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Pleasure in This World and in the Coming World

The Ramchal in Derech HaShem has established that the purpose of creation is for the Creator to bestow from His goodness to beneficiary.  I think that when non-religious people hear that, their first thought is something like:
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints; the sinners are much more fun.
Worse, I fear that some religious people secretly wonder the same thing.  A few years ago a non-religious reporter in Bnei Brak asked an American ba'al tshuva to comment on whether he or the ultra-orthodox, chareidi children had a more difficult nisayon.  The ba'al tshuva surprised the reporter by saying, "They have a much more difficult nisayon, because they think there is some fun in the outside world that they are missing; I know that there isn't anything to miss!"

When the Ramchal says "bestow goodness", he doesn't mean harps and long white gowns living on a fluffy background of mist.  He means FUN! EXCITEMENT! WHOA!  R' Dessler explains as follows: imagine all of the pleasurable experiences in your life; from exquisite and intense to comforting and relaxing.  Now take all that pleasure and put it into one moment.  No, we are not finished.  Now take all of those moments from everyone in the world and put them into one moment for one person.  No, we are not finished.  Now take all of those moments from the beginning of time until the end and wrap them up into one big pleasure.  Got it?  Now remember some time in your life when you saw other people having a good time and it made you feel nice just to be near it.  Could be walking by a fancy restaurant, or past a ball park, whatever.  So that feeling compared to the big ball of all pleasures is something like the intensity of pleasure in this world compared to the feeling of pleasure in the world to come. (Based on Avos 4:22)

The way to get all that pleasure is Torah and Mitzvos.  That is, HaShem doesn't want you to give things so he will give you a lollipop for being good (that is other religions; and yes, they are wrong).  Rather, HaShem wants you to get the most intense pleasure possible.  So why does the Torah forbid some many things and make you work so hard at others?  The same reason we tell our children to stay away from drugs, don't eat too much sweets, eat healthy foods, exercise, and study.  Not because we want to deny them happiness and pleasure; but precisely because we want them to enjoy real happiness and pleasure.  Forbidden pleasures (drugs, too much alcohol, other physical pleasures) are cheap and lacking compared to the real thing.  Tell that to a crack addict and he'll tell you that you are wrong.  Unless he is an ex-crack addict; then he'll cry about the time he wasted and be more anti-crack then anyone else.

Well, I went to college. All the fun I had in college can't compare to one shabbos s'uda. And now I get Shabbos every  week.  I am not having different fun with more muted pleasure now.  I am having much more fun with quite intense pleasure, thank you.  Much more frequently and no "morning after".  Moreover, that is this world, which is only a taste of the world coming.


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