Originally Posted by Janelovesmax
Thank you so much for clarifying!
When you hands are free, I have more questions:
What is the Judaism's POV for those Jews who do not follow the 613 commandments? What if they basically just try to follow the 10 commandments given but not specifics like Kosher food? Is there a punishment or are the 10 commandments the most important ones? Sorry if I sound ignorant.
The Torah and its mitzvos are, for the Jewish people, the blueprint for life and the way we are destined and commanded to emulate and strive to be more "like" Hashem.
In certain cases (certain very specific behaviors/mitzvos) there are "punishments" -- spiritual "excision" from the community, etc.
However those behaviors are very specific and require the Oral Torah (Mishnah/Talmud) to understand properly, with the help of a qualified Torah scholar (rabbi) whose life is learning and studying Torah.
Many of the 613 mitzvos we cannot do properly in these days because we have no Bais HaMikdash (Temple) in Jerusalem. Those mitzvos include (but are not limited to) the korbanos (sacrifices) as well as aliya l'regel (going to Jerusalem for the 3 festivals -- Sukkos, Pesach, Shavuos).
Other mitzvos are not applicable to those who live outside Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) -- for example, this year (Jewish year) is the Shmitta year -- the 7th year -- in which Torah observant farmers in Israel do not work the land and there are many, many detailed rules about how fruit, vegetables, trees, and all growing things that grow in Israel are to be handled, eaten, and discarded.
Other mitzvos -- like kashrus, Shabbos, shatnez (the rules about clothing fiber mixtures) etc. are incumbent upon every single Jew. Are there "punishments" for not observing them? Not in this world that you can see. But in distancing yourself (general yourself here, not specific) by not doing them -- by eating nonkosher food, not observing Shabbos, etc. -- you are in essence distancing yourself from Hashem and your true purpose in life as a Jew. You are adding spiritual "calluses" so to speak -- to your neshama. You also remove yourself from the Jewish community by not doing mitzvos that would make you closer to klal Yisroel (the people of Israel) -- which then makes it even more difficult to do those mitzvos. It's an unfortunate cycle.
As Merpk explained, the "hellfires" thing is not our shtick. We as Jews are given a mission (this is the "chosen" thing) to bring kedusha (holiness) into the world by doing the mitzvos that Hashem gave us in the Torah. That is our purpose as Jews. When we bring kedusha down into the world, we bring out more of Hashem's Divine spark and in doing so bring ourselves and the world closer to the ultimate redemption ("geula"). I suppose that ultimately, that is our real view of the idea of "salvation."
Every time a Jew does a mitzva, that Jew brings more kedusha into the world and more of that divine spark. Every time a Jew goes against a mitzva or commits an aveira (sin), that neshama and the world gets a little farther from Hashem's essence. So that would be the "punishment."