Jewish tradition is not just a matter of faith and memory. It imposes on the People of Israel a long list of commandments and requirements, some of which are demanding and not easy to implement in the people’s daily life. The Torah imposes severe restrictions on the realm of sexuality and marriage; reduces the types of food and animals that they are allowed to eat; establishes a system of laws of impurity and purity; demands the giving of gifts to the poor, priests, and Levites and describes the necessary offering of sacrifices to the temple; and in general imposes commandments and prohibitions on man in all spheres of life.
The existence of a system of practical requirements strengthens the belief in tradition in two ways: First, if humans invented the Torah, it is not clear what interest they have in inventing all the commandments contained in it. As is well known, the commandments of the Torah also limit the power of the king (prohibition of multiplying horses, women and treasures), of the priests (they have no land), and of the rich (omission of duties every 7 years and restitution of land every jubilee). If the Torah was concocted by people of the same classes, why would these individuals then want to limit themselves in how they could live and enjoy their lives?
And second, it is clear that it is much more difficult to convince people of the truth of a tradition when belief in it requires from them practical and severe demands in all spheres of their lives. It is relatively easy to convince people of some miraculous story when there are no practical implications derived from it; it is much harder to convince people of a story that imposes restrictions on all lifestyles. If the children of Israel nevertheless accepted the Torah, it is evidence that the status of Mount Sinai did occur and is engraved in their memory as passed down from the ages.
Although a system of commandments has existed in other peoples as well, we must remember that Biblical law differs in some crucial points from the laws and commandments of other peoples. The observance of the commandments stems solely from the historical tradition about the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah at Sinai, and for that reason, there is a close connection between persuading the people in the story to accept the yoke of the commandments.
For other nations, the commandments do not necessarily depend on the existence of miracles, and therefore it is much easier to assimilate them. In addition, Biblical law encompasses all areas of life and differs in many essential points from ancient law. In the ancient world, sacrificing children for example was a matter of routine, whereas commandments such as Shabbat or Shemita (sabbatical year or Sabbath of The Land) are completely different from those to which the ancients were accustomed. A system that requires the sacrifice of the believer's economic base, and the considerable number of prohibitions such as foreign labor, are certainly to be considered a significant challenge to any person in the ancient Near East. The great difficulty of the children of Israel in disengaging from foreign labor and their many failures in this field testify to this ideology. Any significant change from the norm at that time is very difficult to “digest” by the people, making it even more difficult to accept the story. This fact also strengthens the credibility of the story told to the People of Israel.