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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 247,
Negative Mitzvot 293, 297;
Positive Mitzvah 182


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Positive Mitzvah 247: Saving the Victim from his Attacker
Deuteronomy 25:12 "You shall cut off her hand; you shall not pity her"

We are commanded to save a victim from the hands of his attacker, even if we must harm the assailant in doing so.


Negative Mitzvah 293: It is forbidden to spare the life of a pursuer (potential murderer)
Deuteronomy 25:12 "Then you shall cut off her hand; do not show pity"

If we see a person who is determined to commit a murder, we must do all we can to prevent it.

If we cannot convince or stop him in any other way, we are permitted to apply force in our attempt to save a life (see Positive Mitzvah 247).

We may even cause him physical injury or kill him if that is the only way to stop him.

The Torah cautions us not to have pity on a person trying to take someone else's life.


Negative Mitzvah 297: It is forbidden to refrain from saving a Jew whose life is in danger
Leviticus 19:16 "Neither shall you stand idly by the blood of your neighbor"

We are not allowed to stand by and refrain from saving someone's life if we can possibly do so.

We must do everything we can to help him.

This Negative Mitzvah also includes our obligation to give testimony.

We are cautioned not to avoid serving as a witness if we have seen or know of something that can effect the outcome of the trial. We must always help a fellow Jew protect his possessions and his life.


Positive Mitzvah 182: Setting Aside Cities of Refuge
Deuteronomy 19:3 "You shall prepare the way, and divide the border of the land into three parts...that every slayer may flee there"

Nothing happens totally by accident.

A person who unintentionally caused the death of another person must realize that he was also at fault.

He is directed to flee immediately to a "refuge city" set aside for this purpose.

There, he will be safe from the hands of the dead man's relatives who may seek to avenge his death. Also, he will have time to think about what he did and resolve to prevent such "accidents" in the future.

HaShem commands us to set aside such "refuge cities" and enable easy access to them.

We must pave the road leading to the city and remove any obstacle on the way.

This Positive Mitzvah applies in Eretz Yisrael when our entire nation dwells there.


You write that you and your spouse always seem to disagree on every issue. But this is the natural way we were created. We all have our own minds. It's alright to disagree. Now you must learn to give in.

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


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