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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Negative Mitzvot 85, 82;
Positive Mitzvah 34;
Negative Mitzvot 86

  Day 150Day 152  

Negative Mitzvah 85: It is forbidden to duplicate the incense formula for personal use
Exodus 30:37 "And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make for yourselves according to its proscribed composition"

The incense was a special mixture of fine herbs that filled the air with a lovely aroma when burned upon the altar, (see Positive Mitzvah 28). We are forbidden to copy this formula and prepare our own mixture of this incense for our personal use.

Negative Mitzvah 82: It is forbidden to use the Golden Altar for any sacrifice, besides the offering of incense
Exodus 30:9 "You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt-offering nor meal-offering; neither shall you pour drink-offering upon it"

Besides the Altar where sacrifices were offered, there is another Altar covered with gold inside the Beit HaMikdash. This Altar was used for burning incense.

We are prohibited from using this Golden Altar for any other type of offerings besides that of the incense.

Positive Mitzvah 34: The Priests carrying the Ark
Numbers 7:9 "Because the service of the sanctuary belongs to them; they shall bear it upon their shoulders"

On her birthday, Miriam's father took her to "The Toy House" to buy a present.

Miriam chose a pretty doll and, at the same time, her father bought other toys for Miriam's younger sister and brother.

At the counter, the saleswoman wrapped the items and put them all in a shopping bag. As soon as they walked out of the store, Miriam unwrapped the doll and clutched it happily.

"Miriam," her father said, "can't you wait until we get home?"

"But Daddy, I love my new doll and I want to hold her in my own hands!"

The Aron HaKodesh is the holiest object in the Beit HaMikdash.

Every Jew must regard it with dignity and respect.

When it had to be transferred, the Levites were commanded to carry it on their shoulders.

Instead of using wagons, they held it with their hands.

Introduction to Negative Mitzvot 86 - 88:

Prohibitions against tampering with sacred articles.

Have you ever been to a museum?

Did you notice the signs around the exhibits that say: "Please, do not touch!"?

The museum invites the public to view and enjoy its many displays, but it cautions visitors not to touch or tamper with the exhibits, so they will not be ruined.

The articles used for the service of HaShem in the Beit HaMikdash are holy and precious.

We are commanded to take care of them and handle them with the utmost caution. We must use them only for the specific purpose as the Torah instructs us.

Negative Mitzvot 86 - 88 caution us not to tamper with, change or remove various articles that are used in the Beit HaMikdash.

Negative Mitzvah 86: It is forbidden to remove the poles from the rings of the ark
Exodus 25:15 "The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it"

The "Aron", the "Ark of the Covenant" contained the Torah and the Ten Commandments.

This ark was placed in the "Holy of Holies".

Sometimes, the ark had to be moved or carried.

In the Mishkan, the temporary Sanctuary in the desert, the ark had to be transferred as the Jewish people moved from one place to another.

In the Beit HaMikdash, there were also times that it had to be moved.

Rings were placed on the sides of the ark and two long poles were inserted through the rings.

When the ark had to be moved, the poles were lifted in order to carry it. We are commanded not to remove the poles from these rings, even when the ark remains in one place.

One who returns from the darkness must bring of it with him and convert it t/ light. He must exploit his experience to surge higher and higher with greater strength.

Therefore, the one who returns from a distance is greater than the one who was always close. What matters is not so much where you stand, but with what force you are moving in which direction.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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