Orthodoxy, more than any other denomination, is obsessed with sacred action. It doesn’t matter what you call it—halachah, rituals, commandments, rules — the net effect is an unbending dedication to the kinds of acts that connect you continuously to your Jewish identity. Chabad’s success is very much based on this primacy of Jewish action.
I have this theory that the transformational ritual of Orthodoxy is the prohibition against driving on Shabbat. The simple act of walking on Shabbat, whether to a synagogue or a friend’s house, organically creates Jewish neighborhoods and tight-knit communities where Judaism becomes a way of life, not just an occasional episode.
The downside to this way of life, however, is that it can also make you more insular. When your Jewish experience is concentrated in one place, it sometimes feels safest just to hunker down and shut out the rest.
David Suissa, “Can Open Orthodoxy Help Revive Judaism?”, Jewish Journal (13-19 November 2015), 19.