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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule

Positive Mitzvah 173;
Negative Mitzvot 362, 364, 363, 365


  Day 335Day 337  

Positive Mitzvah 173: Appointing a King
Deuteronomy 17:15 "You may appoint a king upon yourselves"

When the Jewish people occupy and settle Eretz Yisrael, they are commanded to appoint a king to rule the nation.

This king is chosen by HaShem and the Torah guides him regarding how to conduct his kingdom.

He must lead the people in the way of HaShem and be dedicated to fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot.


Negative Mitzvah 362: It is forbidden to appoint a king who is not a naturally-born Jew
Deuteronomy 17:15 "You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother"

We are forbidden to appoint a person who is not a naturally-born Jew as a king over the Jewish people.


Negative Mitzvah 364: A king may not have many wives
Deuteronomy 17:17 "Neither shall he have too many wives"

The Jewish king must always concentrate on his people and their needs, always aiming to carry out his task of guiding the people in the ways of HaShem.

Having too many wives (In the past, people were allowed to have more than one wife), would surely distract him from his important duties.

The Torah forbids a Jewish king to marry more than the set amount of wives he is permitted to have.


Negative Mitzvah 363: A king may not accumulate horses
Deuteronomy 17:16 "But he shall not accumulate many horses"

Before modern means of transportation were invented, horses were an important asset to man.

Owning many horses was a sign of wealth and power.

The Jewish king must be a leader of noble character.

He should not be concerned with displaying his glamor and wealth.

He certainly does not need to maintain a herd of horses to boast of his power.

Rather, the Jewish king must be concerned with his country's affairs and his people's needs.

Most of all, he should try to guide his subjects in the path of HaShem.

The king may acquire as many horses as he needs for his army and public service. He may own a private horse for his own needs, but he is forbidden to accumulate many horses for grand display.


Negative Mitzvah 365: A king may not accumulate wealth for private use
Deuteronomy 17:17 "Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold"

The Jewish king sets an example for his people.

His royal palace and majestic court are not a mere display of his wealth and riches.

The splendor assists the king in establishing his kingdom, and demanding honor and loyalty from his subjects.

The Torah cautions the king to acquire only the necessary amount of possessions he needs for public service, for the army or personal use.

The royal treasury must provide for the kingdom's expenses, not for the king's private pocket!

The king is cautioned against accumulating wealth and possessions for his own greed.


The tzaddik connects you with your G-d -- and then gets out of the way.

-----------------

It is not so much that we need to be taken out of exile. It is that the exile must be taken out of us.

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


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