Thus we see that studying and doing the Torah are connected with the feeling of the presence of God. To study the Torah is to be in the presence of the God who gave it, while the observance of the halakot inculcates the feeling of the presence of God. It thus appears that at the very heart of the Rabbis' supposed legalism is the feeling of intimate contact with God. To respond to the problem raised earlier, we should note that those who had a feeling of the presence of God in the midst of daily activities and in the one activity singled out as basic to all other religious actions, the study of the Torah, had no need for the churchly sacraments of which Bousset felt they were bereft. Their experience of God was not that he is remote, but that he is near. The study and practice of theTorah, far from being incongruent with the Rabbis' religious feelings and perceptions, are perfectly congruent. Studying and doing the Torah would be odd behavior to be characterized as 'the ideal religious life' if God were remote and man alienated, since in that case such behavior would only reinforce the feeling of inability, helplessness and estrangement. One could never 'study' and 'do' enough to bring down a remote God. But if a man feels that God is near, he can 'study' and 'do' with good heart. He is doing the will of his Father, and his every action reinforces the feeling of GOD's presence. God is repeatedly met, as it were, in the daily round.
- Paul and Palestinian Judaism, from page 222