Let My People Know

"Every mitzvah is in itself a separate path or way for the experience of delight in being"


It is said that "Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy are those who hold her fast" (Proverbs 3:17). 

Pleasantness here is a certain sweetness.
It is a feeling of sweet delight. 

And the pleasantness of Torah refers to such a self-sufficient delight in God. 

For there are all kinds of enjoyments; but the higher enjoyment or Divine delight is the source of them all. 

As it is written: "For with you is the source of life" (Psalms 36:10).

A remark is here in place concerning the use of the plural in the "ways" of Torah. 

Isn't it one way and not many? 

To be sure, there is the kabbalistic definition of "way" as the three Sefirot: Hesed, Gevura, and Tiferet. 

These are the three basic lines of existence.
They parallel the three fundamentals we have learned from the Sages: 

Torah, Avoda (Divine Worship), and Gemilut Hasadim (Kindness). 

With Kindness corresponding to Hesed, Divine Worship to Gevurah, and Torah to Tiferet, these can be considered the three ways of the Torah. 

Each of them an expression of a different mode and attribute. 

In addition to all these, however, is the more encompassing view that every mitzvah is in itself a separate path or way for the experience of delight in being. 

This is the meaning of the use of the plural in the Biblical statement, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness." 

And thus every mitzvah is a path, way for holiness and Divine delight to go from level to level of being.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Candle of God, "Hidden Aspectof of Shabbat, Chapter 2," by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz