This question is a follow-up to the "no-form-for-the-oral-law" question.

These are the systems of organizing the total Oral Law (as opposed to Mitzvos Classification systems) that are known to me:

  1. By weekly Parashah (like Midrash Rabbah), Posuk by Posuk, all sayings around that Posuk

  2. The 6 Sdarim and the 60 (or more) Tractates - Mishnah by Misnah.

  3. Rambam's 14 books of Mishnah Torah, based on the 613 Mitzvos but covering practically all the issues discussed in the Talmud.

  4. Books covering the 613 Mitzvahs only (Chinuch, Sma"G)

  5. Partial law - only potentially observable Halochos in these times: the 4 Turim and Shu"A and Kitzurey Shu"A

Are there additional systems of organizing the Halochos of the Oral Law? Are there any contemporary research or proposals?

  • 1
    Regarding number 4: Chinuch is also divided by weekly parsha, and Smak is divided into seven pillars.
    – Joel K
    Dec 12, 2018 at 15:32
  • 2
    Can you add some motivation for wanting this information? Surely there are a plethora of possible organizational schemes
    – Double AA
    Dec 12, 2018 at 16:02
  • 1
    The Chareidim organizes by body part. And arguably, the Tur is a variant of the 6 sedarim, collapsed because there is little to say about 2 of the sedarim nowadays: Orakh Chaim = Zera'im (Berakhos) + Mo'eid; Yoreh Dei'ah = Qodshim + Taharos (including the mesechtos qetanos); Even haEzer = Nashim; Choshein Mishpat = Neziqin. Dec 12, 2018 at 16:24
  • 1
    "1. By weekly Parashah (like Midrash Rabbah)". IR: Granted that Midrash Rabbah is part of the Oral Torah, however Midrash Rabbah is NOT an organization of the Oral LAW. Dec 12, 2018 at 16:46
  • 1
    @MichaBerger The 6 sedarim doesn't seem to be a principle of the Tur's contents. e.g. tsitsit and tefillin should be in Yore De'a (in Mishnah in Menachot), interest should be in Choshen Mishpat (in Mishnah in Bava Metsia)
    – b a
    Dec 12, 2018 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


R. Eliezer of Metz organized his Sefer Yereim under seven “pillars”:

  1. Arayot
  2. Food
  3. Things prohibited to benefit from
  4. Monetary prohibitions
  5. Matters which harm other people but do not involve theft
  6. Matters which affect only G-d
  7. Matters which affect only G-d and are not dependent on speech
  • Isn't that his #4, just dividing the 613 into 7?
    – robev
    Dec 12, 2018 at 15:24
  • 2
    @robev Arguably. But then again, Mishneh Torah is also the 613 divided into 14
    – Joel K
    Dec 12, 2018 at 15:31
  • I think a clear difference is that the Chinuch Smag and the like cover only the 613 Mitzvos, where Rambam goes far beyond mentioning the Mitzvos only, but mimics the Talmud in covering a wide spectrum of dos and don'ts.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:29

Rabbeinu Yona (Sha'arei Teshuva, gate 3) orders the commandments by severity of their punishment (מעלות חומר המצות ואזהרות וחלוק העונשים):

  1. Rabbinical commandments
  2. Positive commandments
  3. Negative commandments that can be rectified by a positive commandment
  4. Negative commandments not transgressed through an action
  5. Negative commandments transgressed through an action
  6. Commandments punished by death carried out by heaven
  7. Commandments punished by being cut off (karet)
  8. Commandments punished by death by a court
  9. Commandments one is obligated to give up one's life not to transgress
  10. Commandments punished by losing one's share in the World to Come
  • THis also covers the 613 Mitzvos only, not the "Whole Halacha". See my comment to Joel on the difference.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:29
  • @AlBerko Wouldn't this scheme be able to cover all of the biblical and rabbinic commandments?
    – b a
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:58
  • I don't think he speaks of a system, he just shows that the Mitzvos are not equal and hierarchical.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 12, 2018 at 18:14

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