Everyone has heard of the Ten Commandments. However, some people are surprised to find out that in Judaism there aren’t just ten, but actually 613 commandments! These 613 commandments branch out into all areas of daily life, and form an all-encompassing system of belief and behavior. One might get overwhelmed by the sheer number 613 and stop right there. However, a deeper understanding reveals that it is the mitzvot themselves that define authentic Jewish expression. Moreover, exploring the nature of the mitzvot in the context of Judaism as a comprehensive approach to life readily explains why there are so many of them. In this class we will define what a mitzvah is, and explain what the mitzvot can do for us. We will see that the mitzvot are the means by which we can develop a relationship with God, refine our character, and infuse every action with purpose.