There are static systems and dynamic systems. The static system is likely to have a strong and stable structure. But because - by definition - it does not change, after a time, it may well start to decay and even to crumble. By contrast, a dynamic system is one of movement, change and discovery.

If you were evaluating a business set up, you might ask yourself, "Static? Or dynamic?" This might affect your decision whether or not to join the firm as a director, or, if you were a banker, whether or not to lend it money. You might think in the same way about a community: "Static? Or dynamic?" Is there an atmosphere of healthy dynamism, of spirit, of excitement? Or is it staid and rather boring, and young people are moving away?

Now, the same question can be asked about a person's Jewish life. We can be in a static mode, unmoving. We are in a particular pigeonhole: we keep this, but we do not keep that. Certain Jewish things we do, quite regularly; other Jewish things we don't do. Anyway, we might say, we never did do them, so why should we start now? Those things don't matter anyway, they are only minor issues.

"Minor issues"? That is just what this week Parshah (Eikev - Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) is telling us about, right at the beginning. In fact, as explained by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Torah presents us with a challenge to become more dynamic in our approach to Jewish life.

The beginning of the Torah portion states: "As a result of obeying these laws, guarding and keeping them, G‑d will keep for you the covenant and the love which He promised to your forefathers."

This sounds straightforward. As a result of us keeping the laws, G‑d will look after us. It is an idea repeated many times in the Torah. We may sometimes have questions about it, but in itself, it is an idea which seems easy to understand.

However, the Hebrew word eikev, here translated "as a result," actually has more than one meaning. It is as if, on the computer, you click on the word with the cursor and it opens up to something else. Eikev also means "heel."

The commentator Rashi takes this meaning of the word and explains it in context: "If you keep the minor laws which people trample under their heels," then G‑d will give you His special love. So this means, a Jew has to keep not just the major rules, but also the minor ones.

Okay. So, there are lots of rules to keep, major and minor! Now the Lubavitcher Rebbe asks a question. Why do we call some rules major and others minor? Because we see a nice firm structure of Judaism and we tend to put ourselves at a certain level of that structure, immovably. We say to ourselves: I keep the major rules; the rest do not matter.

However, says the Rebbe, Judaism is dynamic. We always have to be moving forward. What we thought was "minor" in fact is very important: break out of your pigeonhole and start something new. It might be putting on tefillin for a man, going to the mikveh for a married woman; studying more Torah for anyone. Rashi is explaining to us that this dynamic step forward in our conception of ourselves and, indeed, of Judaism as a whole, will bring us G‑d's promise and His love.1