Many commentators have told us to perform the commandments for their own sake, out of love, not for the purpose of receiving rewards. The Rambam summarized this exhortation as follows :
"When I do these commandments ... what is the reward that I will receive for it?" ... The Sages have warned about this: ... A person should not make [reward] the objective of his service to God... And this is what ... Antigonos, the man of Sokho, said: "Do not be as servants who are serving the master in order to receive a reward, rather be as servants who are serving the master not in order to receive a reward." [Avot 1:3] And indeed ... one should believe in the truth for the sake of the truth; and this is the matter they call, 'one who serves from love.' And they said, ""Who greatly desires His commandments" [Psalms 112:1] Rabbi Eliezer said, 'His commandments; and not the reward of His commandments."" [Avodah Zarah 19a] ... And even greater than this is what they said in the Sifrei: "[Do not] say, 'Behold, I am learning Torah so that I will be rich; so that I will be called rabbi; so that I will receive reward in the world to come'; for this reason it is written, 'To love the Lord your God'. All that you do, do it only out of love." [Sifrei Devarim 41:23] ... And this is the level of Avraham ... [Sotah 31a] - He served from love. [Rambam on Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1; see also Nedarim 62a; Avodah Zarah 19a]
But God plainly stated again and again in the Torah that the Covenant is a quid pro quo: If we Jews do our part, God will do his. This is the very meaning of the word "covenant". It is most clearly stated in Parshat Ki Tavo:
If you ... fulfill the commandments ... God will place you supreme above all the nations of the earth... Blessed will be the fruit of your womb, your soil, your livestock, your basket and your kneading bowl. God will cause your enemies ... to be beaten... He will establish you as His holy people ... He will open up for you His good treasury, the heaven, to give your land its rain in its season, and to bless everything that you do... You will lend ... but you will not [need to] borrow. [Deut. 28:1-13]
I understand that it's better, nobler, holier, more wholesome, etc., not to expect rewards for the things we do, not to look forward to them, not to work specifically for them. But is there really a need to make those who do things for rewards feel bad, small, mercenary, guilty, ashamed, less-worthy, etc.?
Isn't the "Covenant" (contract, deal, two-sided agreement) the very basis of Judaism?