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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 13 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

13 - PLANTING TREES WITHIN THE SANCTUARY


Deuteronomy 16:21 -- “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God.”

This prohibition forbids planting trees within the sanctuary* or beside the altar for purposes of adornment and beautification, even for the worship of the Lord.

* I.e. within the Sanctuary Court (Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Abodath Kochabim VI, 9

This prohibition served as the basis for an important rule in connection with the building of the Temple. Thus: “It is forbidden to erect wooden colonnades within the Temple, like those in courtyards, although they are built structures and not planted trees.” The prohibition is an “extreme precaution” (i.e. a very rigorous application) of the commandment under consideration. Hence, “all the colonnades and cornices projecting from the Temple walls were of stone and not of wood.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Abodath Kochabim VI, 10

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