In this week’s parsha, Mishpatim, when Moshe goes up to receive the Torah from Hashem in Heaven, the angels cried out to Hashem asking what Moshe, a human being, was doing there. Hashem said he was there to receive the Torah. The angels responded,
“Should the precious Torah which was concealed by You for 974 generations before Creation now be handed over to morals? Who is man to deserve this gift?”
Without haste, Hashem demanded that Moshe respond to them. Moshe responded,
“It says in the Torah, ‘I am Hashem, your G-d, who brought you out from the house of bondage.’ Were you in Egypt? Where you enslaved by Pharaoh? It says, ‘ You shall have no other gods!’ Do you live among idolatrous nations? The Torah commands, ‘Remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it!’ Do you work, that you should be in need of a Shabbos rest? The Torah says, ‘You shall not pronounce Hashem’s name in vain?’ Do you conduct business deals that you should have to swear? ‘Honor your mother and father!’ Do you have parents? The Torah prohibits murder. Is there bloodshed in Heaven? It says, ‘You shall not commit adultery!’ Are you married and in need of this warning? It states, ‘ You shall not steal!’ Is there silver for you in Heaven to steal? The Torah commands not to covet another’s property. Are their houses, fields, or vineyards among you that you should need this admonition? You do not possess a yatzer hara- evil inclination- as humans do. How then do the Torah prohibitions apply to you?
After hearing this, the angels gave into Moshe. From all this we can clearly see how as human beings, Hashem has granted us the ability to follow His commandments or to stray from them; nonetheless, we have the free will to choose either path, which angels do not. Moreover, we should look at all the many commandments as opportunities to grow, rather than as endless prohibitions from Hashem. By observing Hashem’s commandments, we have the free will to continuously elevate our souls, which angels cannot do. We should seize every moment to do mitzvot because the angels are up in shemayim are wishing for the very thing we take for granted.