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|Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule
Positive Mitzvah 166;
Negative Mitzvah 327;
Positive Mitzvah 167;
Negative Mitzvot 328, 199
Positive Mitzvah 166: Resting on the First Day of Sukkot
Leviticus 23:35 "On the first day, there shall be a holy gathering"
We are commanded to regard the first day of Sukkot as a holy day. We must rest and stop all weekday activity (see Negative Mitzvah 327).
Negative Mitzvah 327: It is forbidden to work on Sukkot
Leviticus 23:34-35 "The festival of Sukkot... you shall do no servile work"
We are commanded not to do work on the first day of Sukkot.
Outside of Eretz Yisrael, this Negative Mitzvah applies to the second day, as well, which is still Yom-Tov.
Positive Mitzvah 167: Resting on the Eighth Day of Sukkot
Leviticus 23:36 "On the eighth day, there shall be a holy gathering for you"
We are commanded to regard the eighth day of Sukkot as a sacred day. We must rest and stop all weekday activity (see Negative Mitzvah 328).
Negative Mitzvah 328: It is forbidden to work on Shemini Atzeret
Leviticus 23:36 "On the eighth day...you shall do no servile work"
We are commanded not to do work on the eighth day of Sukkot.
This is the holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.
Outside of Eretz Yisrael, these are two separate holidays and we may not work on either of them.
The Torah speaks about Pesach many times and gives us many Mitzvot which must be followed during Pesach.
One of the most important Mitzvot of Pesach is not to eat or own any "chametz" - leavened dough.
"Chametz" symbolizes something which has risen high; someone who is proud and haughty.
The Egyptians were a conceited and proud people who worshipped idols.
They refused to accept HaShem, the only One G-d.
Indeed, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt asked, "Who is G-d and why should I listen to Him?"
HaShem answered Pharaoh's question by taking the Jews out of Egypt, splitting the Red Sea, and drowning the mighty Egyptian army.
On Pesach, when we remove all our "chametz" we confirm our acceptance and belief in HaShem, the One and only G-d.
The following Mitzvot caution us not to eat or own "chametz" on Pesach.
Negative Mitzvah 199: It is forbidden to eat Chametz after noontime on the Fourteenth of Nissan
Deuteronomy 16:3 "You shall eat no leavened bread with it"
We are forbidden to eat any Chametz after noontime on the fourteenth day of Nissan.
This is the time when the sacrifice for Passover is brought in the Beit HaMikdash. It is forbidden to offer the Paschal Sacrifice while still eating or owning Chametz.
The great tzaddik, Rabbi Zusia of Anipoli, learned seven things from a thief:
- A thief goes quietly. So too, Zusia did not show off his accomplishments.
- A thief puts his life on the line to do what he has to do. Zusia did the same to help a fellow human being.
- Every detail is crucial to a thief. Zusia never overlooked any opportunity to do a good deed or learn from some experience.
- A thief works hard. Zusia studied, prayed and meditated just as hard.
- A thief works efficiently. Zusia never wasted precious time.
- A thief is optimistic and ever hopeful. And so was Zusia.
- If the first attempt does not succeed, a thief will return to try again. Zusia never gave up.
From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - email@example.com