In the introduction to Sefer HaChinuch, the author delineates what he feels are six constant mitzvos from the 613.

מששה מצות מהן שחיובן תמידי לא יפסק מעל האדם אפי' רגע בכל ימיו. ואלו הם. א' להאמין בשם. ב' שלא להאמין לזולתו. ג' ליחדו. ד' לאהבה אותו. ה' ליראה אותו. ו' שלא לתור אחר מחשבת הלב וראיית העינים.

From them are six mitzvos that their obligation is constant; a person shouldn't desist from them for even a moment their entire life. And they are: 1) to believe in Hashem 2) to not believe in another deity 3) to unify Him 4) to love Him 5) to fear Him 6) not to stray after the thoughts of our hearts or the sight of our eyes.

I suppose there are others one could ask from, but the mitzvah of והלכת בדרכיו, that we should imitate Hashem's traits, seems to me to be a constant mitzvah. The Chinuch himself in Mitzvah 611 writes:

מצוה ללכת ולהדמות בדרכי השם יתברך - שנצטוינו לעשות כל מעשינו בדרך הישר והטוב בכל כחנו, ולהטות כל דברינו אשר בינינו ובין זולתנו, על דרך החסד והרחמים

It is a Mitzvah to walk and resemble the ways of the Holy Blessed one - as we are commanded to perform all actions in a manner of goodness and integrity with all our strength. To turn aside all our words that are between us and beside us, towards of kindness and compassion

It sounds like everything a person does has to be acting like the traits of Hashem. Now I admit most of his list seem to be "deos", mindsets, yet the last one can be related to actions just like Mitzvah 611. In Mitzvah 387 the Chinuch writes:

שלא לתור אחר מחשבת הלב וראית העינים...שלא ירדף האדם אחר מראה עיניו, ובכלל זה שלא נרדף אחר תאוות העולם הזה, ...וזהו שאמרו זכרונם לברכה (ברכות יב, ב) ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם זו מינות, ואחרי עיניכם זו זנות

We are not to follow the whims of our heart and the lusts of our eyes...Similarly, a person should not pursue the things that one sees, principally meaning earthly desires, ...The Sages expressed this in their statement (Berachot 12b), "'Do not stray after your hearts' refers to apostasy. 'After your eyes' refers to licentiousness.

To me, "pursuing" includes actions, not just thoughts. (Note the gemarra we have mentions only thoughts of licentiousness, but the Rambam quotes the Sifrei that has the girsa the Chinuch quotes, just licentiousness, and it could be what the Chinuch really quoting). One could maybe argue that who says a person has to do anything at all? But I feel like people are constantly thinking, and it's possible to think in ways that aren't in line with this mitzvah. I don't know if it's mentioned that the mitzvah applies to thoughts, but it would make sense to me.

Bottom line: Why didn't the Chinuch include this?

  • 1
    Similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/64934/759 – Double AA Sep 4 '17 at 4:26
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    @DoubleAA your first comment on the question you linked to seems to indicate that walking in his ways (maybe what the OP is asking about in his reference to ("the mitzvah of והלכת בדרכיו, that we should imitate Hashem's traits,") IS a constant mitzvah. – rosends Sep 4 '17 at 13:25
  • because it is not a constant mitsva but a variable mitsva for which values change following the situation. – kouty Sep 4 '17 at 19:12
  • I have a sefer where the author adresses this question in it – TrustMeI'mARabbi Sep 5 '17 at 23:09
  • @TrustMeI'mARabbi which sefer and why not post what he writes as an answer – robev Sep 5 '17 at 23:13

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