced the boys to stop fighting. When they had cooled off, Yossi sat down between them on the locker room bench.

"You know," he said, "in our Chumash class, we were just learning about what might happen if someone injures another person.

Take this case.

Imagine, Shimi, if you would have punched Yankie and broken his glasses. First, it would hurt. Second, they would cost money to get fixed. Third, Yankie would miss school-work because he would not be able to see the board. Fourth, a doctor's bill might be involved. Besides, it would be embarrassing to have to explain a black eye and broken glasses!"

Well, fortunately for the boys and thanks to Yossi, this didn't happen.

If one person does cause personal injury to another he is liable to pay different kinds of damages. This Positive Mitzvah includes the laws of fines and responsibilities a person must pay if he injures another.

If you tell a child, "Keep this rule because if you don't you will be punished!" the child has two doubts in his mind: Maybe he won't be caught, and if he is caught, maybe the punishment won't outweigh the crime. The child has to know that there is an eye that sees, an ear that hears -- that there is a Higher Unseen Being to which he is answerable. This is the only way to reduce crime in America.


In our zeal to separate church and state, we have effectively removed any concept of the supernal or the spiritual from the classroom. A child grows up today learning about a face-value world centered around his own self. There is no awe.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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