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Jewish Ritual Objects: a guide


Jewish practice involves a number of special objects, referred to as ritual objects or Judaica. Many people like to use, or even collect, beautifully crafted objects, honoring the concept of hiddur mitzvah, beautification of the mitzvah.

The objects in this document are listed in alphabetical order.

Jewish Ritual Objects – a guide


Mitzvah: A Commandment


There are 613, not just 10, commandments, or mitzvot.

One often hears someone Jewish saying, “It’s a mitzvah!” usually referring to a charitable, beneficial act performed by another person. However, the Hebrew word mitzvah does not mean “a good deed” in that sense.

Mitzvah literally means “commandment.”  In fact, Jewish tradition understands exactly 613 mitzvot (plural of mitzvah) to be derived from the Hebrew Bible. The 613 are listed in Maimonides‘ Sefer Hamitzvot (Book of the Commandments), divided into “positive” and “negative” commandments.

The 613 commanments