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I'm asking this question only because I recall hearing an answer, but unfortunately I don't remember the answer, or from which rabbi. Help me please?

Mesilas Yesharim says G-d made creation out of benevolence, so He could give us more good. (But if we didn't have challenges, it wouldn't be "real.") Something to that effect, if I'm not mistaken.

But the Gemara concludes like Bais Shammai, that given the odds and consequences of success vs. failure, it's really better not to have been created.

So if the odds are against you, why did G-d bother?

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4 Answers 4

I have heard three reasons for why "Gd bothered", and I am sure some of the answers will seem heretical to some people, but they make sense to me.

  1. Gd willed that it should have a relationship, and a relationship by definition can not be had with oneself.

  2. Hillel and Shamai were mistaken. It is not better to have never been created. The evidence is that Gd knows what is best, and we exist.

  3. The creation of a relationship with humanity is a logical necessity for an infinite being, which through the activities of humanity is able to experience all things. Humanity becomes a necessary component of creation.

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+1 makes most sense. Not sure it's jewish or not. –  Jim Thio Dec 18 '11 at 11:00
    
It's a direct application of the Zohar and Chasidut. Whether are not that makes it Jewish or not is a complicated question. –  avi Dec 18 '11 at 13:02
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It is precisely because the odds are against us that G-d created us. The Zohar tells us that G-d gets great satisfaction when a Jew struggles with and overcomes his evil inclination.

Tanya Chapter 27 quotes the Zohar:

וכמו שהפליג בזהר פרשת תרומה דף קכח בגודל נחת רוח לפניו יתברך כד אתכפיא סטרא אחרא לתתא

Indeed the Zohar, in Parshat Terumah (p. 128), extolls the Divine satisfaction that occurs when the sitra achra is subdued here below,

דאסתלק יקרא דקודשא בריך הוא לעילא על כולא יתיר משבחא אחרא, ואסתלקותא דא יתיר מכולא וכו׳

for “thereby G‑d’s glory rises above all, more than by any other praise, and this ascent its greater than all else, etc.”

The Tanya elaborates and explains this idea. Later in the same Chapter:

There are two types of pleasure before G-d. The first is from the complete nullification of evil and its transformation from bitterness to sweetness and from darkness to light by the perfectly righteous.

The second [pleasure] is when evil is repelled while it is still at its strongest and mightiest... through the efforts of the beinoni... As in the analogy of physical food, in which there are two types of delicacies that give pleasure: the first being the pleasure derived from sweet and pleasant foods; and the second, from tart and sour foods, which are spiced and prepared in such a way that they become delicacies that revive the soul...

See this essay as well.

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It would seem that according to the gemorah, that Gd is often dissapointed, since most people will not overcome their evil inclination... –  avi Jul 14 '11 at 6:49
    
@avi: maybe not in every area. But when you consider the many situations that a person faces every day, the average person does overcome his or her evil inclination for at least some of them. –  Alex Jul 14 '11 at 23:19
    
Sorry Alex I dissagree with that. As do the people who speak about a "nekudah Bechirah".. For most people most actions either fall under the category of something they will always do, or something they will never do. It is only that small percentage of things which fall under the "free will" or battling with the yetzer harah, and the gemorah implies that most of the time, people lose that fight. Which is why it brings such joy when we win it. –  avi Jul 15 '11 at 9:51
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Do you ever doubt bringing children to this world because they will ultimately fail sometimes in some way? G-D needs only our efforts, If you have children [And you regard yourself as a child of G-D] its a concept that's easy to comprehend.

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¡¡no way, jose!!, +1 –  Adam Mosheh Jul 16 '12 at 14:12
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The argument was between the students of Hillel and Shamai, Shamai argued that better if man had not been created at all because of the urge to sin , and Hillel argued the opposite, yet the conclusion they both agreed to was that better that man had not been created at all, but since he was created he should strive everyday to fulfill the word of gd.

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But this doesn't answer the "why" part of the question... –  Yosef Sep 20 '10 at 20:50
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