Ever lose something really important to you? Your glasses, your phone, your license? Did you have days of seeing hazy—not being able to communicate, not being able to drive? And then comes the absolute joy and relief, and appreciation of what you have when the item is once again found. There’s nothing like a void, an absence, to highlight the value of something when it is reclaimed.

This explains a rather perplexing phenomenon.

Every morning, the angels above wait for Jews to pray and utter the words kadosh kadosh kadosh, “G‑d is holy, holy, holy,” before they themselves can make the same declaration. Why is that? Aren’t angels, well, angels? They don’t ever sin and aren’t even capable of sinning! And people, well, they are so very human. Do you know anyone who hasn’t at the very least had indecent thoughts, if not speech or action? And yet, the angels wait for us. Why?

When a Jew says that G‑d is kadosh, “holy,” he is proclaiming that G‑d is separate and unlike anything else. Angels are so completely nullified to the G‑dly lifeforce energizing them that they cannot make this declaration. Only a human of flesh and blood, who seems to have a separate existence from G‑d—to the point that there are people that doubt the G‑d’s existence—can say that G‑d is unlike His finite creations.

It takes the human experience, where there is a void of G‑d’s absolute truth, to appreciate and recognize the absolute truth. Angels never “lost” the truth. There is no announcement to make for they never felt otherwise. Therefore, only once people say these precious words can the angels repeat this declaration.

G‑d gets an extreme amount of pleasure when humans—who struggle, and have ups and downs, and have so many temptations—recognize the truth of their existence. When they don’t limit their lives to the story of their bodies, but teach themselves how to live in sync with the soul.

When a yesh, an “existence,” says “G‑d, it is all about you,” G‑d gets a sense of satisfaction. It’s like the advantage of light after darkness. When a light is burnt out even for a few hours, the newly changed bulb is so much more appreciated. It is pure joy when a person puts in his own effort and makes a choice to have an aha! moment. Angels have no aha! moments.

When we pray these words each morning, when we have this experience cognitively, we draw down a spiritual light that is greater than what the angels can draw down. That is why we say Hashem Elokeinu, “the L‑rd our G‑d” because this G‑dly light is ours, we drew it down. It emerges from our hard work! I proudly proclaim that G‑d is mine. I generate G‑dly light in this world when I pray and say that He is holy.

It may just be a miniscule ray of light compared to G‑d’s essence, but nevertheless, it is mine. I nullified myself with my own hard work. I sweated for it. I concentrated and prayed with my own effort. Angels don’t put in any effort to serve G‑d since it comes automatically, so it’s not “theirs.” Although I may have revealed just a ray of G‑d’s light—just as when you grab a hold of someone’s foot, you are grasping the person themselves, for the essence is found even in a foot—drawing down a ray of G‑d’s light still has all the qualities of essence. We become like a “foot” to G‑d.

The foot analogy has more to teach us. A foot does not choose on its own where to walk, but obediently follows the commands of the brain. When we have that aha! moment and recognize that we are not an existence independent of G‑d, we do the same. We begin to ask ourselves each morning, “What is G‑d’s will for me today?” And we put our best foot forward living that answer.

Because only humans can make that choice.

Source: Likutei Torah, Hakol Kol Yaakov, Chapters 3 and 4 (as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Avodat HaTefillah).