by Joel Rich
ספרי מניין המצוות של הראשונים: מגמות חינוכיות | | הרב אליקים קרומביין
While the concept of 613 mitzvot is Talmudic, actual lists of mitzvot were a later development. Post-geonic lists were more than just a listing. The Smak was writing for the general public and included rabbinic mitzvot. His focus was on how to do the mitzvot because he felt people lacked knowledge.
The Smak’s widespread impact was by design, he gave the people the knowledge he felt they were missing. Rabbeinu Yonah put the mitzvot in his mussar works because he felt the people were missing consciousness, not knowledge.
Examples of R’Yonah’s consciousness raising through mitzvot explanations (e.g. bal taschit – don’t buy things you really don’t need.) We need to be conscious of our great responsibility.
The Rambam wrote his sefer hamitzvot in order to ensure that he included all he needed in the mishna torah. He felt there were errors in the prior mitzvot listing attempts and thus he had to set out rules so everyone would understand the correct information. (and recognize prior errors)
The Rambam viewed the list of mitzvot as the essential basis (ekronot) for halacha (e.g. hilchot mechira, tumat meit) upon which he built the full structure. Then intro to the sefer hachinuch (who generally followed the Rambam)
The sefer hachinuch followed the Rambam and wanted his students to continue the focus on “real” learning. Maybe the author wanted to remain anonymous so it wouldn’t seem his disagreement was a personal fight with R’Yonah.