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“You shall not add unto the word which I command you neither shall you diminish from it that you may keep the commandments of Hashem your G-d which I command you.” (4:2)

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It is understandable that one would think that by adopting new mitzvos he will receive a great reward; however, the admonition against subtracting from the original mitzvos is hard to grasp. Is there any legitimate reason to justify decreasing the number of mitzvos in the Torah? Werenot all the mitzvos Divinely transmitted to Bnei Yisroel on Mount Sinai? We may also question the continuation of this posuk “that you may keep the mitzvos of Hashem your G-d”), how is it conceivable to be able to perform Hashem’s mitzvos by negating and diminishing from their original number?

Indeed, we must say that this is the true meaning of the posuk. There are those who are so misguided that they would justify diminishing some mitzvos in order to improve their performance of the remaining mitzvos. This misconception, albeit for “sublime” reasons, is utterly absurd. The Written Law and Oral Law were given in their entirety, and any deviation is false. We are not permitted to “bargain” or barter mitzvos, even if it seems that it will effect a greater and stronger relationship to the other mitzvos. We could attempt to modernize Torah Law by deletion and subtraction. We may even “temporarily” enjoy noticeable successes, but this will only be a temporary success, which cannot result in any continued growth. It is only the Torah that was Divinely given in its entirety, which by its observance can be perpetuated from generation to generation.

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