The Mitzvot (Commandments)
the Jewish religion and adherence to its laws varies in levels depending on
personal knowledge, commitment, and point of view. The fundamental blueprint of
the religion according to the orthodox perspective is based on the 613 Mitzvot
or 613 Commandments (Hebrew: תרי"ג מצוות; Taryag mitzvot; TaRYaG is the acronym
for the numeric value of "613"), listed in the Torah (Bible).
The exact composition of the 613 commandments varies among the sages, but the
majority accept the compilation by the "RAMBAM" or "Maimonides," that is Rabbi
Moshe ben Maimon.
Of the 613 commandments, 248 are "positive commandments," commands to perform
certain actions, and 365 are "negative commandments" commands to abstain from
certain actions. According to some traditions, the 248 positive commands
correspond to the number of bones and significant organs in the human body and
the 365 negative commands corresponded to the number of tendons and ligaments
and to the number of days in a year.
Of the 613 mitzvot, there are only three commandments that require adherence, no
matter what, even if one's life is at stake. Those are the negative commandments
prohibiting murder, idol-worship, and forbidden relations. In all other
instances, when there is a question of a life at stake, saving a life takes
precedent to the mitzvah. For example, a doctor, an ambulance driver, a security
guard in places of danger, are all obligated to violate the Shabbat in order to
protect and/or save lives.
more about the Mitzvot
• 248 Positive Mitzvot
• 365 Negative Mitzvot
Encyclopedia of the Taryag Mitzvoth 1 by Rabbi Dovid Wax
The Encyclopedia of Taryag Mitzvot 2 - The Ten Commandments by Rabbi Dovid Wax
The Taryag Mitzvah Cards - #1-24 by
Rabbi Dovid Wax