Mitzvah, part 2

Mitzvah, part 2

Last week, we looked at the word mitzvah (Hebrew, מִצְוָה) which is used over 180 times in the Hebrew Bible. The definition of mitzvah literally is commandment, fulfilling a commandment of HaShem. But theTorah Scroll word connotes much more — they are opportunities to partner with the Holy One, to walk according to His commandments, to express our gratitude to Him by our actions.

There are 613 laws/commandments, mitzvot (the plural form of mitzvah), in the Hebrew Bible. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? However, according to “Dake’s Study Notes” by Finis Jennings Dake, there are 1050 commandments in the New Testament alone!! Does this seem overwhelming?

The best-known of the 613 laws of the Bible are the Ten Commandments (in Hebrew,  עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדְּבָרִים literally the “Ten Words”). Even as the Ten Commandments are divided in the positive (“Thou shalt…”) and the negative (“Thou shalt not…”), rabbis have divided the 613 into 248 positive and the 365 negative ones.

According to the Chabad website, only 369 mitzvot (126 positive + 243 negative) of the 613 apply to us today. Why? Because we live outside of Israel and the Temple (Beit HaMikdash) is no longer standing. According to Sefer Hachinuch (in English, Book of Education), there are 6 mitzvot which remain with us constantly. Rabbi Ari Enkin notes that these 6 apply to each of us every day.

The Six Constant Mitzvot are:

(1) To believe in God
(2) To reject the possibility of any other god(s)
(3) To believe in His complete Oneness/that God is one
(4) To fear Him
(5) To love Him
(6) To not stray after forbidden desires/do not be misled by your heart nor your eyes.

How do these mitzvot apply to me as a 21st century American believer? His Word declares the answer in Proverbs 19:16, NASB: “He who keeps the commandment (mitzvah), keeps his soul. But he who is careless of conduct, will die.” (In Hebrew: שֹׁמֵ֣ר מִ֭צְוָה שֹׁמֵ֣ר נַפְשֹׁ֑ו בֹּוזֵ֖ה דְרָכָ֣יו). Our L-rd Himself stated: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love,” John 15:10, NASB.


“Your ways, O G-d are amazing! You are wondrous! We declare You are our G-d, our One and only L-rd. We exalt You above all else. Bless those who have lost loved ones, give them peace; heal those who are hurting physically or emotionally. Right the wrongs that are being done. Bless Israel, Your land – bring Your peace. Turn Americans’ hearts to You. We bless You our heavenly and holy Father. In Your mighty Name, we pray.”


IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:  

  1. Pray for Israel!
  2. Protection of the persecuted church.
  3. Pray for the emotional turmoil of many around us.
  4. Unspoken: prayer for wisdom and favor. That truth, victory, and peace will reign.
  5. Prayer for wisdom and favor as we encounter suffering people.
  6. Tere & her family: (her mom’s funeral). Please pray for peace, love, unity.
  7. Phyllis DeLacio (her brother passed away). Please pray for strength and words of wisdom.
  8. Connie: healing; successful surgery.
  9. Pregnant daughter (Debbie in Houston): prayer that complications will absolve and that baby and mother will be healthy
  10. Maxine: traveling mercies
  11. Marita (Israel): health and renewed vitality
  12. Cynthia (who’s relocated to Louisiana, near family): favor for a job, healing for her sister, godly relationships
  13. PJ: total body healing.
  14. Jobs: Pamela, Norman G., PJ, Natan and his new military assignment.
  16. REVIVAL in Arizona
  17. FRIENDS: many of our friends are hurting physically and emotionally.
  18. FAMILIES & MARRIAGES: strong, healthy and Christ-centered; spiritual, mental, and emotional healing. God will bring families together. Spirit of division will cease. Family relationships healed! Family members who are far off will return and serve God.
  19. PRAYER FOR OUR SOLDIERS: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally whole!
  20. Protection of believers all over the world.
  21. Encouragement for the heavy-hearted
  22. Paul: total restoration including walking.
  23. Dan & Sara (Art’s son and daughter in law): come together spiritually and emotionally – wisdom and favor for Art.
  24. Bevin (Les’a’s friend’s husband): physical and emotional healing.
  25. Jessica (Lori & Jim’s daughter): return to the God of her youth – the God of her parents.
  26. John: health and vibrancy