I continually see Rosh Chodesh identified as "the first mitzvah in the Torah".[1] I recognize that it is the first mitzvah given to Am Yisrael as a nation. But there are three mitzvot that precede it in the Torah: 1) To be fruitful and multiply; 2) brit milah; and 3) not to eat the sinew of the thigh-vein. So why does rosh chodesh carry the title of "the first mitzvah in the Torah" as opposed to "the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people"? Many thanks and Pesach Kasher v'Sameach. Shavua tov.

[1] There are many such examples on-line and elsewhere. One example, from the Orthodox Union's Torah Tidbits: "Parshat HaChodesh: Discovering the Meaning of the First Mitzvah according to Rav Kook zt"l With the setting of the sun on Shabbat afternoon in Jerusalem, students of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva would gather to hear the words of their master Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook zt"l...these talks were transcribed...One Shabbat...Rabbi Kook addressed the significance of the Torah's first mitzvah: Sanctifying the new month.."

  • Clearly it isn't the first mitzvah (in the loose sense of the word) because we also the 7 mitzvos bnei noach. The word here seems to mean "Mitzvah" capital M -- a commandment given to the Jewish people exclusively and in the form of a command. – rosends Apr 7 '19 at 11:48
  • 2
    @rosends I’ll give you procreation and Bris Milah, which weren’t given to the Jewish people exclusively, but according to R’ Yehudah, at least, Gid HaNasheh should satisfy your definition. – DonielF Apr 7 '19 at 13:03
  • 1
    "I recognize that it is the first mitzvah given to Am Yisrael as a nation." Why isn't that a sufficient answer? – Salmononius2 Apr 7 '19 at 15:11
  • @DonielF I don't recall that the gid was presented as a commandment but an explanation ("therefore they don't"). – rosends Apr 7 '19 at 17:01
  • @rosends In terms of how it’s phrased, yes, but according to R’ Yehudah that’s indicative that Hashem commanded Yaakov and his sons at that time not to eat the Gid. (Rashi could very well be going like the Chachamim that it’s just put in the place of the incident it recalls, but that it was taught later.) – DonielF Apr 7 '19 at 17:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .