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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A pair of wings but no bird.”

Torah and commandments possess objective holiness that is independent of a person’s intentions and feelings when he fulfills them.

If one wore tefillin without intention, without love or fear, but just out of habit, he has still fulfilled the commandment of tefillin.

By contrast, if a person dons tefillin with “fear and love” but the tefillin he is wearing are invalid, then although he has love and fear, he has no tefillin.

This would be like having a pair of wings but no bird.

An invalidation of the main aspect of a commandment negates its existence as a commandment.

A flaw in the intention of the mitzva negates only its ability to fly, but not its existence.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz