Seph. /meets vah", mits-/; Eng., Ashk. /mits"veuh/, n., pl. mitzvoth, mitzvot, mitzvos Seph. /-vawt"/; Ashk. /-vohs/, Eng. mitzvahs. Hebrew.
1. any of the collection of 613 commandments or precepts in the Bible and additional ones of rabbinic origin that relate chiefly to the religious and moral conduct of Jews.
2. any good or praiseworthy deed.
Also, mitsvah.
[miswah commandment]

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also spelled  Mitsvah (Hebrew: “commandment”),  plural  Mitzvoth, Mitzvot, Mitzvahs, Mitsvoth, Mitsvot, or Mitsvahs, 

      any commandment, ordinance, law, or statute contained in the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and, for that reason, to be observed by all practicing Jews.

      The Talmud mentions 613 such mitzvahs, 248 mandatory (mitzwot ʿase) and 365 prohibitive (mitzwot lo taʿase). Many more (some virtually equated with divine law) have been added throughout the ages on the authority of outstanding rabbinical leaders, such as reciting the Hallel (specific psalms) at prescribed times, reading the Book of Esther on Purim, washing the hands before meals, and lighting candles on certain festivals. Though nonobservance of a mitzvah constitutes a transgression (ʿavera), it is understood that not all mitzvahs are of equal importance; circumcision, for instance, is a direct response to a divine command, while the wearing of a skullcap (yarmulke) in public is not. In a broader context, Jews consider all good deeds as the fulfillment of mitzvahs, for such actions express God's will.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • mitzvah — (n.) Jewish rabbinical commandment, 1640s, from Hebrew mitzwah commandment, precept, from base of tziwwah he commanded, related to Arabic wasa he bound, united …   Etymology dictionary

  • mitzvah — [mits′və, mits vä′] n. pl. mitzvahs or mitzvoth [mitzvōt′] [Heb mitsva, lit., commandment < root cwh, to command, order] Judaism 1. a) a commandment or precept in the Bible or from the rabbis b) an act fulfilling such a command 2. loosely a… …   English World dictionary

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  • Mitzvah —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec matzevah (מצבה, monument ). Mitzvah (Hébreu: מצווה, ; pluriel, mitzvot) signifie prescription (de צוה, tzavah, commander ). Il s agit d une occurrence particulière au Judaïsme pour désigner soit les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mitzvah —    (MITZ vah) [Hebrew] In Judaism, a commandment, precept, or rule of conduct taken from the Bible or issued by a rabbi; any commendable or praiseworthy deed.    See also bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • mitzvah — noun (plural mitzvoth or mitzvahs) Etymology: Hebrew miṣwāh Date: 1650 1. a commandment of the Jewish law 2. a meritorious or charitable act …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mitzvah — noun a) Any of the 613 commandments of Jewish law b) An act of kindness …   Wiktionary

  • mitzvah — Synonyms and related words: act of grace, act of kindness, benefaction, benefit, benevolence, benignity, blessing, canon, code, commandment, convention, courtesy, dictum, favor, form, formula, general principle, golden rule, good deed, good… …   Moby Thesaurus

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