Mendy Kaminker

G-d is Not Asking for a Tissue

I am starting to wonder if the Torah may have a marketing problem.

Ask anyone what the 613 Mitzvot are, and they will tell you: it’s a list of 613 things you should and shouldn’t do.

No wonder some people are a bit hesitant. This statement sounds like a heavy burden, something that will make your life more complicated. Who wants that?

What if we say it differently? What if we say the 613 Mitzvot are 613 “tricks” to connect deeply with the One who matters most? Now, this sounds so much more appealing. Creating a deep relationship
It sounds like something we all want and yearn for.

You see, the word “Mitzvah” (and similarly, the word “Tzav”, which is the name of this week’s Parsha) does mean “commandment,” so yes, the 613 Mitzvot are essentially 613 rules of what we should and shouldn’t do.

But the word Mitzvah has another meaning: connection. The 613 Mitzvot are 613 opportunities for connections. Each Mitzvah allows us to connect with our creator, the ultimate source of good and love. When we think about it, we will not feel burdened and will cherish and welcome every Mitzvah opportunity.

Here’s an easy way to understand it.

Let’s say you are a football fan. You admire one quarterback whose abilities on the field are unparalleled. Or you are in the business world and always looked up to a very successful entrepreneur.

Imagine being in the Superbowl or at an enormous business conference, and this person walks over to you and asks you for a tissue. How would you react? Would you question why they need the tissue? Of course not! You’d run and get it because you’d be delighted to have an opportunity to connect with them.

G-d doesn’t ask us for tissues.

Instead, every Mitzvah has profound meaning and benefits, both from a spiritual and a physical standpoint. Yet, above all, we should cherish the connection and the deepening relationship with G-d.

This conversation is taking place in perfect timing. This week, with hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide, I had the privilege of doing something special.

We concluded and then started again the annual study of the daily Rambam – a study initiated by the Rebbe. The daily Rambam contains a detailed study of the 613 Mitzvot.

It takes effort to keep to this daily commitment. Still, I cherish it because it gives me an opportunity for a daily connection, and I encourage you to look into the Daily Rambam study and consider joining in!

As we wrap up the week of Parsha “Tzav,” may we all enjoy profound connection with G-d, and may we see His blessings in all areas of our lives!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
Related Topics
Related Posts