I suspect I am re-evaluating work done by some other historic saint, but it is quite eye-opening to evaluate the 613 and attempt to organize them into general concepts. I know there is a whole series of books on the thoughts of the Rabbis on the mitzvot. As a Christian and a Jew in our modern world, I have to make sense of them for myself. I am only about a third of the way through. It is more than a days work and some mitzvot have given me sufficient pause to qualify for their own blog.
That said there are some general categories that take care of large groups of the law. It’s no surprise that my own grouping matches up with that of the writer’s of the Talmud. The surprise is that the majority of Christian actually follow the law, despite the frequent statements to the contrary.
Following the numerical listing provided on-line by Chabad, I found these general categories:
1-12 are about Loving God
13-21 expound on how we are to treat others
22-23 have to do with studying and teaching the scriptures (Torah)
24-55 delineate all the ways idolatry, false prophets, and the occult can creep into our lives and how to keep them out
56-67 go on to caution us to avoid idolaters and those who practice the occult (people give up those horoscopes!)
139-161 are about sexual immorality and align with the thinking of most Christians.
136-138 and 169-175 have to do with the priesthood and sacrifices that cannot be kept at this time because the Temple was destroyed.
So there we have not just 10, but 105 that are commonly considered ideal to Jews and Christians alike.