The Greatest Commandments Part 1

For the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating a little Torah-related project to take on: arrange all the commandments in the Torah in a hierarchy of derivation. Example

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. (Deut 6:5)
Keep His commandments and walk in His ways. (Deut 28:9)

In the above hierarchy, the Deut 28:9 commandment derives from the Deut 6:5 commandment. In the end, we’d turn all 613 commandments of the Torah into a tree-like hierarchy, certain commandments expounding on others, all hanging on 2 particularly special ones…

Why do this, you ask?

I’m inspired by the Messiah’s answer to the rabbis when they asked,

“What is the greatest commandment in all the Torah?”

Yeshua replied:

“'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

If all the commandments in the Torah hang on these 2 commandments, wouldn’t it be interesting to see a visual tree of commandments hanging on these? That was my inspiration. I thought it would be a great learning experience, and an entertaining set of blog posts to map out a hierarchy of all the commandments and discuss them along the way. And in the end, we’d get something useful to boot.

As far as the mighty google can tell, there is no such commandments hierarchy on the whole big and wide Intarwebs. And while it wouldn’t surprise me if it was done before in print, I haven’t been able to find any such hierarchy of commandments.

I’m pretending to be the first to do this. ;-)

I’m going to do this in a diagramming tool like Visio or possibly a designer tool like Expression Studio. But for easy starters’ sake, behold my glorious MSPaint creation! Version 1 of the commandments hierarchy:

[commandments hierarchy]

Yeah, so something like that.

I expect it to take maybe a year or two to map them all out in a meaningful, deriving way. Should be a fun project!


  1. Very interesting. I guess a good secondary project after that would be to then take the commandments from the New Covenant Scriptures and place them in the trees as well. Not that I am trying to give you more work. :)

    I will be looking forward to seeing your progress.

  2. This reminds me of b.Makkot 24a - see

  3. Visualizations = very cool. Keep it coming, Judah!

  4. This is awesome Judah. Be blessed in your undertakings achi. Shalom, shalom.