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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 3.37:
What is the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol (The Semag)?


This title translates as "The Great Book of Commandments" and was written by Rabbi Moses ben Jacob of Coucy'. Rabbi ben Jacob lived in the first half of the 13th century, Coucy, France.

This work--usually designated by its acronym, the Semag--classifies Jewish law according to the traditional enumeration of 613 commandments. The work is divided into two sections. The first deals with the 365 negative precepts of the Torah, and the second with the 248 positive precepts. References to the Semag are by Section (Positive or Negative) and Commandment Number within each section.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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