Master 613 commandments


I would like to offer a $500 reward for whoever creates a comlete system to memorize the 613 mitzvos or commandments in the torah. The goal is to allow even 12 year old boys to memorize it within 2 weeks. If this is an impossible goal please forgive me. I have tried creating a peg list with 613 pegs based on the major system, but alot of the words were abstract. Please note there are various lists of the 613 and I need the list of the sefer Hachinuch. Thank you in Advance

(Josh Cohen) #2

The words in the commandments were abstract or the pegs were abstract?

Do you only want to memorize the commandments (this list?) or their locations in the Torah as well?


wow josh thanks for answering so fast. the pegs were too abstract, I like objects or people as opposed to concepts like love.
the you linked to is Maimonides list its close but I need the sefer hachinuch list. it begins with the commandment to have children. 1 great peg i loved was commandment 522 not to take someone else property which i made a peg as LENIN using major system but its quite time consuming and I think someone else can do it better hence the reward!

(Josh Cohen) #4

You can find more-concrete pegs. Use lava rather than love. Or turn love into an object or person, like a giant cartoon heart.

Check out the major system and PAO system wiki pages for example lists. I can’t easily link to them from my phone, but type those words into the search box above (only visible when logged in), and those wiki pages will be at the top of the results.


I suppose this may be a little bad, but reading the list of all 613 commandments, it seems to me that the most obvious mnemonic links would be to imagine that precise thing… e.g. “Not to entertain the idea that there is any god but the Eternal” I imagine a kid looking at Thor.
To hallow G-d’s name - My image is that of a piece of paper with God written on it, and all the people kneeling and bending over (that’s the usual image of hallowing or worshipping in my country).

But all this aside, I can’t help but think that these things would be extremely easy, but they require the children to do the things these laws forbid. If they are strongly religious, they could be offended simply by the images.

But nevertheless, I’ll try and work on it in my spare time, if this topic is still up-to-date.


to memorize in 2 WEEKS (without LOCI)

0 D
1 l (L)
2 n
3 m
4 R
5 S
6 C
7 T
8 B
9 g

0 O
1 I
2 U
3 E
4 A
5 u
6 o
7 i
8 e
9 a

consonant vowel consonant
0 0 0 = D O D
0 6 0 = D o D
he will associate twice an information to DOD. It is good - he is forced to review the first one

he will get only the idea of it.


day 0 - read everything
day 1 day read first 300 again and memorize 1-5
day 2 recite 1-5 memorize 6-10 recite all

day 21 recite 1-100 + memorize 101-105 and graduate on 1-5
day 22 recite 6-110 + memorize 106-110 and graduate on 6-10


*you can also use 2 as Z but it will give more work while creating images for 5 (S)

0 0 0 - D O D _ DODs is a rich woman
001 DOl can be dolly
002 DOn = DOnald
0 0 3 D O M - can be DOOM (hell from computer game)


What an interesting challenge! It seems to me there are at least a few parts to this.

  1. Convincing the boys that this will work.
  2. Coming up with a process that builds on successes.
  3. Extending the process to complete it
  4. Review/rehearsal.

Just brainstorming here.

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln.”

Just thought of ANOTHER first. Find a video, TED talk, movie, etc of people memorizing rapidly to let them know this really is possible, fun, and cool.

Then, I’d have my class do a tiny memory palace with 10 loci in it. Probably I’d build it right in a classroom or house at hand to make it concrete. We would actually walk around and touch the loci, say them out loud. We’d maybe link the Ten Commandments, something like that. The reason is that in my beginner experience it’s a lot easier to learn to hook to a concrete locus than it is to link to Peg’s, no matter how concrete, and FAR easier than the “Link” system. I’d lose the link between 482 and 483 and be lost. We’d maybe watch some cartoons, shout out our funny pictures to each other, etc to build the imagery skill. Bring in some laughter, camaraderie, etc. here. (Adultery will stick very well, I predict, as a former 12 year old.)

I’ve heard that memories stick better if you learn them in the place you’ll be tested. Do you have the young men recite these in any particular place, a particular room at home or in a synagogue or someplace else, and could they use that place as their Memory Palace? Just a thought.

Second I’d probably link the ten major keyletters to the first ten loci so they learn the Major letters. So first locus might have a big broad colorful necktie, second I’d use Noah for these kids, third probably Ma, etc. If I’d used the Ten Commandments I might put the big necktie on G-d for the first commandment.

I note the comment about using G-d’s name; I’m an unclean Protestant who eats bacon and would never have thought of that! If it is a problem what about using Dog? There are all kinds of jokes about the dyslexic agnostic who worried all night if there was a Dog! Use Dog with a necktie for number one. Use Noah busting up an Easter Island stone idol for 2. Fairly quickly they get all ten commandments and Major numbers at once.

