Q. Hello. My name is Avi and I’m 17 years old. Firstly, I’d love to know why G-d created us. Like why does He need us? Secondly, why did he create us with an evil inclination, He could’ve created us complete? Thirdly, why do we need to pray to Him, He is so big?
A. Shalom Avi, and thank you for your important questions.
Indeed G-d created us to do kindness with us. If man did not exist G-d would have no one to give goodness to… The Creator formed us like a father that has it all and brings children into the world to share His goodness with them. This is the most rational and preferred thing for someone complete to want to do; to share his Completeness with others that are not complete. This is the purpose of all creation- giving. For this man was created.
But man is created lacking because in reality a relationship must go in both directions. If G-d keeps on giving and man cannot choose to receive or not this goodness, “a free gift”, becomes something forced on him and a person could never really love his creator and receive his love. Only because man can choose to rebel against G-d’s commandments and His love, is he also able to attain His endless love. G-d created us with an evil inclination in order for us to have free choice to decide if we will receive G-d’s kindness on our own and to love G-d or to G-d forbid rebel against Him.
That is why man is created lacking and in a place with trials and inclinations in this temporary world.
If we delve more deeply into this we find that true complete goodness is the closeness a soul can achieve reaching to G-d. The righteous enjoy the next world because their pure soul is close to the G-dly holiness and the evil suffer in the next world because their soul became distanced from the G-dly light. Now concentrate on these words:
G-dly good is closeness to G-d. Therefore in order to be close to Him and to join to his endless and eternal good a person must try to be like Him! That is why man was created with a soul that is a “portion of G-d from on high”. This soul gives him the ability to choose that helps him emulate G-d! And should you ask How can we emulate G-d? The answer is with our love!
This is actually the meaning of all life, true and unconditional love. Just as G-d loves man and gives him unconditionally (as man doesn’t give G-d anything), so too man is entreated to emulate G-d and love G-d with no conditions without hope for renumeration. Free choice turns a man into a more elevated being than the angels for only man can emulate G-d through his choosing between good and evil and in this manner to attain eternal closeness to G-d. This is the power of true love.
This is what the holy Torah teaches us (Deuteronomy 6, 5): “You shall love your G-d with all your heart, all your soul and all your might.” In the Chapters of the Fathers (1, 3) it is written: “Be like servants who serve their master not in order to receive a prize”.
This is the attribute of the great righteous ones. They keep and learn Torah “for its sake” meaning to say they love G-d unconditionally. Not out of fear of retribution in the next world and not out of seeking pleasure in the next world.
Even so such a lofty level is not initially required of us as we embark on this path. That is why our sages said; “from doing ‘not for its sake’ you will come to doing ‘for its sake’.” A Jew should start serving G-d at first in order to reach the world to come and be spared punishment. If you want to taste this wisdom further I warmly recommend learning “The Path of The Just” “Ways of the Righteous” and “Duties of the Hearts”.
This is the answer to your last question: G-d definitely does not need our prayersfor he created the world and lacks nothing! Quite the opposite is true: We need to pray to come close to G-d! Through prayer man comes to understand that G-d gives him everything.
Man turns to Him with his thoughts and speech and he builds his spiritual relationship with the one who created him. In this way he comes closer and closer to Him and merits the holiness and eternity G-d promised to him.
To You, with blessings, Daniel Balas