The influence of the Merkabah Wheel upon the religion of modern Judaism remains huge – even today. Essential and everyday elements of Jewish life – to the way they pray down to the clothes worn by Orthodox men – are determined in part by the Wheel of the Chariot though this has been essentially forgotten by the people.
For instance, there is a tradition in Judaism dating back to the third century that there are 613 commandments (Mitzvot) in the Torah. Of these 613, there are supposed to be 248 positive Mitzvot.
The Mitzvot are why Jews wear 613 TzitZit (knotted tassels) on their Tallit (prayer shawls) – although several rabbis disagree that this was an authentic tradition and say 613 was not the sum of the Law originally.
This is borne out numerically because 613 is standard Gematria for ATh Havr (את האור) ‘The Quintessential Light’ (of the Torah) but by applying Temple Gematria to the word it Sums to 217. Thus originally there were probably 217 Mitzvot rather than 613. The change in the writing script distorted the original number.
“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light…” – Proverbs 6:23.