I recently heard that there were 613 mitzvot (prohibitions/commandments to do good deeds) in Judaism. Questions of interpretation aside, is there a handy-dandy compilation of them somewhere on the web?
Extra credit question #1: Are the 613 mitzvot only in the Torah (AKA the “Pentatuch”, the first five books of the Bible)? Or are they throughout the TNKH (AKA the “Old Testament”)? I’ve heard that there’s some kabbalistic thing about the Torah being divided up in the same number of columns as there are postive mitzvot (clothe the naked & feed the hungry, that sort of thing). If the 613 mitzvot come from the whole TNKH, then why would the Torah be organized such?
Extra credit question #2: What is the difference between the Jewish TNKH and the Christian Old Testament. I know that the TNKH has the book of Macabees, but what else is different?
Extra credit question #3: Do the N, K, and H parts of the Jewish Bible (I don’t know the Hebrew words, sorry) have the same degree of authority as the Torah in Judaism? From what I can tell, the Torah is considered extra special because it is believed that it was given whole to Moses by G-d. But what about the rest, is it considered as holy? I think perhaps so, because it is read as the Haftarah in services. If it is not considered as holy, then do the mitzvot in that portion count toward the 613?
There are two main views on the exact listing of what those 613 are. There is Maimonides, who wrote (amongst other things) “Sefer HaMitzvot,” “The Book of Commandments.” And then there is the “Sefer HaChinuch,” the “Book of Education.” There are versions of these available in English, as well as a book I have at home called, sinply, “The 613 Mitzvot.”
No, this number is only what is in the Torah, or Pentateuch. The other books of the Bible teach ethical precepts, and expand on laws already mentioned in the Torah, but no laws originate in the other books.
Reverse that: the Christians consider Maccabees part of the OT, but Jews do not consider it holy.
I don’t know what other differences there might be. HEre is a list of the scriptures that Judaism recognizes as holy, and a Christian poster can tell us what’s on his list that isn’t amongst the following:
Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Neviim (Prophets, what you referred to as “N”): Joshua, Judges, Samuel I and II, Kings I and II, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi)
Khetuvim (Writings, which you referred to as “KH” - one letter in Hebrew, not two) - Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles I and II.
It is holy…for example, scrolls of those books must be treated with the same standards of holiness as scrolls of the Torah. As mentioned earlier, there are no original mitzvot in those books, only ethical lessons and details of mitzvot already given in the Torah (but perhaps not explained in as much detail).
I don’t know if there is a compilation of them on the web
The 613 mitzvos only come from the Pentatuch. Scriptural support for some details can come from the other parts of the Jewish Bible, but all 613 are found in the Pentatuch.
As for the Torah having the same number of columns… a sofer (scribe) has great lattitude in how to write a Torah. There are a few rules that must be adhered to, but, for the most part, he is free to make each column any number of lines within a certain range (of which I don’t know off the top of my head). As such, the number of columns in each Torah can vary.
Most Christian denominations include the Apocrypha. In addition, the ordering of books is different (in most Christian Bibles, for example, Ruth comes after Judges. In Hebrew Bibles, it is part of Kesuvim and much later on.
Lastly, due to translations and interpretations, chapter and verse numberings may be slightly different.
Extra credit question #3: Do the N, K, and H parts of the Jewish Bible (I don’t know the Hebrew words, sorry) have the same degree of authority as the Torah in Judaism? From what I can tell, the Torah is considered extra special because it is believed that it was given whole to Moses by G-d. But what about the rest, is it considered as holy? I think perhaps so, because it is read as the Haftarah in services. If it is not considered as holy, then do the mitzvot in that portion count toward the 613? **
The entire Jewish Bible is holy. The Pentatuch (according to Orthodox Jews) was dictated to Moses word for word by God. The rest of the Bible was written in the words of the author of that particular book.
As mentioned above, none of the 613 mitzvos are derived from the rest of the Bible.