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|Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule
Positive Mitzvah 127, 128;
Negative Mitzvah 152
Positive Mitzvah 127: The First Tithe
Numbers 18:24 "But the tithes of the Children of Israel which they offer as a gift"
We are commanded to give a tenth of all the land's produce to the Levites.
The Levites were not given an inheritance of land as were the other tribes.
Instead, this share of our crop is considered their inheritance.
Since there are other types of "tithes," (which means: a tenth of the amount), this one is called: "The First Tithe."
Positive Mitzvah 128: The Second Tithe
Deuteronomy 14:22 "You shall surely tithe all the produce of your seed"
After the first tithe was given to the Levites, a second tithe had to be separated.
In certain years (See Mitzvah 130), this portion was to be taken to Jerusalem and eaten there.
When a Jew would arrive in Jerusalem and behold the Beit HaMikdash and the many centers for learning Torah, he would be inspired and resolve to commit himself and family to a proper Torah lifestyle.
If for some reason the fruit cannot be brought to Jerusalem, he may "redeem" the fruits by setting aside their value plus an added fifth.
At a future date, when he comes to Jerusalem, he must spend that money in the city on food and drink.
Negative Mitzvah 152: We are forbidden to spend the money of Ma'aser Sheini on anything but food and drink
Deuteronomy 26:14 "Nor given (of) it for the dead."
Ma'aser Sheini must be brought up to Jerusalem and eaten there.
A person may find it difficult to carry all his Ma'aser Sheyni to Jerusalem over a long distance.
In this case, the Torah allows that person to redeem his Ma'aser Sheini and use the acquired money in Jerusalem.
The Torah also allows him to use this money in Jerusalem at time that is convenient for him, (but no later than three years after he has redeemed his produce).
Upon reaching Jerusalem, he may buy food or drink with the money and then he must eat the food in Jerusalem.
This Negative Mitzvah cautions us not to spend this money on anything else but food and drink.
Life's challenges are isometrics for the soul. They force out its inner powers.
From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - firstname.lastname@example.org