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Thought for the Day: So... Why *Were* We Created, Anyway?

I work as a programmer.  That is, I get paid to write/fix computer programs to solve our business problems.  The interview (they were interviewing a few us of for different positions) started with a presentation that included a history of the company and why the original owner had started the company.  I don't really need to know that in order to do my job, but it's interesting.  Probably most of us have asked at one time or another about why the company that employs us get started in the first place.

In order to actually do my job, though, I certainly need to know for what purpose they are hiring me.  Moreover, I have an annual review where we review and update those expectations.  After all, if we don't agree on that, how can I possibly know if I am doing my job and how can my employer know if I am doing a good job?

As discussed previously, our goal is self perfection.  The dialogue in Da'as T'vunos continues with the neshama asking the seichel for some understanding of why the Creator wanted to create her; what was His purpose?  The neshama agrees that this is a digression, but feels that to have some grasp of Original Intent would help her to feel more "settled" about things.

The seichal begins by warning that we cannot really know anything at all about the true nature of the "Ein Sof"/He Who Is Without Limitations.  With that caveat, the seichel says two things that are certainly reasonable, but need to be taken on faith:
  1. The Creator is good in all dimensions possible;  there is nothing about Him that is not good.
  2. Part and parcel of being good is being a benefactor -- mei'chok tov l'heitiv.
Please, please don't get stuck thinking that G-d needs to do good to be good.  None the less, part of pf being good is to bestow good.  To bestow good, there has to be a receiver; that's where we come in.  We were created, as far as we can understand, to be the beneficiaries of HaShem's goodness.  Moreover, since He is good in all dimensions of good, the benefit experienced must also be to the maximum extent possible.

While that's about the limit of what we can understand, even that is powerful.  It is that "detail" that led Avraham Avinu to transform the world.  Up till then, the gods were just considered to be powerful beings with whom one needed to deal.  Avraham Avinu, on the contrary, realized that the point of creation and, in fact, HaShem's entire focus of attention is wholly and only to have a relationship with us.

Both the Ramchal's most kabalistic work, Da'as T'vnunos, and his most practical work, M'silas Yesharim, thus start with the same message: HaShem created you to have a blast!  Forever.

Comments

Joel said…
Methinks you meant "benefactor," not "beneficiary", in #2
Michael Allen said…
Indeed! Good catch; thank you.

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