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Rabbi M Ch Luzzatto in Derech HaShem (1:2:1) gives HaShem’s purpose in creation to “bestow of His good to another”. (Translation Aryeh Kaplan.) The translator in his notes gives several sources/references for this which I find very difficult to locate even at Hebrewbooks.com. They are: Emunos VeDeyos 2:1 end, 3:0; Or HaShem (Crescas) 2:6:2; Sefer HaYashar 1; Pardes Rimonim 2:6; Eitz Chayim Shaar HaKelalim %1

How does Ramchal (or any of the references) know that this was HaShem’s purpose?

Is the proof from Tehillim 89(3) כִּי אָמַרְתִּי עוֹלָם חֶסֶד יִבָּנֶה, שָׁמַיִם תָּכִן אֱמוּנָתְךָ בָהֶם?

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    Olam Chesed Yibaneh?
    – Seth J
    May 6, 2012 at 2:04
  • Can you point me to the relevant text in the links supplied by WAF (for which much thanks)? May 6, 2012 at 16:00
  • @AlBerko The question also cites "Emunos VeDeyos 2:1 end, 3:0; Or HaShem (Crescas) 2:6:2; Sefer HaYashar 1; Pardes Rimonim 2:6; Eitz Chayim Shaar HaKelalim" and asks about Ramchal or any of the references. The question isn't just about Ramchal
    – b a
    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:59
  • @ba Is this question about Ramchal's understanding or the purpose of the creation in general?
    – Al Berko
    Mar 4, 2019 at 15:47
  • @AlBerko The question gives 6 different books, doesn't it? I don't think that's about the Ramchal's understanding only. The accepted answer doesn't even mention Ramchal
    – b a
    Mar 4, 2019 at 16:03

2 Answers 2

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The relevant quotations from Emunos V'Deos are, respectively, here (end of Maamar 1) and here (introduction to Maamar 3).

In the first-mentioned place he cites Isaiah 48:17, אני ה' אלקיך מלמדך להועיל מדריכך בדרך תלך - "I am Hashem your G-d, who teaches you for your benefit, who guides you in the way that you should go." In the second place he starts by explaining that since G-d existed before (and independently of) the world, then He didn't need to create it to fulfill some need of His, but rather for our good, and cites in this connection Psalms 145:9: טוב ה' לכל ורחמיו על כל מעשיו - "Hashem is good to all, and His mercies are upon everything He made."

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While there are any number of Biblical verses that support the idea that God created this world for the purpose of bestowing good, the fundamental reason for believing this is theological. Because Judaism sees God as the source of all existence, He is therfore perceived as being entirely independent of creation, needing nothing whatsoever. From this it follows that the purpose of Creation cannot be to satisfy any need or want of God's, as God has no needs or wants to satisfy. The purpose of Creation can only be understood as being purely for the benefit of the created beings.

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  • Is it not possible that He had other non-disclosed purpose(s)? May 9, 2012 at 14:03
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    @AvrohomYitzchok, For example? I would assume anything you come up with ultimately must be for others, since G-d does not need or desire. QED, creation must be a manifestation of G-d's innate quality of a Giver.
    – YDK
    May 9, 2012 at 14:27
  • But what about the desire to do good? May 9, 2012 at 15:26
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    @ydk so Hashem is "forced" to do good by nature? May 13, 2012 at 5:12
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    I wonder whether maybe it's only revelation that tells us God is good...not philosophy 'alone', which always starts with a set of assumptions anyway.
    – Annelise
    Jan 6, 2013 at 4:33

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