Why are we G-d's "servants/ slaves"? He doesn't need any servants/slaves. How do we understand, "Go and do mitzvos, because we are his slaves!" (Ana avda dikudsha brich hu.)

  • 3
    Why does the fact that we’re His servants necessarily make it a benefit to Him? Maybe it’s meant to be a benefit to us?
    – DonielF
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 4:41
  • @pine5900 Great question! I hope you get good answers. I have often asked myself this very question. Where do you see it in the Tanakh that we are to serve G-d, to be His servants, even His slaves? - I gave you an upvote. Commented May 13, 2019 at 6:54
  • sefaria.org.il/Leviticus.25.42?lang=bi&aliyot=0
    – simyou
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 8:55
  • be careful about "we understand", there are tens of different approaches and interpretations. There is no general "we".
    – Al Berko
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


The logic of "why we are G-d's slaves" seems simple:

  1. It is axiomatically accepted that if you make an item it is automatically yours - you're the rightful owner of it. G-d created the matter - so the world is His, He created Man from dirt, so Man is his. Therefore legally we all belong to G-d.

  2. Judaism holds that all the providence comes from G-d, He feeds us and provides shelter, etc. If so, we owe Him.

  3. To "pay" Him back, according to His will expressed in the Torah, we do the Mitzvos as commanded and that levels it off.

Second, does He need our work? In our eyes yes, as we need the providence. In His view - we can't possibly judge.

Third - where do you see the word Mitzvos in אנא עבדא דקב"ה?

  • How can you say Hashem needs us to do anything for him? He doesnt need us for anything!
    – pine5900
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 19:09
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    This is a very complicated philosophical concept. THe common approach is that if we didn't exist, G-d can exist on His own, but once He created us, that points to His desire to create us and the Temple and the sacrifices point to the fact that He desires our service. Judaism obligates the idea of G-d's desire for fulfillment of the Mitzvos as opposed to some atheistic idea that G-d did create the world but left it and does not care about it.
    – Al Berko
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 10:54

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