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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvot 95, 92;
Negative Mitzvah 209


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Positive Mitzvah 95: The Nullification of Vows
(The exact source for this commandment is considered a matter of question by our Rabbinic Sages.)

Sometimes, a person just cannot keep his promise or finds himself unable to fulfill his obligation. The Torah commands us to examine the situation. By dealing properly with the incident and judging the circumstances, it may be possible to absolve the vow.


Positive Mitzvah 92: The "Nazir" - Growing his Hair
Numbers 6:5 "And he shall let the locks of the hair on his head grow"

The Nazir is commanded to let his hair grow long during the entire time he has declared himself a Nazir.


Introduction to Negative Mitzvot 202-209

The "Nazir"

When a gardener wants to protect his vegetables, he builds a fence around his field.

The fence keeps harmful animals out of his garden.

He makes sure to shut the latch every time he enters or leaves and feels confident that nothing will harm his vegetables.

The same applies to us as Jews.

A person may begin to feel that he might make a mistake and not fulfill a Mitzvah properly. Therefore, he builds a "fence" to protect himself from anything that may cause him to disobey or not fulfill the Mitzvah.

That "fence" will keep out anything "harmful" to fulfilling the Mitzvah.

HaShem created many wonderful things in this world which He wants us to enjoy and use properly.

If used improperly they can cause us harm.

Take wine, for example:

HaShem gave wine a special delicate taste that makes a person feel good. He commanded us to use it for Kiddush or festive occasions. It adds to the holiday spirit. A person who drinks too much wine could become drunk and unable to think clearly. While in such a state he may do the wrong thing.

A person who is worried that even a bit of wine can cause him to become lightheaded and possibly lead him to sin, may decide to build a "fence" around himself. In this way he will protect himself from going against the Torah.

But how do you build a "fence" around yourself?

The person who wishes to do so, decides not to drink any wine or even eat grapes. The "fence" that protects him from possibly doing wrong, is his decision not to drink any wine at all.

A person who makes such a decision is called a "Nazir."

He abstains from wine and grapes for a certain amount of time. When that time is over, he must follow the Torah guidelines for ending his "Nazirite" period.

Although the Torah does not encourage us to avoid things which HaShem allows us to enjoy and use properly, still, the "Nazir" is appreciated for his good intentions and strong will.

The Torah regards him as special and commands him to stick to his decision, considering him holy during this period.

The following Mitzvot apply to the "Nazir," (see also Positive Mitzvot 92 and 93).


Negative Mitzvah 209: A Nazir may not cut his hair or shave
Numbers 6:5 "No razor shall touch his head"

A Nazir is not allowed to cut his hair or shave during the time of his Nazirite period.


Many who wrote to the Rebbe of their despair received an answer similar to the following:

Despair is the diametric opposite of everything in which we believe -- in other words: a denial of reality. It is a denial that there is a G-d who directs all of His creation and watches over every individual and assists each one in what he must accomplish...

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


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