Religion Past and Present

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(324 words)

[German Version]

The Hebrew term mitzvah (“law,” pl. mitzvot) denotes a central and basic concept of Judaism that characterizes and appropriately expresses Jewish religiousness. The extremely frequent use of the term in Hebrew and Yiddish religious, philosophical, and literary texts points to the significance of the concept of mitzvah in Judaism from antiquity to the present day. The term mitzvah is not only used for biblical and rab-binic laws and regulations, or good deeds done by one person to another; it refers much more widely to the basic stance of obedi…

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Hezser, Catherine, “Mitzvot”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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