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Deuteronomy Chapter 16
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16:1 Safeguard the month of standing grain so that you will be able to keep the Passover to God your Lord, since it was in the month of standing grain that God your Lord brought you out of Egypt at night.
16:2 In the place that God will choose to be dedicated to His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover offering to God your Lord [along with other] sheep and cattle.
16:3 Do not eat any leaven with it. As part of [the celebration] you shall eat matzah for seven days. This shall be hardship bread, since you left Egypt in a rush. You will then remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life.
16:4 No leavening shall be seen with you in all your borders for seven days. Do not let the flesh that you sacrificed in the evening of the first day remain overnight until morning.
16:5 You may not slaughter the Passover offering in any of your settlements which God your Lord is giving you.
16:6 The only site where you may sacrifice the Passover offering is in the place that God will choose as a site designated in His name.

There you shall sacrifice it in the evening, as the sun is setting, at the time of year that you left Egypt.

16:7 You shall cook it and eat it in the place chosen by God your Lord, and then you may turn around in the morning and return to your tents.
16:8 For six [additional] days you shall then eat matzah, with the seventh day as a retreat dedicated to God your Lord, when you may not do any work.

16:9 Then count seven weeks for yourself. From the time that you first put the sickle to the standing grain, you must count seven weeks.
16:10 You shall then celebrate the festival of Shavuoth to God your Lord, presenting a hand-delivered offering according to the extent of the blessing that God your Lord has granted you.
16:11 You shall rejoice before God your Lord in the place that God your Lord shall choose to be designated in His name. You [shall rejoice along] with your sons, your daughters, your male and female slaves, the Levites from your settlements, and the proselytes, orphans and widows among you.
16:12 You must remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and thus carefully keep all these rules.

16:13 When you bring in the products of your threshing floor and wine vat, you shall celebrate the festival of Sukkoth for seven days.
16:14 You shall rejoice on your festival along with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, and the Levite, proselyte, orphan and widow from your settlements.
16:15 Celebrate to God your Lord for seven days in the place that God will choose, since God will then bless you in all your agricultural and other endeavors, so that you will be only happy.
16:16 Three times each year, all your males shall thus be seen in the presence of God your Lord in the place that He will choose: on the festival of Matzahs, on the festival of Shavuoth, and on the festival of Sukkoth. [In those times] you shall not appear before God empty-handed.
16:17 Each person shall bring his hand-delivered gift, depending on the blessing that God your Lord grants you.

Judges and Justice
16:18 Appoint yourselves judges and police for your tribes in all your settlements that God your Lord is giving you, and make sure that they administer honest judgment for the people.
16:19 Do not bend justice and do not give special consideration [to anyone]. Do not take bribes, since bribery makes the wise blind and perverts the words of the righteous.
16:20 Pursue perfect honesty, so that you will live and occupy the land that God your Lord is giving you.

Sacred Trees and Pillars
16:21 Do not plant for yourself an Asherah [or any other] tree near the altar that you will make yourselves for God your Lord.
16:22 Do not erect a sacred pillar, since this is something that God your Lord hates.


  Adjusting the lunar calendar so that Nissan remains in the spring (Rosh HaShanah 21a; Yad, Kiddush HaChodesh 1:1).

along with other sheep and cattle
  (Ramban). Or, 'sacrifice sheep as the Passover offering, along with the cattle' (Targum; Sifri; Rashi). The other animals are the special festival offering, known as the Chagigah. This consisted of a peace offering (Yad, Chagiga 1:1).

cook it
  That is, roast it, as in Exodus 12:9 (Ibn Ezra; Bachya).

return to your tents
  Around Jerusalem (Ibn Ezra). Or, on the morning of the second day of Passover (ibid.).

  After the first day (Chizzkuni; Abarbanel). Or, 'For six matzah, and then the seventh....' (Ralbag; Abarbanel).

  See Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35.

Then count...
  See Leviticus 23:15.

  Chermash in Hebrew; see Deuteronomy 23:26 (Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint). This is the sickle used to cut the omer (Targum; Sifri; Rashi).

  'Weeks.' See Exodus 23:16, 34:22, Leviticus 23:15, Numbers 28:26.

according to
  Or, 'sufficient for' (Rashi; Rashbam; Radak, Sherashim). Missah or missath in Hebrew. Or, 'as a donation' (Ibn Ezra; Bachya). Or, 'as a tax,' indicating that the Chagigah must be taken from an animal that is the absolute property of the person bringing it, and not an animal that has been previously sanctified (Chagigah 8a).

  'Shelters.' See Exodus 23:16, Leviticus 23:34, Numbers 29:12.

  Shot'rim in Hebrew. Officers to enforce the dictates of the courts and judges (Sifri; Rashi). See Deuteronomy, 1:15. Also see Exodus 5:6.

for your tribes
  Since members of one tribe may not go to the court of another (Sanhedrin 16b). Therefore, even if there are two tribes in a city, each must have its own court (Tosafoth ibid. s.v. Shoftim). Some translate this verse, 'for all your tribes [and] in all your settlements' indicating that besides the city courts, there must also be tribal courts (Ramban). Others translate it, 'in all thhe settlements that giving you for your tribes' (Saadia).

Do not bend justice
  See Exodus 23:6, Leviticus 19:15.

perverts the words...
  See Exodus 23:8.

  See Exodus 34:13. Or, 'grove' (Septuagint; cf. HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Some say that any tree planted at the entrance to a house of worship is called an Asherah (Lekach Tov; Ramban).

or any other
  (Mizrachi; cf. Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 6:9).

sacred pillar
  Some say that it is a monolith used for sacrifices (Rashi; Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative 44). Others say that it is a structure built as a focus for worship (Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 6:6; Ralbag; Chinukh 493). See Leviticus 26:19.

that God your Lord hates
  Although it was common in the time of the patriarchs (Genesis 28:18, 31:34, 35:14, Exodus 24:4), by this time, such sacred pillars had become identified with idolatrous practices (Sifri; Rashi). However, some say that the patriarchs did not use the pillars for sacrifices, but merely as a sign (Abarbanel). It is for this reason that it is permitted to erect a monument for the dead (Midrash HaGadol).

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