in my book-blog, but the point of this post (really, this blog) isn't to make that case - it's to take as the starting point the fact that there's no demanding, overseeing deity whatsoever, and to see where we go from here.
The first conclusion we come to of course, is that there's no "contract with God" that we're beholden
to. The yoke around our neck, the shackles which bind us to Torah and Halacha - they're all of our own making. We're the only ones who care whether or not we put on Tefillin or Tzitzit, how much of our hair or knees are showing. We're the only ones who care how thoroughly we clean for Pesach, how close to specification our Sukkah is built, or when exactly we light the Chanukiah. We're the only ones who care about how many hours it's been between meat and milk, how well the lettuce was checked for bugs, or what hechsher is on the packaging. We're the only ones who care how much of the davening we say, if we even daven at all, or how much Torah we're learning. It's just us. We're the only ones who care one single iota about it.
I realize that I'm stating the obvious, but I bring this up because personally, even though I've known for many years that the mitzvot have no "Commander", I still find myself occasionally obsessing about this or that point of Halacha, getting upset or anxious at "mishaps". For instance, if someone throws a hot dairy spoon into the meat sink - yikes! If it's getting close to shkiya on Friday night and I still haven't gotten into the shower - yikes! If my beautiful etrog rolls off the table onto the tile floor - yikes! If it's Pesach and the backpack I'm putting our food into turns out to have pockets full of chametz - yikes!
What I'm saying is that despite my non-theistic frame of mind, despite my wariness of superstitious beliefs and associated neurotic behavior, I still have to keep reminding myself of the mantra: It's only us who cares about any of this. Calm down, it's okay... Point being, it's one thing to know that the shackles you're wearing are imaginary. It's another to actually throw them off.
The good thing about this struggle though, is that each time I come to my senses and stop obsessing - it turns into a fantastic moment of freedom!