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Taryag - the 613 Mitzvot

Hebrew Word of the Week


Hebrew letters are sometimes used to express numbers. For example, Aleph stands for 1, Bet for 2, and so on.  The word “Taryag” (pronounced tar-YAHG) is a numerical acronym for the number 613:

Tary''g Mitzvot

You add the value for Tav (400) to the value for Resh (200) to get 600, and then you add the value of Yod (10) and Gimmel (3) to get 13. Adding these numbers together yields 613. Note the gerashayim in the letters.

“Taryag Mitzvot”
According to the Ramba’’m (Moses ben Maimonides (1135-1204), a medieval Jewish philospher), 613 commandments (mitzvot) are given for the observant Jew to obey (there are other lists besides Rambam’s, but his list is perhaps the most popular). 248 of these are positive commands and 365 are negative ones. The positive mitzvot are said to equal the number of parts of the body; the negative mitzvot correspond to the number of days in the solar year.


Many of the enumerated mitzvot concern ritual and ceremony that can only be obeyed within the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood and the ancient Temple functions. That is, ever since the Diaspara of the Jewish people, it has been literally impossible to fulfill all of the Torah’s righteous demands....

Jesus the Messiah kept all of the taryag mitzvot, and He is the only One who ever did. Therefore, being sinless, He became the only true Mediator between God and Man. As a result, Jesus became the only High Priest who could offer Himself up as the true kapparah (Sin-Bearer) of the world.

“Therefore God has also highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Adonai), to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:6-11).


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