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לשמור לעשות את כל דברי התורה הזאת

To be careful to perform all the words of the Torah. (32:46)

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The Jew is obliged to observe the Torah, adhere to its mitzvos and carry out our acts of human kindness, regardless of the circumstances in his life which might impede him.  Commitment is not always easy.  Observance is not a walk in the park.  This does not change one’s responsibility to Hashem.  Horav Yaakov Galinsky, zl, relates that he once had a conversation with a yet-unobservant Jew concerning the significance of mitzvah observance in contemporary times.  “So much has changed,” the man insisted.  “We have moved on from the dark ages.  I am not against observing the Torah, but change must be made to adjust the Torah to coincide with today’s modern world.”

Rav Galinsky replied, “Imagine, a young boy comes to his parents with a valid complaint, ‘My shoes are too small.’  The boy has grown; his feet are no longer the size they were six months earlier.  The parents have a few options available before them: either purchase a new pair of shoes; or cut the front of the shoes to allow for the foot’s growth; or have the child walk barefoot.  There is one other option which is so ludicrous that it does not even momentarily enter the picture: trim the child’s foot to fit the shoe!  No one in his right mind, the most cruel parent, would never dream of such an option.  One does not cut the foot to fit the shoe!

“The same idea applies to the Torah.  Our Torah is the ‘foot’ – you are the shoe.  You view the Torah as something that must fit into your comfort zone.  It must conform to your desires and pleasures – rather than the other way around.  Whenever the Torah is not in tune with your desires, you feel it should be trimmed to size.  One does not cut the foot to fit the shoe.”