The Chasam Sofer to parshas Nasso says (Toras Moshe I, ד"ה ושמו שמי) that it is known that even though the Ten Commandments contain all the 613 mitzvos (see Rashi and here), the three mitzvos that were first commanded are not included. These are (1) pru urvu/be fruitful and multiply (2) milah/to circumcise one's sons (3) not to eat from the gid hanasheh/sciatic nerve.

I personally have never heard of this idea. Who says it, besides the Chasam Sofer?

I checked to see if Rav Saadya Gaon, who lists how the 613 are included in the 10 in his poem known as Azharos (see link above), excludes these three. I also used Rav Perla's commentary on Rav Saadya Gaon's list of mitzvos.

Pru Urvu:

Rav Perla points out (Aseh #69, Volume I p. 281) that Rav Saadya Gaon doesn't even count the mitzvah of pru urvu in his list of mitzvos, let alone put it in his Azharos. Rav Perla however holds that Rav Saadya holds like the Rosh (Kesubos 1:12), that there's no mitzvah of kiddushin. Rather, kiddushin is just a possible means to fulfill one's mitzvah of pru urvu. Therefore, he explains the mitzvah that Rav Saadya counts (in the dibbur of לא תנאף) which sounds like kiddushin to be referring to pru urvu.


Rav Perla points out (Aseh #31, Volume I p. 176) that Rav Saadya counts milah in his Azharos under כבד.

Gid HaNasheh:

Rav Perla didn't mention that the sciatic nerve wasn't included in the Azharos, and I didn't double check to confirm.

  • 3
    He seems to be understanding that the purpose of them being included in the Aseres Hadibros was to give all of the remaining 610 Mitzvos to Kelal Yisrael, and the first 3 were already given. Rashi, who mentions 613, seems to explicitly disagree. Excellent Q! May 25, 2018 at 11:39
  • The command to circumcise a son on the eight day is repeated in Leviticus 12:3 and could be seen as part of the mitzvot given to Israël. On the other side one could wonder if the commandment to be fruitful and multiply does or doesn't contain the command to control the earth (Bereshit 1:26).
    – Levi
    Feb 25, 2019 at 8:33
  • @Levi Procreation is also repeated (Devarim 5:27).
    – DonielF
    Nov 8, 2019 at 19:35
  • It's a big chiddush to me. Especially because the Rambam to Perek Gid Hanashe says that even if the mitzvah was given before Matan Torah nowadays we keep it because of Matan Torah.
    – N.T.
    Dec 31, 2023 at 15:21
  • I'm debating if I should post this as an answer, but in the latest edition of Toras Moshe, which has hundreds of footnotes, they cite the source for the Chasam Sofer's claim that the 613 mitzvos are included in the Ten Commandments, but fail to find a source about these three mitzvos specifically. This implies that this is the Chasam Sofer's idea.
    – robev
    Dec 31, 2023 at 20:45


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