Another gem from my favorite Rabbi:
In contrast to our civilization, the Hebrews lived in a world of covenant rather than a world of contracts.... Prophecy is a reminder that what obtains between God and man is not a contract but a covenant. Anterior to the covenant is love, the love of the Father (Deut. 4:37, Isa. 63:7-9) and what obtains between God and Israel must be understood not as legal, but as personal relationship, as participation, involvement and tension. God's life interacts with the life of the people. To live in the covenant is to participate in fellowship of God and His people.
Heschel, The Prophets, 2:10.