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According to the beginning of the Mesilas Yesharim, the entire purpose of creation is for man to merit Olam Haba (the bliss of the next world).

If so, why is there no mention nor description of Olam Haba in the Torah, except in vague shrouded terms?

(excerpt from Mesilas Yesharim chapter 1: Our Sages of blessed memory have taught us that man was created for the sole purpose of rejoicing in God and deriving pleasure from the splendor of His Presence; for this is true joy and the greatest pleasure that can be found. The place where this joy may truly be derived is the World to Come, which was expressly created to provide for it; but the path to the object of our desires is this world, as our Sages of blessed memory have said (Avorh 4:21), "This world is like a corridor to the World to Come." )

Furthermore, the Mesilas Yesharim starts off saying the foundation of religious service is to clarify for oneself what is his duty in this world and to what one should put his aspirations toward. This aspiration he says is to merit closeness to God in the Olam Haba. So it seems knowledge of Olam Haba is the foundation of the entire religious service in this world.

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You could improve this question by including a quotation backing up the first sentence. I would appreciate it if you'd take a little more care to use standard English capitalization and punctuation lechatchila. –  Isaac Moses Mar 12 '13 at 15:23

3 Answers 3

Since Olam Habah is beyond the Torah, as there are no Mitzvos or Aveiros there, and the Torah is only for those that are living on this world therefore there is no mention of Olam Habah in the Torah.


עולם הבא הוא בעצם עולם שמעבר לתורה. שמה לא מקיימים מצוות ואין אפשרות לחטוא בעברות, כמו שחכמים אומרים לא ניתנה תורה למלאכי השרת. והתורה בעצמה מתייחסת לכך שהתורה מיועדת לעולם הזה בפסוק השמים לה` והארץ נתן לבני אדם. ולכן כשהייתה מחלוקת בין החכמים בגמרא ויצא קול מהשמיים כפי דעה אחת החכמים לא ייחסו לזה משקל כי התורה נקבעת ליפי מי שקיים בארץ, כלומר שיש לו קשר לחומר ולא לפי מי שהוא נטו רוחניות. לכן עולם הבא לא נכתב בתנ``ך

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Who is the author/owner of that website? –  Double AA Mar 12 '13 at 16:30
הרב זמיר כהן - יו"ר הידברות Rabbi Zamir Cohen - Chairman כתובת משרד: אריה שנקר 20 קרית אריה פתח-תקווה טל: 03-6166614 פקס: 03-6166615 –  Gershon Gold Mar 12 '13 at 16:33
fine but since the entire purpose of the torah and mitzvos is for olam haba dont you think there should have been mention of it? otherwise we dont even know the purpose of the mitzvos we are meant to be doing in this world! –  ray Mar 12 '13 at 18:09

The premise of your question is that the Torah should explicitly tell us the purpose of our existence, and since it does not explicitly describe Olam Haba, this raises a difficulty with the claim that Olam Haba is the purpose of our existence.

I don't know what basis there is for your assumption that the Torah should explicitly state the purpose of our existence. Moreover, I am not aware of any place in the Torah where the Torah ever explains God's reason for creation.

The Torah is fundamentally a book of practical teachings, explaining to us what we must do and how we must live in this world. Strictly speaking, we do not need to know God's reasons for anything, including Creation.

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see my addition to the question. on the contrary according to the MY knowledge of Olam Haba is the foundation of foundations of service here –  ray Mar 13 '13 at 10:57
@R.Sebag I think you are confusing God's reason for our creation with our purpose of existence. The two are deeply connected, of course, but not identical. The Ramchal begins his discussion by explaining why God created us (to bestow goodness upon us in Olam Haba), and concludes that therefore we know that our purpose in this world is to obey the mitzvos and serve God, and ultimately, to achieve closeness (deveikus) with God: נמצינו למדים כי עיקר מציאות האדם בעולם הזה הוא רק לקים מצות ולעבד ולעמוד בנסיון וכו' שביאתו לעולם אינה אלא לתכלית הזה, דהינו להשיג את הקרבה הזאת וכו –  LazerA Mar 13 '13 at 12:17
לשבת יצרה is the closest I can think of. –  Double AA Mar 13 '13 at 16:23
@lazera "THE FOUNDATION OF SAINTLINESS and the root of perfection in the service of God lies in a man's coming to see clearly and to recognize as a truth the nature of his duty in the world and the end towards which he should direct his vision and his aspiration in all of his labors all the days of his life. " - the aspiration he is refering to is olam haba. he repeats this in zehirus –  ray Mar 13 '13 at 21:50
@R.Sebag Those are motivational ideas, not actual purposes. Moreover, if olam haba was supposed to be our actual goal, then it would be the highest level of motivation, and the Ramchal says it isn't. –  LazerA Mar 17 '13 at 1:19

Well The Ramban writes that the Torah doesn't tell you rewards which are natural. He says naturally the soul goes to gan eden after death so the torah didn't need to write it since it wouldn't be an insight. That's why the Torah says by karies that your soul will be cut off since that is a miracle/unnatural.

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thnx do you remember where in the rambam? –  ray Apr 26 at 18:42
@ray ill look it up but its where the torah talks about kareis for the first time. –  user4784 Apr 27 at 1:26

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