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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Commandments: The 613 Mitzvoth of the Totrah elucidated in English (2 vol.) » User review

This is an excellent transaltion with notes by a very competent scholar

  • Jun 1, 2010
Rating:
+5
According to a tradition mentioned in the Talmud, but not in the Torah itself and disputed by many scholars, the Torah contains 613 commandments, 365 positive commands and 248 negative commands, equal to certain bodily organs and the 365 days in the solar calendar. While the author of this sermon, and it is called a sermon in the Talmud, used his calculation to teach that Jews should observe all the biblical commands with all their body every day, most Jews have accepted the numbers as true.

There were various attempts prior to Maimonides (1138-1204) to identify the 613 commands and pin-point which were part of the 365 and 248, but all the pre-Maimonides attempts failed, especially since they included such post-biblical commands as the holiday of Chanukah.

Maimonides' list contains the biblical verses that the talmudic rabbis used to support what he identified as a biblical commands. Maimonides included an explanation of each command and Chavel, the translator, added more explanations.

Chavel is a well-known scholar and his translation and comments are superb.

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About the reviewer
Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #63
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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Wiki

This two-volume set is the most authoritative English translation of Moses Maimonidess Sefer HaMitzvoth (Book of the Commandments). In this, one of his major works, Maimonides explains the basic principles used in determining which precepts were to be included in the taryag (613) mitzvoth, then lists and comments on those commandments. Providing an encyclopedic knowledge of rabbinic literature, this work is a brilliant presentation of the most fundamental teachings of Judaism.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0900689714
ISBN-13: 978-0900689710
Author: Maimonides
Publisher: Judaica Press

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