When learning Halachic books from the Talmud through Rambam and Shu"A to Mishnah Berurah, one meets different levels of positive commandments that reflect different levels of obligation/strictness/importance/effort, such as

  • Mitzvah DeOraytah / Mitzvah DeRabannan / Positive deed / Accepted tradition etc.

Many different words are used, for example "וכך נהגים", "עושה אדם ...", "ויש לו ...", "מצווה עליו...", "חייב אדם...", "הורו רבותינו...", "התפשט המנהג / הדבר...", and more.

Theoretically, we could give each Mitzvah a score of "severity", for example, the obligation of reading Shemah precedes the obligations of its Berachot or Psukey Dezimrah in strictness. The Mishnah Avot (2,1) says "והוי זהיר במצוה קלה כבחמורה, שאין אתה יודע מתן שכרן של מצוות", so there are at least two sorts of Mitzvot - קלות and חמורות.

Roughly how many levels of strictness of "all good deeds" are there?

  • I do not agree with the downvote. Could you please give all the Hebrew terms for "Positive deed / Accepted tradition etc." as used in the sources you quote? What do you mean by "the languages (in Shu"A or MB) are very confusing" - can you give examples please? – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 7 '18 at 15:26
  • AFAIK d'rabbanans are not less important/exigent than d'oraisas. (According to some textual evidence, the contrary is true.) The only difference with drabbanans is that they can be more easily limited by those who are making the law. – SAH Aug 7 '18 at 17:47
  • @AvrohomYitzchok For example "וכך נהגים", "עושה אדם ...", "ויש לו ...", "מצווה עליו...", "חייב אדם...", "הורו רבותינו...", "התפשט המנהג / הדבר...", and more. – Al Berko Aug 7 '18 at 20:02
  • @SAH Of course they are, but to enforce them Rabanan stressed their importance as if they were as important as D'Oraytah. Give me examples where a Derabanan regulation overrides a Mitzvah Doraytah? – Al Berko Aug 7 '18 at 20:05
  • 1
    @AlBerko I'm pretty sure there are a couple cases where a rabbinical aseh override s a Torah lo taaseh – SAH Aug 7 '18 at 20:11

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