OU To Debut Mitzvah Program After Passover

22 Mar 2010

The Orthodox Union has long been helping those in the Jewish community access concise, daily lessons in Nach Yomi – the biblical books of Neviim (the Prophets) and Ketuvim (the Writings) – and Shnayim Mikra, an online Torah-study program that derives its name from “shnayim mikra v’echad targum,” the obligation to review the weekly Torah portion twice in the original and once in translation.. Now, the OU will focus on helping those in the community learn more about the 613 commandments of the Torah when it debuts its newest initiative, Taryag (the acronym for 613), which will allow people to sign up to receive daily e-mails with concise but insightful explanations of the commandments from the Torah.

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, OU Associate Director of the Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue Services, will author the daily e-mails, which will be presented in the order of the mitzvot of the Torah and will be sent out for 613 weekdays, excluding Jewish and some secular holidays. People will be able to sign up on the OU’s website at www.ou.org/taryag and will begin receiving the daily e-mails after Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the revelation of the Torah at Sinai. The public is encouraged to register for this program online during the Sefirat HaOmer period between Passover and Shavuot.

Rabbi Abramowitz declared, “Just as the Jewish people needed more opportunities to become familiar with Tanach and Shnayim Mikra, they should also have the opportunity to become better acquainted with the 613 commandments of the Torah. It’s not enough just to know how many mitzvot there are; we have to internalize them if we want to understand how they impact our daily lives.”

Rabbi Steven Burg, Managing Director of the OU said, “We’re so pleased to be able to offer this program. The Taryag mitzvot are one of those things that most people know far more about than they actually know. The Sefirah period, leading up to the holiday commemorating the Jewish nation receiving the Torah at Har Sinai (Mt. Sinai), is the perfect time to prepare ourselves for this undertaking.”

Rabbi Abramowitz will be utilizing the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos (Book of the Commandments) as he writes each daily e-mail; Sefer HaChinuch (the Book of Education) and Sefer Hamitzvos Hakatzar (the Abridged Book of Commandments) of the Chofetz Chaim are also sources that will be used.

Rabbi Abramowitz is the author of The Nach Yomi Companion, volumes 1 and 2, and The Shnayim Mikra Companion.

For more information, contact taryag@ou.org.