Why doesn't Hashem tell us the rewards for the Mitzvot?
What is the attitude we should have towards doing Mitzvot?
Why list the punishments, but not tell us the rewards for Mitzvot?
What's the difference if Hashem tells us outright the reward or we infer it from the punishments? And if we know their differences because we inferred them, how do we not distinguish and choose one over the other?
There are two levels in which we view Mitzvot and their rewards: On one level, that they have varying levels of weight, and there fore their punishment and reward follows that scale; and in another aspect, in the eyes of Hashem, all Mitzvos are equal and therefore their reward or value is equal on that level.
Why do we need to do Mitzvot every day, without taking into account either quantity or quality of Mitzvot?
There is a reward that comes from purifying the world. It is a limited reward because at that level, its limited to the constraints and dimensions of the Mitzvah. The greater the impact the Mitzvah has on the world spiritually, the greater the reward and vice versa. The reward correlates to the refinement the Mitzvah creates both in the person and in the world. The same thing is with sin, Chas v’shalom. When we break a Mitzvah, we impact the world spiritually in a negative way and remove some of the awareness of G-d.
The reward that comes on the level of the Mitzvot being G-d's Will, there is no distinction on that level because the reward is above and beyond any limitations. Sechar Mitzvah, Mitzvah means literally the reward for doing a Mitzvah is an increased connection to Hashem - the binding and bonding to Him (tzafta v’chibur). When you do His Will, you are actually downloading a part of Hashem Himself into yourself and the world.
תניא פרק מ''א
הנה ה' נצב עליו, ומלוא כל הארץ כבודו, ומביט עליו ובוחן כליות ולב אם עובדו כראוי. ועל כן צריך לעבוד לפניו באימה וביראה כעומד לפני המלך. ויעמיק במחשבה זו ויאריך בה, כפי יכולת השגת מוחו ומחשבתו וכפי הפנאי שלו, לפני עסק התורה או המצוה, כמו לפני לבישת טלית ותפילין. וגם יתבונן איך שאור אין סוף ברוך הוא הסובב כל עלמין וממלא כל עלמין הוא רצון העליון, הוא מלובש באותיות וחכמת התורה, או בציצית ותפילין אלו; ובקריאתו או בלבישתו הוא ממשיך אורו יתברך עליו, דהיינו על חלק אלוק ממעל שבתוך גופו, ליכלל וליבטל באורו יתברך
Tanya, Chapter 41
He should also reflect how the light of the blessed En Sof, which encompasses all worlds and pervades all worlds, which is identical with the Higher Will, is clothed in the letters and wisdom of the Torah and in the tzitzit (Fringes) and the phylacteries, and through his study or donning these latter he draws over himself His blessed light, that is, over "The portion of G‑dliness from above'' which is within his body, that it may be absorbed and nullified in His blessed light.
To create a dwelling place for Hashem in this world, it has to be made receptive to receiving the infinite light. The Mitzvot we do purify the world, one piece, one person, one object at a time to make it into a place that can receive G-d's presence. And on that level, each Mitzvah -no matter how"light", is immeasurably important, because it has a particular corner of the world it is responsible for that will lead to the coming of Moshiach.
וֶהֱוֵי מְחַשֵּׁב הֶפְסֵד מִצְוָה כְּנֶגֶד שְׂכָרָהּ, וּשְׂכַר עֲבֵרָה כְנֶגֶד הֶפְסֵדָהּ
Measure the loss that is incurred by the performance of the Mitzvah against its reward and the reward of the sin, against its loss
We contrast the spiritual gains of doing a Mitzvah against the temporary, fleeting loss that you might incur; and we contrast the lasting spiritual loss that a sin brings about, against the temporary, fleeting pleasure it brings you.
אגרת תשובה, פרק א
אבל לענין תשובה אף לו העונש על שמרד במלכותו יתברך, ולא עשה מאמר המלך מכל מקום האור נעדר וכו׳ וכמאמר רז״ל על פסוק: מעות לא יוכל לתקן, זה שביטל קריאת שמע של ערבית או וכו׳ דאף שנזהר מעתה לקרות קריאת שמע של ערבית ושחרית לעולם אין תשובתו מועלת לתקן מה שביטל פעם אחת
But concerning repentance, which would seek to rectify the transgression of a positive command, though through repentance the punishment for rebelling against G‑d’s rule and not fulfilling the King’s word is commuted, nonetheless, the illumination which would have been drawn down through the performance of the positive command is lacking — even after repentance, so that the sin remains only partially rectified.
For though he be scrupulous henceforth about reading the morning and evening Shema forevermore, thereby demonstrating his regret, his repentance is ineffectual in correcting what he once neglected.
For after all is said and done, the world will forever be lacking the unique gift of Divine light that he could have drawn down through reading the Shema on that particular occasion.
With a sin, you can do Teshuva and it will be wiped away. But not with a Mitzvah, who when we miss the opportunity, we have neglected to bring down the special light through the Mitzvah and that lack lasts forever.
Why is the missing out on a mitzvah that we could have done have a more adverse affect on the world than doing a sin?
This only applies to the level in which you did that mistake. But when you then ascend to a higher, more spiritually sensitive level, then the sin still is there in some trace and Teshuva is still needed, albeit on a more refined, abstract level. And because there are infinite levels we can achieve, in some ways, that trace of the sin will remain and we will need to Teshuva, again and again.
אגרת תשובה, פרק י''א
מ"ש וחטאתי נגדי תמיד אין המכוון להיות תמיד עצב נבזה ח"ו דהא כתיב בתרי' תשמיעני ששון ושמחה וכו' ורוח נדיבה תסמכני וכו' ומשום שצ"ל כל ימיו בתשובה עילאה שהיא בשמחה רבה כנ"ל אלא נגדי דייקא כמו ואתה תתיצב מנגד מנגד סביב לאהל מועד יחנו ופרש"י מרחוק.
Igeret HaTeshuva, Chapter 11
As to the verse that says,“My sin is always before me,” this does not imply that one ought to be constantly melancholy and humiliated, G-d forbid,for later verses declare, “Let me hear gladness and joy….,”and“uphold me with a spirit of magnanimity….” moreover, “Throughout one' days one should experience teshuvah [ila'ah],” [a manner of repentance] that is marked by great joy, as noted above.
How, then, are we to understand that “my sin is always before me”?
Rather, [the term used for “before me” is] specifically negdi, which implies being opposite, but at a certain distance,as in the verse that says, “You shall stand at a distance (mineged)”; or: “at a distance (mineged) around the Tent of Assembly shall they camp.”Rashi defines the above term lit., “opposite” as “at a distance.”
Thus, one should always retain an awareness of his having sinned — but “at a distance,” i.e., at the back of his mind.