Heard from someone that מצוה, commandment, is associated with the Aramaic word צוותא, connection or togetherness.

In addition, Rabbi Moshe Zeldman says, "The word Mitzvah is often translated as commandment... The Rabbis point out that the word within mitzvah is tzav which means connection."

Does anyone know where the source for these can be found?

  • @Chiddushei_Torah please provide Aramaic TaNaKH passages that uses צוותא
    – ninamag
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:31
  • Anybody here speaks Arabic? It says in the following online definition that "Arabic wasa" (meaning "he bound, united") is "related" to the word mitzvah. Just want to know if anybody sees a similarity of letters of mitzvah to wasa? I don't see a similary, unless there is a transposition that took place: wasa from mitswa, perhaps. [mitzvah (n.) Jewish rabbinical commandment, 1640s, from Hebrew mitzwah "commandment, precept," from base of tziwwah "he commanded," related to Arabic wasa "he bound, united."] source: etymonline.com/word/mitzvah#etymonline_v_17352
    – ninamag
    Aug 30, 2018 at 5:23

2 Answers 2


The Shlah writes this in Yoma:

ולשון מצוה - צוותא, כענין שאמרו (ברכות ו ב) כל העולם לא נברא אלא לצוות לזה.

Additionally, the Sfas Emmes writes this (Parshas Eikev: 632):

ומצוה לשון צותא וחיבור כמ"ש במ"א

  • Other Chassidic sources such as the Meor Einayim state this as well.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 4, 2015 at 4:40
  • Firstly, Thank you very much! Secondly, can you send me link for the Shlah and the Sefas Emes that you quoted to me? Aug 5, 2015 at 0:55
  • @ChiddusheiTorah The Sh'lah is here on the first line of the second paragraph.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:32
  • @ChiddusheiTorah I cant find the Sfas Emmes on Hebrewbooks (it isnt OCRed yet) you can see the text on the online Bar Ilan (dont get your hopes up, it is only a teaser to get you to pay for a full version) by entering the words of the Sfas Emmes here. you will need to make an account (free) to view the whole text. Even that will need to be refreshed every ~30 seconds.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:45
  • @mevaqesh please provide a rough translation for your above two line answer from Shlah and Sefas Emes.
    – ninamag
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:30

Chabad.org's "What Happened At Sinai" writes:

The word mitzvah (מצוה) and the word tzavta (צותא), meaning “together”, share the same root.

Chabad.org's source given is "Likkutei Torah, Parshas Bechukosai 45c"

I also found the same teaching in Tefillin written by Rav Aryeh Kaplan ZTZ"L:

"[…] The word mitzvah comes from a root meaning 'to bind'. Through the physical act of doing a mitzvah, we literally bind ourselves to G-d." (R. Aryeh Kaplan, Tefillin, OU/NCSY Publications, 2007, p. 44)

  • please provide Aramaic TaNaKH passages that uses צותא
    – ninamag
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:32

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