"The Torah which Moses commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob" (Deuteronomy 33:4). This verse teaches us that from the moment a Jewish child is born, he acquires an infinitely abundant inheritance; the entire Torah belongs to him. Our Sages explain that this verse also serves as the source, which teaches us the exact number of Mitzvot. When we add up the letters of the word "Torah" we reach a total of 611. Moses conveyed Torah, 611 Mitzvot, to the Jewish people. The first two of then ten commandments "I am the L-rd, your G-d," and "You shall not have any other gods before Me," we heard from G-d, Himself, at Mount Sinai. Thus, there are a total of 613 mitzvot which the Jewish people are commanded to observe. There is a very close bond between these mitzvot, "the Torah which Moses commanded us," and Jewish children. Before G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He demanded guarantors for this valuable treasure with which He has promised to entrust them. The only guarantors He was willing to accept were the Jewish children. Thus, it is the Jewish children's study and observance of these mitzvot which ensure our people's continued connection with the Torah. This set of books was composed with the intention of clearly outlining these mitzvot and describing them in a manner that will allow a youth or child to conceive of them in terms he can relate to.
by Malka Touger
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