Next I think I’d have to experiment with my class on how to grow this. Would I build a bigger palace with the class? Walk around the synagogue and place loci out loud with the class? Link Major Keywords to the loci alone first? (That’s how I did it to learn the 100 Major words I have, and it has had all kinds of unexpected positive bonuses.) Or would it be better to combine a Law with a Major word right up front? Or maybe build twenty more loci and Major words, learn them, visualize them, then add the first 20 laws, then 20 more etc?

If you have a very bright class that takes to it, you might be able to grow the Palace/Loci very quickly but I’d say be careful to build on successes. Build in some margin.

For rehearsal, you could get the guys to quiz each other, get them using Anki to add some spaced repetition, etc.

This is hardly a “proposal” worth your $500. It is just my thoughts after a couple of months working part time on Mnemonics. I wish you and your class nothing but blessings and success in this project!

Doc Jim


Thank you m4iler for your interest and help. I do realize that the image of the forbidden act is the most natural way to remember and I don’t think it would be a problem for them religion wise. The only thing is I would like them to be able to say what number represents what commandment. say I would ask them what is commandment 522 they would remember Lenin and say "oh you cant steal someones property "

Thanks jmsmall .I could not stop laughing from the dog idea !!! I will explore anki and see how to use it . thanks for such a wonderful post !!!


I have a complete system. I’m actually doing it right now! Thats how I found this blog. I search “memorizing mitzvos” because I wanted to see how others were doing it.

I’m basically using the Rambam. Right at the beginning of sefer Meida, he lists all the mitzvos, first by dividing them by Sefer (Meida, ahavah, zmanim etc) and then within each sefer, he divides them into hilchos (Yesodei Torah, Deios, T.T. etc etc)

The idea is: Chew and swallow (and don’t choke)…in other words,

Keep breaking 613 into smaller and smaller chucks which are chewable, only swallow if youve broken into chewable pieces (just like hopefully we do when we actually eat)

For example, what I did is:

First memorize the 14 books (Meida, Ahava, zmanim). Which is fairly easy. I even made a song, and I sang it so many times, I really dont have to think about it anymore, I know it forwards and backwards. (If thats too hard try doing 7 books at a time…meaning first memorize the first 7 books and then the next seven books)

Then once you have that down solid, then memorize the Hilchos within each Sefer, which is also chewable because thats only around 5-7 things to memorize at a time.

Again the key is to only have to memorize 5-10 things at a time and have those things connect to the things you have previously solidified.

Once you have memorized all 14 books, and the hilchos within each book (and make sure you have those down really really well!!!), then start memorizing the mitzvos within each Hilchos.

The Klal is like this, if there are more than around 6 or seven Mitzvos within a hilchos, then break them down into groups of 6 or 7.

For example In sefer Meida, Hilchos Avoda Zara V’chukos HaGoyim, there are 51 mitzvos. That is FOR SURE not chewable. So what do you do? Turns out that those 51 mitzvos very nicely group into 6 groups and the Mitzvos within those 6 groups fit very well with each other which makes them easy to remember. (i.e. the 10 mitzvos related to a Meidiach and a Meisis are all related to eachother)

So after you break that group of 51 into 6 groups, Then slowly start memorizing each group on its own, not moving to the next group until you perfect the current group.

Just another Yesod to help you along, When you trying to group mitzvos together to make them into chewable groups, they dont have to DIRECTLY relate. They can indirectly relate. Meaning, dont be afraid to make your own relation between 6 or 7 mitzvos even if they seem to have no relation.

I have found Much hatzlacha with this method and Im loving it!

If you have questions feel free to email me directly! [email protected]

Also since all 613 are broken up into 14 books, I recommend reviewing all 613 ever 2 weeks (14 days). One book a day. To keep it sharp.

Also always remember like the gemara says in Megilla Daf 6, that remembering Torah is siyatta dishmaya!


Funny. The first thing I did when I finished reading Moonwalking With Einstein was tell my wife that I wanted to take off two hours to memorize as many of the the 613 commandments as I could (I probably wouldn’t have gotten that far especially considering how inexperienced I was. Unfortunately my kids went crazy and my wife needed my help and that didn’t happen. Is this offer still valid? Maybe I’d give it a go now.

(Paul Camacho) #12

I usually start by memorizing 10… Once committed to memory i add ten more and commit… And so on… Make sure to rehearse the new total a few times before addeding ten… This usually works for me for anything… 663 things… I might be able to do that in 2 days