ositive Commandment 78

The Tithe of the Herd

“And all the tithe of the cattle and livestock, the tenth shall be holy to G‑d”—Leviticus 27:32.

We are commanded to separate a tenth of the kosher cattle and livestock born to us each year. Their blood and fats are sprinkled and offered on the altar, and the rest of the flesh is consumed in Jerusalem by the animals’ owners.

According to biblical law, this mitzvah applies both in the land of Israel and outside of it, whether the Temple is standing or not [i.e., we are commanded to separate and sanctify the animals even though we cannot sacrifice them]. The Rabbis, however, instituted that we not perform this mitzvah when the Temple is not standing in Jerusalem—for fear lest someone consume the sanctified animal (before it becomes blemished and technically unfit for sacrifice).

When the Temple will be rebuilt, however, this mitzvah will be practiced in all locations.

Rambam – Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 78

   Day 184 Day 186   

Positive Mitzvah 78: Sanctifying one-tenth of a Herd
Leviticus 27:32 “And concerning the tithe (one-tenth) of the herd, or of the flock…the tenth shall be holy to the L-rd”“I plowed and planted and, now, I’ll reap my harvest!” says the farmer.

“I designed and built and worked hard. Now, I’ll earn my wages!” smiles the architect.

“I calculated and saved up, I invested my money and, now, I’ll make my profit!” beams the broker.

“Wait a minute!” declares the Torah, “don’t forget that it is HaShem who brings you success. You must show HaShem your appreciation!”

A Jew is commanded to set aside one tenth of his herds and flocks and offer them as sacrifices to HaShem who blesses his possessions.

Man, on his own, cannot reach higher than his own ego. He cannot break out of his own skin, he cannot lift himself up by pulling at his own hair. All of his achievements are tied to his own ego. All that he may comprehend is defined by his own subjective perception. He is a prisoner by virtue of existence. So G-d threw Man a rope. He gave him tasks to fulfill that are beyond his comprehension, thoughts to fathom that take him outside the hollow of his subjective universe. All that is needed is his willingness to leave himself. We are all prisoners. But we sit on the keys.

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


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