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Ma'alot HaTorah: Counting the 613 Print E-mail

MitzvotThe 25th of Cheshvan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham, brother of the Vilna Gaon, author of Maalos Hatorah (1807): Behold, even the great early authorities debate the 613 Mitzvot. Even the later authorities who follow the Rambam argue over what is counted  and what is not.

I heard from my brother the Gaon that it is impossible to say that there are only 613 Mitzvot! This would mean that there are only three Mitzvot from the beginning of the Torah until Parshat Bo. Plus there are numerous portions that have no Mitzvot according to the list of 613.

In truth, each and every word expressed by the Almighty is a Mitzvah onto itself. There are far too many to count. A person with an eye of the intellect, and a heart of understanding could practice Torah and Mitzvot every second of his life.

The 613 are roots that expand into numerous branches. In truth, most is hidden from us; which are roots, which are branches. Each word of the Torah and each Mitzvah connects to all the others. This is why the Torah is called a Tree of Life. Its leaves are countless. (Ma’a lot HaTorah)
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