Perhaps one might argue that teshuva, returning to a more religious way of life, is by no means the proper way to renew one’s selfhood.
After all, isn’t religion, with its thousands of fixed details, commandments, duties, and prohibitions, part of the endless repetition and routine, only redoubled?
In truth, religious obligation does not constitute further routine, but rather escape from it.
There is certainly a routine of prayers, commandments, and good deeds, but this system does not go hand in hand with the other, ordinary routine of life.
On the contrary, it clashes with that routine constantly.
It interrupts the ordinary course of eating, drinking, and working, and that interruption of the uniform sequence stimulates change.
It is this “trivial” intervention of the halakha in all the small details of life that saves us from sinking into the mire of animalistic action.
The halakha tells us: “Let us desist for a moment from this race! Let us switch for a moment to another system – a system of blessing, of prayer, of washing the hands – a system that is not connected to and does not flow from the daily course of affairs.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz