The works Sefer Mitzvos Gadol and Sefer Mitzvos Katan have very similar names, but I never assumed the connection went far beyond that.

Then, I saw a Beis Yosef (Yoreh Deah 194) which, in explanation of an omission of the Sefer Mitzvos Katan, says that he depended on the fact that the Sefer Mitzvos Gadol mentioned it.

What is the relationship between the two works such that one would rely on being understood in the context of what is said by the other?


1 Answer 1


The Sma"k (written by Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil) is an abridged version of the Sma"g (written by Moses ben Jacob of Coucy) including additional agaddic and ethical material.

See also here p. 9

The Sma"k is based on the Sma"g but targets a wider audience, to this effect it includes few sources and focuses on the final decisions. Furthermore it includes discussions of ethics and homiletics.

Last from artscroll introduction to Sefer Hachinuch (in vol 1)

from intro to artscroll Sefer Hachinuch

  • 1
    Would be nice if someone had access to the hakdama and could share how the author of the sma"k himself describes the link between both
    – mbloch
    Dec 31, 2015 at 5:59
  • 1
    @mbloch, per your request... The author of the S'mak says that book is to make one familiar with what mitzvoth they are required to involved with during his time, meaning exile. It is divided into 7 Amudim with 1 Amud to be read each day. But he says that in order to learn how to actually do those mitzvot one should go to the Semag. The format is completely different. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=40641&st=&pgnum=3 Jan 11, 2016 at 18:11
  • 2
    @mbloch, here is the hakdama to the Semag. He says that his purpose was to compose a book divided into2 volumes, one of the positive mitzvot and one of the negative mitzvot. And to show how the mitzvoth are to be done and give brief reasoning behind each mitzvah. He says this is to fix what Rambam left out of his book, Mishnah Torah. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=22640&st=&pgnum=13 Jan 11, 2016 at 18:26
  • @YaacovDeane wonderful, many thanks, will also be excellent reference for future readers
    – mbloch
    Jan 11, 2016 at 20:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .