"...for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person." Mishnah_Yoma.8.9

IIRC the Torah does not make any distinction between Mitzvot.

  • What is the origin of the division between interpersonal (בין אדם לחבירו) and God-related (בין אדם למקום) Mitzvot?
  • What are the criteria for the division?
  • Did anybody attempt to systematically classify the 613 Mitzvot by those criteria?

Please assume the question is not self-evident, for example, murder, physically hurting others, honoring parents, Tzedakka, etc.

  • 1
    You want to know where Chazal got that distinction? Seems like it's part of the Oral Torah....
    – robev
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 17:59
  • 4
    "What is the origin of the division" You quoted a Mishnah where that distinction is mentioned, you're not going to find much sources earlier than that. Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 20:41
  • It would be interesting to have a list of places in Tanach where someone asks mechilah from another person, and see if any of those instances can be seen as evidence that they would have suffered divine punishment otherwise.
    – Derdeer
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 9:46
  • @Derdeer are there any places in Tanach where someone asks mechila from someone else? If you can't find one, and ask as a question, I'll put up the bounty
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I don't know the first source that explicitly makes that distinction, but generally speaking the first place where that distinction is noted in the commentaries is the two luchos containing the Ten Commandments. The first tablet has five commandments that are between man and G-d, and the second has five commandments that are between man and his fellow man. (Honoring one's parents is considered a commandment between man and G-d because the parents are partners with G-d in creating the person.)

It is important to note that a law that is בין אדם לחבירו is also בין אדם למקום, because it is G-d's commandment. As the Gemara in Yoma says, a violation of interpersonal laws needs forgiveness from both the offended party and G-d.

There is a kuntres by the Mabit called Iggeres Derech Hashem that divides the mitzvos between those two categories. It was published with a commentary Derech Moshe. I received a copy as a gift, so I don't know where it is available, if it is.

  • 1
    You can access it on Hebrewbooks -hebrewbooks.org/52558 and the newer version with the Derech Moshe commentary is available in any good sefer store eg - seforimsets.com/index.php?route=product/…
    – Dov
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 8:30
  • @Dov I downloaded it but it's very short and I don't see anything that gets us any closer to an answer.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 10:14
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    @AlBerko I was just following up his point of him not knowing anything about the sefer's availability, in the hope that it would be helpful...
    – Dov
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 10:49
  • 2
    It answers the last bit about if anyone classified the mitzvos by these criteria. It is short, but the mitzvos are divided into two parts.
    – N.T.
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 12:13
  • This is the correct answer. @AlBerko it might be of interest that part of this - the standard answer - is that there is no primary difference between them. Adam L'chavero is still Adam L'makom, it just is a special case.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 15:21

Isaiah seems to differentiate between the two excoriating Israel for focusing on "bein adam lamakom" while neglecting "bein adam lichaveiro"

ישעיהו א

(יא) לָמָּה לִּי רֹב זִבְחֵיכֶם יֹאמַר י"י שָׂבַעְתִּי עֹלוֹת אֵילִים וְחֵלֶב מְרִיאִים וְדַם פָּרִים וּכְבָשִׂים וְעַתּוּדִים לֹא חָפָצְתִּי. (יב) כִּי תָבֹאוּ לֵרָאוֹת פָּנָי מִי בִקֵּשׁ זֹאת מִיֶּדְכֶם רְמֹס חֲצֵרָי. (יג) לֹא תוֹסִיפוּ הָבִיא מִנְחַת שָׁוְא קְטֹרֶת תּוֹעֵבָה הִיא לִי חֹדֶשׁ וְשַׁבָּת קְרֹא מִקְרָא לֹא אוּכַל אָוֶן וַעֲצָרָה. (יד) חׇדְשֵׁיכֶם וּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם שָׂנְאָה נַפְשִׁי הָיוּ עָלַי לָטֹרַח נִלְאֵיתִי נְשֹׂא. (טו) וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶם כַּפֵּיכֶם אַעְלִים עֵינַי מִכֶּם גַּם כִּי תַרְבּוּ תְפִלָּה אֵינֶנִּי שֹׁמֵעַ יְדֵיכֶם דָּמִים מָלֵאוּ.

(טז) רַחֲצוּ הִזַּכּוּ הָסִירוּ רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם מִנֶּגֶד עֵינָי חִדְלוּ הָרֵעַ. (יז) לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה . .

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