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Concepts in Judaism

Why did G-d Create the World?

Why did G-d create human beings? What is the purpose of creation? Rabbi Chaimowitz elaborates based on traditional Jewish sources

Why did G-d Create the World?
Why did G-d, who is Infinite bring the world into existence?  What is the purpose of creation?
 
To “Give Good”
 
According to traditional Jewish sources, G-d created the world in order to GIVE GOOD.
 
The Ramchal z”l explains this explicitly in his Sefer Derech Hashem: “The Goal in creation was to bestow good from his Good, may His Name be blessed, upon another being.”

The Ramchal explains that it is the nature and essence of an intrinsically Good Being, to Give of that Good.
 
“Becoming One”
 
Since Hashem is Infinite and complete in every way, everything he does is also totally complete. therefore, even when he Desires to ‘Give Good’ to the created beings, it’s not enough for him to Give just a ‘nominal level’ of good; rather, he Wants to Give them the most complete and Greatest level of Good that is possible for them to receive.
 
The Ramchal continues: “…Hashem’s desire is to give good to another, [but] it is not enough for him [to] bestow [just] a little good; rather, [he desires] to bestow the ultimate good that is possible for the created beings to receive.”
 
We can now ask: What is this ‘ultimate’ Good, and where can it be found?
 
Since this Greatest level of Good is not something that Hashem can give “externally” to himself – because he is the Source of All – the Greatest level of Good is only found within himself. It follows that the only way that man could receive that Greatest Level of Good is to “become one” with Him – so that the created beings can experience some of the same experience that G-d has within himself.
 
The Ramchal elucidates this point : “Since only he himself is the true Good, it would not be enough [for him] to satisfy his Good Desire until he can give pleasure to another [in the form] of the same good that is [present] within himself intrinsically, for that is [Really] the Complete and true Good.
 
This ultimate Good is not found anywhere except within him. Therefore, Hashem’s Wisdom decreed, that the way that this true bestowing of Good should take place, will be through the opportunity that he will give to the creations to cleave to him may His Name be blessed, to the [fullest] extent that is possible for them to cleave [to him].”
 
He Wants us – the created beings – to be able to cleave to his ultimate Reality and virtually to “become one with him” (so to speak), in order to allow us to enjoy all the pleasures that are sourced within him. Since he himself is Infinite, it follows that the pleasures that are sourced within him also border on the realm of Infinite and are the Absolute ultimate Levels of Pleasure which a created being can experience!! It is even difficult for us to fathom such a thing.
 
Review of the Axioms

To “power-point” what the Ramchal has just told us:

1. Hashem’s goal of creation is nothing other than: to Give us Good.

2. It is not enough for Hashem to give us just a little bit of good – he wants to give us the Greatest Level of Good that is possible for us to receive.

3. Since he is the Source of everything and the ultimate Good, the greatest level of good is found only within Him.

4. It follows that in order for us to receive that Greatest Level of Good, it is necessary for us to become as close as possible to him, to become – so to speak – “one” with Him. 

So that’s Hashem’s Goal: that we, the created beings, be able to receive the Greatest Level of Good from Him. In order to do that, we must “become one” with Him.  

Adapted from "It’s All for the Good" by Rabbi Nachum Chaimowitz. Available at  http://www.israelbookshoppublications.com/store/pc/It-s-All-for-the-Good-p1150.htm