Originally Posted by alfaniner
Im afraid so. The mediaeval Jewish writer Maimonides told his readers, quoted in https://www.sav.sk/journals/uploads/...oušek.pdf
" ... if a man wishes to fulfil the 613 commandments secretly he can do so... This compulsion imposes no action, only speech. They know very well that we do not mean what we say, and that what we say is only to escape the ruler’s punishment and to satisfy him with this simple confession. " That is, after a Muslim ruler commanded his Jewish subjects to pronounce the Muslim declaration of faith, on pain of death if they refused.
Luckily he had no Inquisition to enforce his religious prejudices, so people did what they thought best, as long as he wasn't looking.
But Maimonides recognised 613 "commandments".