The 613 Commandments of Moses
I was pleased to be given the opportunity to review this DVD set. There is great value in studying the Torah from many angles. So often, we focus on the weekly Torah portion, which is a wonderful way to get familiar with Torah, the foundation of the Bible. My First Torah is a great way to give your children a great start in the Torah portions. But it is also important to understand what YHVH requires of us. He is our Master and we are happy to serve Him. We would do well to take the time to study the commands found in Torah. I remember printing out a list of the 613 commands for my husband, Doug. He sat down with his Bible and went through verse by verse, command by command, making notes as he went. His first time through, he made notes like – only for Jews, doesn’t apply. The second and third time through, he realized that he was wrong. Torah is for everyone who wants to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This study was so beneficial to him. It grounded him in Torah and helped him to better understand YHVH.
Now you can study the 613 commands in a very accessible way. The 613 commands were compiled by men, but I feel their study is extremely beneficial. Hebrew thought is based on action, and a study of the commands helps us to focus on action. So, on to this wonderful DVD set! This set is made up of two discs, each with their own benefits.
Disc one consists of an impressive musical slideshow. Each command is set on top of a beautiful nature photograph. As you watch the scenery and read the commands, you will be listening to Handel’s Messiah! I found this disc helpful not so much for indepth study, but to introduce the commands in a very enjoyable way. I played them on Shabbat morning while the kids were getting up. They were drawn in by the lovely pictures of animals and scenery and the readers began reading the commands outloud. This form of learning is what I would call osmosis. It’s not really an official study, but the words and thoughts are getting in their brains. I found myself reading them and pondering the wording, or thinking – hmm, I need to look that one up. Here is a video to give you an idea of what the first disc is like.
The second disc is extremely helpful to do a systematic study of the commands. If you go to chapter selection, you will find the commands broken up into categories. You will find commands regarding YHVH, agriculture, feast days, etc. Each command is set on a scroll, very readable, with the verse reference and footnotes at the bottom. It is designed to use your pause button and take the time to discuss each command. We have been using disc 2 to start our school day. We work through about 3 commands a day. We look up any words that might be new or confusing such as hallowed. We look up the verses on the bottom of the screen. Then we discuss what we think the command means, how we can live it out, example situations etc. I’ve been very pleased at the ideas and understanding they are demonstrating. Again, this study is helping them to be more focused on action. We need to know the stories found in Scripture, but we also need to know how we are to live as a result.
A few things to keep in mind:
I did find a few verse references that had the wrong verse number, but not to be concerned. I was able to find the correct verse in the closely surrounding verses. This is good, because I ended up reading more Scripture and taking a look at context. 🙂
Some of the wording of the commands reflects the views of those that compiled the list. You may or may not come to the same conclusion after reading the verse. That’s okay, too! You are getting in Scripture and learning to think for yourself! Your children need to learn this skill as well, and it is best learned with your help.
Here is a video that gives you an idea of what to expect from disc 2.
As you become familiar with Torah yourself, and pass this knowledge on to your children, studying the commands is a valuable activity. These DVDs are a remarkable tool to help you learn. The DVDs come in a set, which you can order by downloading this order form and mailing it in. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity. 🙂
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this DVD set with no strings attached. This review consists of my own honest opinion.