Positive Commandment 54 Rejoicing on the Festivals
"And you shall rejoice on your festival"—Deuteronomy 16:14.
The primary element of this mitzvah is the obligation to bring a Peace Offering (in addition to the Chagigah Peace Offering), known as the Simchah Peace Offering.
Also included in this mitzvah is the obligation to rejoice in a variety of ways. This includes eating meat, drinking wine (which is a paramount obligation), wearing new clothing, giving fruits and sweets to the women and children, and the Simchat Beit Hashoevah ("the Celebration of the Water Drawing") in the Temple that featured music and dancing.
The Torah requires us to include in our rejoicing the needy, the poor and the converts.
"Sanctify to Me every firstborn, every one that opens the womb among the children of Israel among man and among animals"—Exodus 13:2.
We are commanded to sanctify all male firstborn kosher cattle and livestock – i.e., to separate and designate them to do with them as commanded in the Torah.
The kosher firstborn is given to the priest. The animal is sacrificed in the Temple, its blood sprinkled on the altar, its fats offered thereon, and its flesh consumed by the priests.
Only a firstborn in the land of Israel can be brought as a sacrifice. Outside of Israel, the animal is still holy, but can only be eaten by a priest if it becomes blemished [as it is unfit for sacrifice].
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