Let My People Know

"The wondrousness of the whole"


If one adds to the formal list of mitzvot all the minute details that are not specifically included, one arrives at a sum of not hundreds but thousands of things that are to be done at certain times and certain places and in a special way. 

Seen as separate and unrelated commandments, each as an individual obligation and burden, these ancillary mitzvot seem to be a vast and even an absurd assortment of petty details which are, if not downright intimidating, then at least troublesome. 

What we call details, however, are only parts of greater units which in turn combine in various ways into a single entity. 

It is as though in examining the leaves and flowers of a tree, one were to be overwhelmed by the abundance, the variety, and the complexity of detail.

But when one realizes that it is all part of the same single growth, all part of the same branching out into manifold forms of the one tree, then the details would cease to be disturbing and would be accepted as intrinsic to the wondrousness of the whole. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Thirteen Petalled Rose by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz