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yesh omrim

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21 September 2004

It’s interesting that the commandment “do not add to the thing that I have commanded you…” (Deuteronomy 4:2) comes right before Moses reminds the Israelites of how they sinned at Baal Peor. The midrash halakha explains that one violates this commandment by adding an additional text to one’s tefillin or adding an additional species to be shaken at Sukkot. But one could also see the behavior at Baal Peor, when some Jews added worship of an idol to their worship of God, to be the ultimate violation of that commandment.