Let My People Know

"No Jew can expect to keep all of the mitzvot"

“According to tradition there are said to be six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Torah.

This, however, is misleading in a number of respects.

For one thing, many of the positive commandments—that is, mitzvot that obligate one to perform certain actions—along with many of the prohibitions, are not actually concerned with life but refer either to the general structure of the whole of the Torah or to the Jewish nation as a body.

No Jew, therefore, can expect to keep all of the mitzvot.

Actually, only a small number of the mitzvot relate to daily life, though if one adds to the formal list of mitzvot all the minute details that are not specifically included, one arrives at a sum of not hundreds but thousands of things that are to be done at certain times and certain places and in a special way.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Thirteen Petalled Rose, p. 113, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz