Don't drink and drive. Don't speed. Don't go through a red light. Don't drive the wrong direction on a one-way street. Don't talk on a hand-held electronic device, apply lipstick, argue with your spouse, or be involved in any other distracting activity while operating a motor vehicle. Don't. Don't. Don't… Every state has its own driver's manual which contains tens of pages of don'ts.

Why in heaven's name would any sane person willingly enter a vehicle which imposes so many restrictions on his freedom?! We live in a society which is fiercely proud of its freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of privacy, freedom to choose your own cable company, etc. – freedoms which we will defend at all costs. Why, then, do we submit ourselves on a daily basis to such drastic restrictions?

While this question sounds highly philosophical, any five year old child will answer it in an instant: we drive cars because they take us where we want to go; and substantially quicker than any other method of transportation which is readily available. We willingly relinquish certain freedoms when doing so empowers us with a greater freedom and serves our greater goals.

Why do we submit ourselves on a daily basis to such drastic restrictions?On a deeper level, viewing all the abovementioned rules as "restrictions" is a tad childish. For in truth, every choice entails "restrictions." For example, if you choose to go shopping, that precludes you from mowing the lawn at that time. Would you call that a "restriction"? A real restriction is something which restricts your choice — not something that you choose in order in order to achieve your goal. The person who chooses to drive is not focusing on the don'ts, rather he is focused on his choice – arriving safely at his destination. He isn't overwhelmed by the rules; he barely gives them a thought. Highlighting the don'ts demonstrates a lack of focus on the goal.

The same can be said of Judaism: Don't eat dairy together with meat. Don't wear a mixture of wool and linen. Don't turn on a light on Shabbat. Don't gossip… The Torah's "Manual for Driving through Life Safely & Spiritually" contains many more pages and rules than the booklet published by the DMV…

But one has a choice how to approach Torah. One can choose to see Torah as a collection of limiting rules intended to make one's life miserable, or one can be broadminded and recognize Torah for what it really is—the best vehicle of all. Actually, it is the only vehicle which is equipped to transport us to our desired destination—a life of spirituality, meaning, and connection to the Creator. Yes, driving this vehicle will restrict us from doing certain activities which will jeopardize the safety and success of our journey, as well as endanger other commuters and innocent pedestrians, but every choice means restricting those things which impedes the choice from being implemented!

The holy Chassidic master Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk once said, "Ideally one shouldn't abstain from sinning because sins are forbidden; rather, where does one find the time to sin?" When one is completely preoccupied with implementing the choice, then one doesn't have time to even ponder all the other options which this choice precluded.