GOOD MORNING! Until I was 22 years old and started to learn in a yeshiva, I always thought that there were only 10 Commandments. I was surprised to find out that there are actually 613 commandments in the Torah. There are 248 positive commandments and 365 negative commandments (prohibitions).
There are some mitzvot (commandments) in which we are obligated once a year (i.e. blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah), mitzvot which are once a week (Shabbat) and mitzvot which are daily (prayer). There are also six mitzvot in which we are obligated every moment of the day.
In Hebrew, these are called The Six Mitzvot Temidiot - The Six Constant Mitzvot. If you would like to know more about the 613 commandments and the Six Constant Commandments, I highly recommend that you read the Aish Foundation Series in Spirituality - http://www.aish.com/spirituality/foundations - for depth and breadth. If you prefer a book, read Sefer HaChinuch (The Book of Education), Feldheim Publishers, available in English from your local Jewish book store, judaicaenterprises.com or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242.
While you are waiting in lines or waiting for an appointment, the Six Constant Commandments give you something to think about! After each mitzvah is its source in the Torah and its number in the Sefer HaChinuch.
For more on "613 Mitzvot" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
The Torah continues with the laws of physical and spiritual purity. The focus of this portion is upon tzora'as, a supernatural physical affliction sent to warn someone to refrain from speaking badly about others. The disease progressively afflicted home, clothes and then one's skin -unless the individual corrected his ways and followed the purification process stated in the Torah.
There are two types of speech transgressions: (1) Loshon Hora (literally "evil tongue")- making a derogatory or damaging statement about someone even though you are speaking the truth. (2) Rechilus (literally "tale bearing") - telling someone the negative things another person said about him or did against him. Check out http://www.chofetzchaim.com for daily lessons in Shmirat HaLoshon, proper speech - or ask at your local Jewish bookstore, judaicaenterprises.com or call toll-free to 877-758-3242 for books and tapes! Also, go to http://www.aish.com/stopLH for "The 10 Rules of Loshon Hora."
The second Torah Portion, Metzora, continues with the purification process for the metzora, the person afflicted with tzora'as and then the home afflicted with tzora'as. The portion ends with the purification process for discharges from the flesh.
* * *
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And God spoke to Moshe and Aharon saying, 'When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot and it becomes in the skin of his flesh the plague of tzora'as, then he shall be brought to Aharon the priest or unto one of his sons the priests'" (Leviticus 13:1-2).
What is the significance and meaning of these different types of tzora'as?
The Chasan Sofer comments that the different types of tzora'as are illustrative of reasons why people might speak against others:
1) Sais (a rising): A person might speak against others to raise his own stature.
2) Sapachas (a scab): A person might join (sipuach) a group of people who speak against others. In ordinary circumstances, he would not speak loshon hora, but to be sociable or to fit in, he would.
3) Baheres (a bright spot): A person might have done something against someone else, and in an attempt to exonerate himself, he speaks against that person. He clarifies (bahir) the reason for his behavior. If one is aware of the motivation for his speaking loshon hora, he can work on correcting himself.
The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, points out that from the severity of the tumah (spiritual uncleanliness) of the metzora (the person afflicted with tzora'as), we have an indication of the severity of loshon hora. This is the only type of tumah in which the person is required to stay entirely out of the camp or city where other people live.
If one is careful not to speak negatively about others, he may never have to whisper again!
CANDLE LIGHTING - April 24
(or go to http://www.aish.com/shabbat/candlelighting.asp)
Guatemala 6:00 - Hong Kong 6:29 - Honolulu 6:36
J'Burg 5:25 - London 7:55 - Los Angeles 7:13
Melbourne 5:24 - Mexico City 7:39 - Miami 7:30
New York 7:26 - Singapore 6:50 - Toronto 7:53
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Give your children these two things:
one is roots, the other, wings.
Mazal Tov to
Eli & Chana Lebovics
upon birth of a son
In Loving Memory of
Binyomin Yitzhak ben Meyer
Elaine, Sarah & Marc Ross
Rabbi Kalman Packouz
Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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