Monday, October 27, 2008

613 Jewish Commandments

I am always motivated to improve my understanding of my personal faith - Judaism. While I differ from all four of the major denominations on some of the issues and practices my core belief is consistent with the basic tenents of Judaism. Intellectualy I would describe myself as existing in a space most closely defined by the Masorti/Reform overlap. However I have used my rationalism to define a pathway of my own making.

The following is where I stand with respect to the first 51 commandments....I will get to the next 562 in due course.

The 613 commandments and their source in scripture, as enumerated by Maimonides:
1. To know there is a God Ex. 20:2 - Agree and follow
2. Not to entertain thoughts of other gods besides Him Ex. 20:3 - Agree and follow
3. To know that He is One Deut. 6:4 - Agree and Follow
4. To love Him Deut. 6:5 - Agree and Follow
5. To fear Him Deut. 10:20 - Not as often as I perhaps should
6. To sanctify His Name Lev. 22:32 - Room for improvement here
7. Not to profane His Name Lev. 22:32 - Ditto
8. Not to destroy objects associated with His Name Deut. 12:4
9. To listen to the prophet speaking in His Name Deut. 18:15 - I fall short here
10. Not to test the prophet unduly Deut. 6:16 - Not very succesful here
11. To emulate His ways Deut. 28:9 - I try to but often fail
12. To cleave to those who know Him Deut. 10:20 - Do poorly here
13. To love other Jews Lev. 19:18 - Love may be too strong a word in my case
14. To love converts Deut. 10:19 - See 13
15. Not to hate fellow Jews Lev. 19:17 - Not even Noam Chomsky? Norman Finkelstein?
16. To reprove a sinner Lev. 19:17 - Easier said than done
17. Not to embarrass others Lev. 19:17 - Not so good when it comes to embarrasing enemies
18. Not to oppress the weak Ex. 22:21 - Agree and follow
19. Not to speak derogatorily of others Lev. 19:16 I have awareness of this fault...ongoing project
20. Not to take revenge Lev. 19:18 - Agree in principle not always in practice
21. Not to bear a grudge Lev. 19:18 - Same as 2o
22. To learn Torah Deut. 6:7 - Working on this
23. To honor those who teach and know Torah Lev. 19:32 - What about Rabbi Dovid Weiss?
24. Not to inquire into idolatry Lev. 19:4 Agree and follow
25. Not to follow the whims of your heart or what your eyes see Num. 15:39 My ongoing daily challenge...not easy at all
26. Not to blaspheme Ex. 22:27 Agree and follow
27. Not to worship idols in the manner they are worshiped Ex. 20:5 Agree and follow
28. Not to worship idols in the four ways we worship God Ex. 20:5 Agree and follow
29. Not to make an idol for yourself Ex. 20:4 Ditto
30. Not to make an idol for others Lev. 19:4 Ditto
31. Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes Ex. 20:20 I can't say I follow this
32. Not to turn a city to idolatry Ex. 23:13 Agree and follow
33.To burn a city that has turned to idol worship Deut. 13:17 Can't say I have done this
34. Not to rebuild it as a city Deut. 13:17 Ditto
35. Not to derive benefit from it Deut. 13:18 Ditto
36. Not to missionize an individual to idol worship Deut. 13:12 Ditto
37. Not to love the idolater Deut. 13:9 Ditto
38. Not to cease hating the idolater Deut. 13:9 If the idolator is a Jew does this contradict #15?
39. Not to save the idolater Deut. 13:9 What about saving the idolator from further idol worshipping?
40. Not to say anything in the idolater's defense Deut. 13:9 What about Freedom of Religion?
41. Not to refrain from incriminating the idolater Deut. 13:9
42. Not to prophesize in the name of idolatry Deut. 13:14 Agree and Follow
43. Not to listen to a false prophet Deut. 13:4 One reason I don't like Barack Obama
44. Not to prophesize falsely in the name of God Deut. 18:20 Fair Enough
45. Not to be afraid of killing the false prophet Deut. 18:22 I won't go that far.
46. Not to swear in the name of an idol Ex. 23:13 Agree and Follow
47. Not to perform ov (medium) Lev. 19:31 Agree and Follow
48. Not to perform yidoni ("magical seer") Lev. 19:31 What about Scientific Illusion?
49. Not to pass your children through the fire to Molech Lev. 18:21 Seems obvious
50. Not to erect a pillar in a public place of worship Deut. 16:22 Not my schtick anyway
51. Not to bow down on smooth stone Lev. 26:1 Agree and Follow
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