The Torah tells us that before the Israelites even knew what the commandments (mitzvahs) were they accepted them unequivocally and unconditionally, telling G-d “we will do and we will hear.” The Talmud says that G-d responded in admiration, “Who revealed this secret to My children, the secret that the ministering angels use for themselves, “Bless G-d, you angels of His, you mighty ones who perform His bidding, hearkening to the voice of His word.” (Psalms 103:20)
In contrast, the Talmud, also tells us that a heretic criticized the Israelites for being so impetuous putting their mouth before their ears. It makes more sense to first hear what the commandments would be and then decide whether to accept them or not. What did the Israelites understand that this heretic obviously was missing?
This heretic understands G-d as a being separate from man, floating in heaven over there, and that the mitzvahs are His demands. He therefore sees the acceptance of mitzvahs as a sign of weakness and an act of self sacrifice. You are surrendering your will and your self interests to the will and self interest of this other being—-G-d.
But the Israelites knew better. They knew that G-d is the root, context, ground and essence of our soul. They understand that there couldn’t be any conflict of self interests, because the soul is a ray of the Great Universal Self. If G-d were the sun each one of us would be a ray of His light. To do the mitzvahs is actually an act of Great Self expression. It’s an act of strength. In sync with G-d, I am even more natural and empowered to express the real me. This is the secret the angels know—- performing the will of G-d is a joyous opportunity for self expression. Through the mitzvahs we attune ourselves to the Ultimate Self; radiate His light and channel His presence. What an incredible gift!