“What is it that creates the link between us and the Almighty?”


The most central concept of Judaism is the concept of mitzvah, commandment. 

The word mitzvah means, literally, an order, a command. 

What is it that creates the link between us and the Almighty? 

Is it not our overflowing love for Him? 

Rather the fact that we fulfill His commandments. 

The mitzvah, this relationship between the Giver of the command and the one who fulfills it, is the only thing that can bridge this gap, this infinite abyss that separates our world from God. 

This abyss can be surpassed not with love, not even with understanding, but only with deeds. 

We cannot speak with dogs, and therefore cannot create any instructive dialogue with them. 

We can give them orders. 

When a dog fulfills his owner's command, it also knows that it has thereby created a true relationship with him. 

Similarly, we fulfill the commandments not because we understand them, but because this is the only way to create a relationship with the King. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
 
From "To Be a Soldier," an essay by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

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