We can find many levels and objectives in Mitzvah observance. Certain individual mitzvot seem specifically directed to a specific goal or set of goals. Some seem to aim for the unity and survival of Am Yisrael. Others have moral lessons in addition to whatever unknowable spiritual purpose they may have. Many seem to focus primarily on separating and isolating Jews socially from their neighbors, not because there is always something inherently repugnant about our neighbors, but because of the absolute necessity throughout history, often in mortally hostile environments, to preserve Am Yisrael, the Jewish People. While in a mystical sense, we are forbidden to eat certain foods, it’s because that particular food, at least in normal circumstances, is so energetically dense that we are incapable of isolating the Nitzutz HaKodesh, Holy Spark, and then raising it to it’s appropriate stature in the idealized world—better we leave it as it is, either until our power here is enhanced by circumstance or another, more capable, Jewish Soul comes around, the generally offered and accepted, much more mundane reason is to discourage socializing and intermarriage.
Others, like Eglah Arufah (Devarim 21:1-29), a very hard to fathom ritual which is activated when discovering an unsolved murder in an uninhabited place, presents no clue as to how, if even it’s aimed at, to solve this murder mystery. Nonetheless, it is one of the 613, and co-equal with all the other, mitzvot.
Of course, there are mitzvot pertaining to the brachot we make, acknowledging God’s role in a cascade of life situations, from awakening in the morning, to eating, to performing other mitzvot, to performing our natural bodily functions. While they do direct our attention to this higher reality which is part of each moment, that might not necessarily be the “reason” behind this class of commandments.
Additionally, each Mitzvah we perform has the potential effect of bringing us closer, more in harmony with The Creator. צוות, the root of מצוה, implies meeting, joining together, with the intention of doing something good (i.,e., to perform a mitzvah).
Many mitzvot, we’re taught, have as their primary function the manipulation and re-ordering of complex/abstract energetic/spiritual entities known as sefirot, an entire level of reality we actually know relatively nothing about. But because these actions which bring about these effects are mitzvot, this arranging and rearranging is apparently a vital part of our existence.
The fact is, not only can we not know all the reasons behind that small number of mitzvot we do, more or less, “understand”. My late rebbe (mentor), Rabbi Shloime Twerski zt”l, taught about Rabbinic enactments that for every reason the rabbis gave for one of these mitzvot, they withheld ten. I doubt he was speaking literally (a rigid 10:1 ratio), but was teaching that every action we take has uncountable unknowable, fundamental and systemic repercussions. The complex dance of each of our lifetimes of actions, weaving toether with those of everyone else, constitute a more reasonable description of Tikkn Olam, the true correction of all Creation and Reality as embedded by God in His Creation of this world (as opposed to what any individual human or group of humans, no matter how intelligent and/or well-meaning they might be).
When returning our consciousnesses to our more practical, day-to-day operational mode and face a system that presents us with a mitzvah, with a mandated action to take, it’s important, or at least vitalizing and empowering to at least glimpse the seeming-infinite array of effects we’re bringing into being, it’s also important to remember what is, perhaps, the strongest reason why we should not merely comply, but, ideally, enthusiastically throw ourselves into this particular action.
This is because each of us, alone, separate and with only limited power is able to fulfill The Creator’s wish. We can reciprocate God’s love by making it our highest desire to please our Beloved just because he asked.