Ramchal states in various places, including Derech Hashem 1:2 that Hashem created the world in order to give His goodness to another:

הנה התכלית בבריאה היה להטיב מטובו ית' לזולתו‎

and that other is man. It is often explained that Hashem "gets nothing out of creation", it's purely for mankind, I'd bring a source but no need, just look up any answer to any question on this site regarding the purpose of creation and someone will be bringing such an opinion almost guaranteed.

Rambam states in Moreh Nevuchim 3:13 that Hashem didn't create the universe to benefit man, but rather each person's existence in and of itself is Hashem's Ratzon (will), which He identifies as Hashem Himself:

בקשת התכלית לכל זה המציאות. וכן יחשבו שתכלית המציאות כולו – מציאות מין האדם לבד לעבוד את האלוה ושכל מה שנעשה אמנם נעשה בגללו, עד שהגלגלים אינם סובבים רק לתועלותיו ולהמציא צרכיו

Some hold that the inquiry after the purpose of the Creation is necessary, and assume that the Universe was only created for the sake of man’s existence, that he might serve God. Everything that is done they believe is done for man’s sake; even the spheres move only for his benefit, in order that his wants might be supplied...

וזה הדעת כשיחקר כמו שצריך למשכילים שיחקרו הדעות, יתבאר מה שבו מן הטעות

...On examining this opinion as intelligent persons ought to examine all different opinions, we shall discover the errors it includes...

ובגלל הדבר הזה הדעת האמיתי אצלי לפי האמונות התוריות והנאות לדעות העיוניות, הוא שלא יאמן בנמצאות כולם שהם מפני מציאות האדם, אבל יהיו גם כן שאר הנמצאות כולם מכוונות לעצמם לא מפני דבר אחר... הדעת גם כן בספרי הנבואה – אמר ״כל פעל יי למענהו״ אפשר שיהיה זה הכינוי שב אל הפעול; ואם יהיה שב אל הפועל יהיה פרושו למען עצמו ית׳ – רצונו לומר: רצונו שהוא עצמו כמו שהתבאר בזה המאמר. וכבר בארנו, שעצמו ית׳ יקרא גם כן ׳כבודו׳ באמרו: ״הראני נא את כבודך״ – הנה יהיה גם כן אמרו: ׳כל פעל יי למענהו׳ כאמרו: ״כל הנקרא בשמי ולכבודי בראתיו יצרתיו אף עשיתיו״ – יאמר כל מה שיוחס לי פעולתו אמנם עשיתיו למען רצוני לא זולת זה;

...I consider therefore the following opinion as most correct according to the teaching of the Bible, and best in accordance with the results of philosophy; namely, that the Universe does not exist for man’s sake, but that each being exists for its own sake, and not because of some other thing... We meet also with this view in Scripture “The Lord hath made everything (la-ma‘anehu) for its purpose (Prov. 16:4). It is possible that the pronoun in la-maanehu refers to the object; but it can also be considered as agreeing with the subject; in which case the meaning of the word is, for the sake of Himself, or His will which is identical with His self [or essence], as has been shown in this treatise. We have also pointed out that His essence is also called His glory. The words, “The Lord hath made everything for Himself, “express therefore the same idea as the following verse, “Everything that is called by my name: I have created it for my glory, I have formed it; yea, I have made it” (Isa. 43:7); that is to say, everything that is described as My work has been made by Me for the sake of My will and for no other purpose.

[sorry for the long quote, and it's still not enough, please go learn the whole of 12 and 13]

This sounds like a contradiction.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe seems to resolve this in B'Sha'a She'Hikdimu 5712, by stating that the idiom "The mitzvot were only given to refine mankind" means that Hashem needs mankind to be refined, and this is His inner will, and applies to Him, Himself, before creation, in Essence. So, Hashem created the world to fulfil His own Ratzon of improving mankind (with the inner inner Ratzon that He should have a dwelling place with Nishmat Yisrael). It is a long ma'amer and I recommend learning it in full, as well as Lo Tiye Meshakela 5712 (especially 2-4), before asking any kashes, because they are quite technical and I have grossly over-summarised.

I am wondering what how other schools of thought deal with this? Especially schools of thought that strongly hold by both Rambam and Ramchal in hashkafa.

  • There are many maamarim titled B'Sha'a She'Hikdimu and Lo Tiye Meshakela. Can you be more specific?
    – shmosel
    Jun 28, 2023 at 16:27
  • 1
    @shmosel sure, sorry was in a rush, both 5712. Quite a year...
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jun 28, 2023 at 17:39
  • The Machloqet is known between Rasag from one side and Rambam on the other side. Ramchal holds as Rasag.
    – kouty
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:30
  • @kouty thanks. I would appreciate some more information as that is very little to go on
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:33
  • @RabbiKaii it's in one of the first chapters of Chovot Halevavot. I don't remember where
    – kouty
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:55


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