4

Why does the creation of the world to reward the few who can successfully work on themselves to cleave to Hashem have to come at the expense of the vast majority of mankind not getting olam haba and instead being punished and then removed from existence?

I'm basing my question on the Ramchal teaching us (extreme summarization) that the world was created to reward mankind for defeating the Yetzer Harah by cleaving (Dveykus) to Hashem; but until Avraham showed up and made Klal Yisroel, everyone (besides a select few) failed and therefore do not have a chelek in Olam Haba and are experiencing punishment before eradication instead. Even nowadays, most of the world is destined to a similar fate because they don't follow the seven Noahide laws.

9
  • Also I believe the majority of Rabbanim would say that since Christians, Baha’i, Muslims etc. who make up the majority (generally) would be considered monotheists who don’t violate the 7 laws, they would have a share in Olam Haba. When it comes to non abrahamic people that violate it that may he a case of someone who is raised without being taught the Torah so hashem will have mercy on them (although they don’t necessarily have a share in Olam Haba the same way people that don’t break the laws do)
    – Kirk
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:40
  • See here: torah.org/learning/ramchal-classes-class6
    – Shmuel
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:42
  • 1
    The concept of eternal punishment is a purely Christian one.
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:42
  • If you investigate a little deeper, you will discover that your assumption, that the vast majority will not get olam haba" is incorrect. The Torah view is precisely the opposite. This is in fact the covenant made between Moshiach and the Holy One, blessed be He mentioned in Pesiktah Rabbati. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:43
  • 1
    @KirkBellard Christianity believes in the Trinity, which, according to the Rambam (commentary on Avoda Zara 1:3), is avodah Zara. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 17:19

1 Answer 1

0

This is a great question, and cuts right to the beginning of the purpose of creation.

Firstly, the Ramchal himself explains this by stating in Derech Hashem (1:2:1-2) that Hashem wants to give people the best good, which is Himself, and therefore the only way to achieve that is for us to be like Him in a certain respect: i.e. we are to be the masters of our own good. This means that we must have free will and the environment to exercise that free will that gives us those opportunities to fairly achieve that goodness through our own choice, toil and effort.

This free will must be truly free, which means there should be a fair chance that someone can make the wrong choice. Ramchal elaborates later on that after eating the fruit, the balance became a lot worse, and now the majority of our inclination will be towards selfishness and evil.

Tanya explains giving Himself means Hashem desires a "dwelling among the lowest beings". We are serving Him in fulfilling this desire by partnering with Him to build a true dwelling with us. A true dwelling is unity between us and Him, and each other, forever, as Ramchal states:

שתכלית כל הענין הוא לקבץ קיבוץ שלמים שיהיו ראוים ליקבע לנצח בהתדבקותו ית׳‎

The purpose of all this is to gather a perfected group fit to be together with Him Yitbarach, in dvekut forever

This intimate oneness is so good that it's purely His infinite kindness and generosity that He gives us an opportunity to have it with Him; purely our priviledge. It's pure kindness that it is as easy as it is, even if it's very hard (or is it? See next paragraph). The "punishment" is the extreme regret one has on the squandered opportunities one lost in achieving that Oneness for himself, at the end of days when it's too late to try again.

That He desires this is our great benefit, but the point of the Tanya is that it is His desire; His desire to dwell with us. This answers your question because, if it's for Him, He will get what He wants. So we see many themes in many Torah sources that demonstrate how Hashem navigates our lives and history with mercy, so that far more of us are saved than meets the eye. As it says (Shmuel 2:14:14):

ולא־ישא אלהים נפש וחשב מחשבות לבלתי ידח ממנו נדח

...neither does God take [away] life, but devises means, that none of us be banished. [Samuel II 14:14]

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .