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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The Torah is only a framework”

There is a saying to the effect: As with the material, so with the spiritual; as below, so above.

The mitzvot are commandments, expressions of Divine will.

God wishes that certain actions should be performed in a certain way.

The Torah is only a framework, a means of conveying this instruction.

Whereas the mitzvah is qualified by the gratification, and even great happiness, of doing God’s will, and it does not matter whether it is a positive or a negative reaction, towards or away from the Divine harmony.

With a musical instrument (as with the mitzvah) one can produce delightful sounds or terrible dissonance.

And this is very much what a person does with his life; he can create happiness or its opposite, discontent.

For it is written that God is pleased when men do His will.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz