The Schottenstein Edition Sefer Hachinuch / Book of Mitzvos – Volume #1 | (c)

Growing up is inevitable, and there are many challenges that come with the journey towards adulthood. Even adults need guidance in a lot of matters, especially when you’re new to certain things. Experience is a wonderful way to learn new things and help you grow. We like to imagine that our Glatt Kosher tours provide ways to enlighten and enrich Jewish travelers who wish to discover and reconnect with their heritage. From exploring old texts to exploring preserved places of heritage, a good expedition can really give you a lot of experience and learning. For example, did you know that in Spain during the time of antiquity, a book was written to detail the 613 commandments in an easy to read format, for the sake of the writer’s son? This was the Sefer ha-Chinuch.

The Book of Education

The Sefer ha-Chinuch, or “The book of education” was published around the 13th century in Spain, between the waning Golden Age of Sephardic Jewish in the Iberian Peninsula and the cruel expulsion yet to come in 1492. It was at this tipping point between eras that the Sefer ha-Chinuch was written. It was a comprehensive document about the perspective of the 613 Torah commandments, complete with structure and references. For a time it was believed that Aaron ha-Levi of Barcelona was the author of this work, but later scholars contested that conclusion. What is known is that the Sefer ha-Chinuch was written for the anonymous author’s son for their coming of age, a religious gift to guide them when they grow to become a man.

The Imparting of Knowledge

While our Glatt Kosher Vacations aren’t books full of references, we still strive to impart knowledge and learning with every journey. The Sefer ha-Chinuch’s goal was to help a young man be guided as they grew up, but it was also a way to read and understand the Torah, considering how well-structured the document was. That is why the Book of Education is still used today in yeshivas, guiding people as they learn and grow in life.