Negative Commandment #158

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Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (The concise book of mitzvos) By the Chofetz Chaim

This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today

Second Section – the Negative Commandments

158. It is a negative commandment “do not go against the words of the Great Court”

As it states in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:11, “do not go against the word that is told to you to the right nor to the left.” Included in this is all of the laws passed down from our Sages of blessed memory which are found in the Talmud. Anyone who believes in Moshe, our teacher, and his holy Torah is required to base his observance of the faith on their words and to rely on them. This rule applies to words that are learned orally (which is the Oral Torah), words that are derived through one of the rules by which the Torah is interpreted, and to words that were instituted as fences to protect the Torah. It is written in Sefer HaChinuch, “regarding obligation – we are required to listen to the words of the Sages of previous generations and to our great Rabbis who have Torah wisdom and to the judges in our generation.

This applies in all places and at all times, for men and women. A person who transgresses this and makes a breach in a fence in one area that our Sages taught us from the Torah has violated this prohibition.