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Numbers Don’t Count

Numbers Don’t Count

Rabbi David Wolpe quotes an Israeli scholar saying that, because we have have over 100 mitzvot about economic justice and only 24 about kashrut, we are taught that we should be at least equally concerned about the former (“Business Ethics,” Dec. 2).

However, just as the Torah is not structured in chronological order (Ein mukdam umuchar BaTorah), it is also not based on the weight of numbers. After all, there are about 100 mitzvot concerning the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), animal sacrifices, Kohanim, Levites and gifts to them, yet since we don’t have the Temple today they are all inoperative. Indeed, a central commandment of the Torah is to love thy neighbor as thyself, yet mentioned but once in the Torah and in only three Hebrew words.

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