Shirei Mitzvos – A Poem on Taryag Mitzvos By Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz
The 613 Mitzvos are the centerpiece of our heritage, our purpose in the world, and the creation of man and the world surrounding him. In the spirit of Shavuos we will introduce The Shirei HaMitzvos, a poem by Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz on all the Taryag Mitzvos. Each line of the song describes, in poetic fashion, one of the Taryag Mitzvos. The mitzvos in this work are listed according to the Sefer HaMitzvos of the Rambam. First the 248 mitzvos Aseh, and then the 365 mitzvos Lo Saaseh.
Aside from the beautiful verses that make this poem a masterpiece, the structure of the poem is laid out in a fascinating manner. Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz divides the mitzvos into seven sections (88 mitzvos per section) to correspond to the seven days of the week. He suggests saying one section every day, enabling the reader to go through all Taryag Mitzvos each week. It is said that there is a special Kabalistic Segula for Parnassa to say it at the table during your meal.
Each day’s poem is done in a different order of the Aleph Bais, with each of the four lines beginning with the same letter. So, for example, the first 88 mitzvos are ordered in a simple ascending Aleph Bais. The verses for each of the first four mitzvos begin with the letter Aleph. The next four begin with the letter Bais. By time you have gone through the 22 letters letter of the Aleph Bais you have covered the first day’s mitzvos; all 88 of them. Each day follows this same theme, only the order of the Aleph Bais changes. The second day uses “At Bash” where the order is the Aleph then Tuf, then Bais and Shin, and so on. Seven days, seven orders, all Taryag Mitzvos. It is worthwhile to go through them on Shavuos.
Each day can be dowloaded from our Taryag Mitzvos/Shirei HaMitzvos section where we provide the orginal version as well as a parallel english version.