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  1. G-d's curse to Adam was that the abundance of Eden will stop and he will be lacking health/wealth/food etc.

  2. For millennia people turned to G-d to ask to fulfill their basic physiological needs. The Torah reminds us numerous times that only pleasing G-d will ensure us all the good stuff and displeasing Him will do the opposite - enhance the physiological distress. Indeed we say it twice a day in Shemah:

    "וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְו‍ֹתַי ... וְנָתַתִּי מְטַר אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ. וְנָתַתִּי עֵשֶׂב בְּשָׂדְךָ לִבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ."

    [Otherwise] "וְחָרָה אַף ה' בָּכֶם וְעָצַר אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְלֹא יִהְיֶה מָטָר וְהָאֲדָמָה לֹא תִתֵּן אֶת יְבוּלָהּ וַאֲבַדְתֶּם מְהֵרָה מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר ה' נֹתֵן לָכֶם."

    Besides "אם בחקותי תלכו..." or "אם תשמע לקול ה"א..." and more.

  3. The very premise of Judaism (and branching religion s) is that this world is destined for and the purpose of it is to finally get to a world where we don't lack anything - no food, no illness and we all have eternal fun.

  4. The situation has changed drastically in the last century. Most of the western world has already reached the agricultural independence - we don't rely on the skies to provide us with the rain for our crops. Only about 5% of the population work in the field instead of the original 95%. The other areas have also improved significantly - medicine, housing, personal security etc. And the progress continues.

  5. Once our society (inevitably) reaches a level of total assurance of this providence, covering abundant food, housing, perfect health (assuming Moshiach will not come till then), how and why would people keep their religion, because that's what Torah promises in exchange for keeping Mitzvos?

Once this world looks just like the world to come why would people turn to G-d?

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    The curse was not that he would lack food. It was that he would have to work for it – b a Apr 16 at 13:15
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    Since when is religion based on one’s needs? Surely the fact that Hashem decides to bless us with physical needs doesn’t mean we no longer have to serve Him. – DonielF Apr 16 at 13:32
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    @larry I think he means if at that point Mashiach still hasn’t come. – DonielF Apr 16 at 16:36
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    Why does your question need to assume Mashiach hasn't come yet? The situation you describe will be exactly the same after he comes, though I don't see why it would cause problems either way. – Heshy Apr 16 at 18:06
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    Though this is a fascinating question, I think the premise is off. Some Western societies have antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication use rates well in excess of 20% of the adult population, indicating clear and persistant dissatisfaction with life. Most of us have plenty of delicious food to eat, but how many missed mortgage payments are we away from losing our homes? Millions upon millions are divorced or never married and partnerless. Even in wealthy modern societies, we still have plenty of basic needs left to daven for. – Josh K Apr 16 at 19:50
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Note: This answer was posted to an earlier verion of the question.


Your question seems to be based on the premises that religion is supposed to be difficult and that the purpose of religion is for us to need God to fulfill our needs. However, it appears that Rambam disputes both of these premises. In Guide for the Perplexed 2:39 he writes:

It is clear that the Law is normal in this sense; for it contains "Just statutes and judgments" (Deut. iv. 8); but "just" is here identical with "equibalanced." The statutes of the Law do not impose burdens or excesses as are implied in the service of a hermit or pilgrim, and the like; but, on the other hand, they are not so deficient as to lead to gluttony or lewdness, or to prevent, as the religious laws of the heathen nations do, the development of man's moral and intellectual faculties. We intend to discuss in this treatise the reasons of the commandments, and we shall then show, as far as necessary, the justice and wisdom of the Law, on account of which it is said: "The Law of God is perfect, refreshing the heart" (Ps. xix. 8). There are persons who believe that the Law commands much exertion and great pain, but due consideration will show them their error. Later on I will show how easy it is for the perfect to obey the Law. (Friedlander translation)

Thus, the religion is not meant to be difficult at all. In the introduction to Guide for the Perplexed he writes as follows:

You are no doubt aware that the Almighty, desiring to lead us to perfection and to improve our state of society, has revealed to us laws which are to regulate our actions. (Friedlander translation)

Thus, the goal is for humans to attain perfection. The Torah is simply a means to that end. It enables us, helps us, and directs us to reach perfection. If anything, being secure in our physiological needs makes it easier to focus on attaining this perfection.

  • +1 In a similar vein, בקש יעקב לשב בשלוה – DonielF Apr 16 at 18:11
  • Even with the edits I think this answers the question. – DonielF Apr 18 at 12:48

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