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|Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos|
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule
Positive Mitzvot 191, 214;
Negative Mitzvot 311, 58;
Positive Mitzvah 221;
Negative Mitzvot 263, 264
Positive Mitzvah 191: Preparing for War
Deuteronomy 20:2 "And it shall be when you come near to the Battle the priest shall approach and speak to the people"
The army base was very busy with activity.
An air raid on unfriendly territory was scheduled that night.
Arms were distributed, equipment was double checked, instructions were handed down and the soldiers were training in a mock attack.
Officers were marking targets on their maps and the plan was being finalized.
The Priest, is commanded to stand before the troops and prepare them for combat.
He encourages and inspires the soldiers to put their trust in HaShem and fight with courage.
He excuses weak and nervous soldiers from combat duty because they might spread fear and panic among the other soldiers.
The Torah also releases certain other soldiers for various reasons.
A grand wedding was taking place around a mountain in the Sinai desert.
Everyone had heard the engagement announcement and many had witnessed the "shower" of gifts and special attention given to the bride to be.
All were excited and anxious about the upcoming event.
The Shofar was blowing the wedding tune, the skies themselves "flashed" with lightening, as if taking pictures, and a heavenly fire accompanied the bridegroom to the chuppah.
It was Matan Torah - the giving of the Torah.
HaShem, the bridegroom, was joined by the bride, the Jewish nation, united by the wedding ring, the Torah, that was being presented to them.
This holy union serves as a model for all Jewish marriages throughout the generations.
At that time, HaShem instituted laws and rules (expressed by the Mitzvot 213 - 214, 216 - 220 ) that enable every Jewish marriage to reflect that original sacred bond.
Positive Mitzvah 214: A Newly Married Couple
Deuteronomy 24:5 "He shall be free at home one year and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken"
Shimi moved into a new neighborhood.
He had left his old friends and now had to make new ones.
His mother suggested that he invite one of the neighborhood children to play with him.
"But I hardly know him!" Shimi complained.
"Well," coaxed his mother, "if you invite him to play you'll share each other's company. The more time you spend together, the better you'll get to know one another and become good friends."
A newly married couple needs time to get used to one another.
The Torah commands that the husband remain at home during the first year.
He should not set out on long journeys. He is excused from certain military service.
He should not take upon himself responsibilities that will call him away from home for lengthy periods (see Negative Mitzvah 311). He is to spend much time at home, sharing his wife's company.
In this way, he will bring joy to his home.
Negative Mitzvah 311: It is forbidden to assign military service or any other duties to a bridegroom in his first year of marriage
Deuteronomy 24:5 "Neither shall he be charged with any business"
The Torah tells us that a bridegroom must be excused from the army during the first year of his marriage.
He should be free to concentrate upon setting up his home and creating a pleasant atmosphere for his new wife. (See Positive Mitzvah 214).
We are cautioned not to assign any military service or any other duties to him during this first year of his marriage.
Negative Mitzvah 58: You shall not fear during a time of war
Deuteronomy 7:21 "You shall not be terrified by them"
When a Jewish soldier is called up to the battlefront, he should trust in HaShem. He should realize that he is fighting for the sake of the Master of the Universe.
The Jewish soldier is commanded not to fear the enemy. He must gather all his courage and rely on HaShem to protect him.
Whoever retreats from the enemy because of fear violates this Negative Mitzvah.
Positive Mitzvah 221: Women Captives of War
Deuteronomy 21:11 "And you see among the captives a beautiful woman"
This Positive Mitzvah concerns the laws which apply if a soldier desires to marry a non-Jewish woman captured in war.
Negative Mitzvah 263: It is forbidden to sell an unwanted woman- captive of war
Deuteronomy 21:14 "You shall not sell her for money"
This Negative Mitzvah applies to a specific situation which may occur during wartime.
If a Jewish soldier sees a woman among the captives of a non-Jewish city and wants to marry her, he must follow the Torah's instructions for doing so (see Positive Mitzvah 221).
If he later decides not to marry her, he is forbidden to sell her as a servant.
Negative Mitzvah 264: It is forbidden to take the woman-captive as a servant
Deuteronomy 21:14 "You shall not treat her as a slave"
In regard to the woman captive (see above Negative Mitzvah 263), the soldier is also not allowed to take such a captive and make her his maidservant.
A rebbe knows his chassidim as one knows his own eyes and ears and fingers and toes. A chassid feels his rebbe as one feels the beating of his own heart.
After the Rebbe's wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, daughter of the previous rebbe of Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchaak Schneersohn, passed on, the Rebbe began to spend more and more time at the "ohel"-- the burial site of the previous Rebbe. The Rebbe would stand there for many hours, with an almost empty stomach, reading people's letters to him and saying psalms.
On the 28th of Nisan, 5751 (1991), the Rebbe returned from the ohel, said the evening prayers, and began to speak to the crowd, In the midst of his talk, completely unexpectedly, came the following words:
"...As we are talking about the geula so much at this time, a disturbing question arises: How is it possible that, despite everything, we have not yet achieved the advent of Moshiach? This is entirely beyond comprehension!
And another distressing issue: Many Jews are gathered together, and at such an opportune time for the geula -- and nevertheless they do not storm the gates and demand Moshiach immediately! It is not inconceivable to them that, G-d forbid, Moshiach may not come tonight...or tomorrow...or the next day -- G-d forbid!
Even when they do cry out, singing and shouting, "How much longer?!", they do this only because they have been told to do so. But if they would mean it and cry out truthfully, there is no doubt Moshiach would already have come!
What more can I do so that all the Jewish People should cry out sincerely and thereby make Moshiach real? After all that I have done, nothing has helped. And the proof: We are still in exile. And most important, in an inner spiritual exile.
The only thing I am able to do is hand the matter over to you. Do everything you can -- in a way of the "Lights of Tohu", but into the "Vessels of Tikun" -- to bring Moshiach into our reality immediately.
May it be His will that, eventually, there will be ten Jews that will stubbornly resolve to wrestle and demand of G-d -- and certainly they shall succeed -- to bring the immediate redemption, as it is written, "...for they are a stiff necked people and so You shall pardon our sins and our wrongdoings and make us Your possession."
So I have done my part. From this point on, do whatever you can. And may it be His will that there will be one of you, or two, or three, that will come up with a suggestion of what to do and how to do it. And especially -- and this is the main thing -- that you should actually accomplish it and bring the true and complete geula immediately, right now, and out of joy and a good heart.
After the Rebbe spoke these words, a great spirit of inspiration swept through Lubavitch. For the next eleven months the Rebbe spoke every week on the topic of Moshiach and encouraged every person to study whatever he or she could about the geula, and to do whatever could be done to publicize the matter.
After eleven months, the Rebbe cleared his desk, went to the ohel, and fell there from a major stroke. Although unable to speak more than a few words, he continued providing guidance and counsel from his bed and armchair. Two years later to that very same day, the Rebbe suffered another stroke. Three months and a few days afterwards, the Rebbe passed on.
The Rebbe believed in our orphaned, post-holocaust generation. We won't let him down.
"So I have done my part. From this point on, do whatever you can."
From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - firstname.lastname@example.org
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