Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall keep My covenant”.

Afterwards G-d Himself says regards this in Bereshit 26:5 that Avraham obeyed the Voice of the Almighty and indeed kept it.

I noticed some similarities looking at the story of Mount Sinai. First G-d says (Shemot 19:5): “If you will obey My voice” and “keep My covenant”.

The people response was: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient (i.e. we will obey and keep).”

Secondly I noticed G-d saying (Bereshit 17:7): “I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to thy G-d and to thy seed after thee.”

While in Shemot 6:7 G-d promises that He will take them as His own people and that He will be their G-d.

Many more similarities can be found.

These covenants seems to be based on two principals. From G-ds side He makes certain promises, from the human side commitment and obedience is being asked. It all starts with acknowledging G-d, and accepting Him as G-d, but once we do this, it seems one needs to show obedience (we make ourselves avadim, to be His servants, and He promises to be our G-d).

With obedience to seem to be such a big part of our covenant/relationship with G-d, why isn’t it the first commandment to be found after getring to know G-d?

Isn’t serving G-d the biggest Mitzvah of them all? One that covers all other commandmens, one that enconpasses the entire range of what’s being asked of us? Ofcourse obedience and service is asked and commanded many times, but are there any commentaries which teach that serving G-d is the basis/main item for our entire covenantial relationship?

  • Not exactly. There's no specific Mitzvah (out of the 613) of "serving G-d". The reason is that it is the [hidden] "root", the source for keeping the "practical" Mitzvos that are like branches visible. However, understanding of the underlying roots is not obligatory in Judaism, the Mitzvos count even if you don't intend to. – Al Berko Feb 3 '19 at 13:03
  • THink about having a loyal servant, if he's smart he understand that his purpose is to serve you and all your commandments stem from it, but if he's ignorant all you can expect is to do his tasks without understanding hoe the relations work. – Al Berko Feb 3 '19 at 13:11
  • @AlBerko I’ve found a comment stating all mitzvot are contained in the mitzvah of emunah, i.e. “Anochi HaShem Elohecha” (Maharsha Middos 23b). So while I also think emunah (acknowledging and accepting G-d) is the main principle, it is shown by yiras, ahavah etc. but these and all what we do, our role in the covenantal relionship, is based on our given proclamation na’aseh v’nishma “we will obey and act”, i.e. servitude and obedience. Do you agree? – Levi Feb 3 '19 at 20:36
  • I think it's a common misunderstanding that Judaism has principles. I think it is our human way of making a meaningful living. Each one finds his own ways of looking at our sources and his own ways of interpreting them. And each one organizes his knowledge into a meaningful structure. Poskim and interpreters don't "state the truths", they "offer their views". You're free to accept or object, based on your views and experiences. – Al Berko Feb 3 '19 at 22:05
  • Back to your comment: 1. It is a nonsense to say mitzvos are included in another mitzvah, we need to define what "a mitzva" is. This is similar to R"A's והאבת - כלל גדול etc. 2. "נעשה ונשמע" means "we will act and hear", not what you wrote, so your i.e. is somewhat very distant. – Al Berko Feb 3 '19 at 22:14

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