|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6
Rebbi Meir used to say, “There is no [even a] single person among the Jewish people who does not perform one hundred2 Mitzvot (commandments)3 every day. He reads the Shema, says Berachot (blessings) before it and after it, eats his bread and says the Berachot before it and after it, prays Shemoneh Esreh three times,4 and does all other commandments and says Berachot over them.”5 And also Rebbi Meir used to say, “There is no [even a] single person among the Jewish people whom the Mitzvot do not surround. Tefillin (philacteries) is on his head, and Tefillin is on his arm,6 and Mezuzah (scroll on the doorpost) is on his door,7 and the four Tzitzit (fringes) surround him.8 And regarding them (i.e. these seven commandments) David said, ‘Seven times per day I praise You for the laws of Your righteousness.’ (Tehillim 119:164).9 And when he (i.e. David) entered the bath house and saw the circumcision on his flesh10 [he praised God further for the eighth commandment that is physically on him] as it is said, ‘For the conductor, for the eighth, a song of David.’ (Tehillim 12:1)11 And it says, ‘Hashem’s angel camps around those who fear Him and delivers them.’ (Tehillim 34:8).”12
מסכת ברכות פרק ו
היה רבי מאיר אומר אין לך אדם מישראל שאינו עושה מאה מצות בכל יום. קורא את שמע, מברך לפניה ולאחריה, אוכל פיתו ומברך לפניה ולאחריה, מתפלל שלש פעמים של שמונה עשרה ועושה שאר כל המצוות ומברך עליהן. וכן היה רבי מאיר אומר אין לך אדם מישראל שאין המצוות מקיפות אותו. תפילין בראשו, ותפילין בזרועו, ומזוזה בפיתחו, וארבעה ציציות מקיפות אותו, ועליהן אמר דוד (תהלים קיט:קסד) שבע ביום הללתיך על משפטי צדקך, וכיון שנכנס לבית המרחץ וראה מילה בבשרו שנאמר (תהלים יב:א) למנצח על השמינית מזמור לדוד ואומר (תהלים לד:ח) חנה מלאך ה’ סביב ליראיו ויחלצם.
- The Tosefta concludes tractate Berachot on a positive note praising the Jewish people’s performance of Mitzvot. Since both statements mentioned in this Tosefta were said by Rebbi Meir it made sense to place it here since the previous Tosefta ended with a statement of Rebbi Meir. It is not related to any Mishna.
- It is not clear if Rebbi Meir meant the count of one hundered literally or he just meant it as an exaggeration meaning “a lot of” commandments. It seems to me that he meant it as an exaggeration since he continued to list only a few of them.
- By commandments he meant both Torah and Rabbinical obligations since in the list of his examples he mentioned Berachot and Shmoneh Esreh all of which are Rabbinical obligations.
- Shema, Shemoneh Esreh and Berachot before and after eating bread have been described in earlier chapters in the Tosefta Berachot.
- It is not clear which commandments that require Berachot before them Rebbi Meir is referring to since there are no other such commandments that a person does every single day besides the ones already mentioned by him.
- For the description of the commandment of Tefillin see above Tosefta 6:15, note 10. It is clear from this Tosefta that the Tefillin on the arm is regarded as a separate commandment in the Torah from the Tefillin on the head. In fact, the Rambam counts them as two separate commandments in his Sefer Hamitzvot (Sefer Hamitzvot, Aseh, 12 and 13).
- For the description of the Mezuzah see above Tosefta 2:6, note 4.
- For the description of Tzitzit see above Tosefta 6:15, note 6. Nowadays, the accepted opinion is that the garment with four Tzitzit on it is considered to be a single commandment as stated by the Tana Kama in the Mishna (Menachot 3:7) and therefore if one of the fringes rips the garment cannot be worn anymore until a new fringe is tied on. However the Mishna (ibid.) does quote the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael who says that each fringe of Tztitzit is considered to be a separate commandment, therefore the frour fringes together make up four commandments. Apparently Rebbi Meir agrees with the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael. Talmud Bavli (Menachot 37b) mentions the opinion of a few Amorayim who held that the law followed the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael and therefore it was permissible to wear a four cornered garment with just one, two or three Tzitzit on it, since each of them was a separate commandment.
- The verse is interpreted somewhat out of context since King David was talking about saying praises to God seven times per day and was not referring to performnac eof commandments.
- Since in the bath house he had to take all of his clothes off. The Tosefta could have given the example of going to the bath room as well.
- This verse is taken out of context again, since the word Sheminit in the verse means an eight string harp which was a musical instrument. However the Tosefta interprets the word eigth to refer to the commandment of Brit Milah (circumcision) since it would be the eight commandment on the above mentioned list of commandments that surround a person every day and also it is a Mitzvah that is performed on the eigth day after the birth of the child.
- This verse seems to refer to all commandments that a person performs and not just to circumcision, meaning that God sends His angel to protect those people who perform His commandments (i.e. those who fear Him).