Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato writes in the Way of God (ch.1) that God's purpose in creation was to bestow good.

We also know that God loves justice (mishpat) (as we say in the Amida prayer "Restore our judges..."). Are the two concepts (kindness and justice) related or are they independent.

  • 2
    Consider quoting the relevant passage of Ramhal, and of the Amida.
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 26 '17 at 20:09

When you teach a child how to walk, if you would catch it every time, the child would never learn. Sometimes you have to stand back and allow the toddler to experience the effects of its own mistakes.

Sometimes justice is the greater kindness.

The gemara (Berakhos 4b) quotes a Tosefta (translation and commentary from R' Steinzaltz's shas):

תנא מיכאל באחת גבריאל בשתים אליהו בארבע ומלאך המות בשמנה ובשעת המגפה באחת:

It was taught [in a Tosefta]: Michael, [as stated above,] in one [flight]; Gabriel, in two [flights]; Elijah [the Prophet,] in four [flights]; and the Angel of Death, in eight [flights]. During a time of plague, [however, when the Angel of Death seems ubiquitous, he arrives everywhere] in one [flight].

The Malbim (ad loc) explains:

דמיכאל שהוא מלאך החסד יעוף עפיפה אחת להשפיע הנבואה אל הנביא ולא ישוב כי החסד ישאר לעולם. אבל גבריאל שהוא מלאך הדין יעוף בשתי עפיפות, שתחילה עף למעלה לקבל השפע מאשר עליו שהוא מיכאל, ואחר כך עף למטה להשפיע הנבואה למטה.

Because Michael, who is the angel of Lovingkindness, can fly a single flight (or perhaps: can fly in a single flap of the wings), to bestow / influence prophecy on a prophet. He does not return, because lovingkindness stays in the world.

However Gavriel, who is the angel of Justice, flies in two flights. Because first he flight up to get the influence which is above him, which is Mikhael. Then he flighs down to bestow / influence prophecy below.

The angel of Justice gets its power from that of Lovingkindness. Again, implying that Justice exists as an expression of Divine Love.

  • thanks. but is paying the consequences of your mistakes divine justice?
    – ray
    Apr 3 '17 at 20:15
  • Yes. After all, G-d created the system of causality which connects your mistakes to their consequences. As Megillas Eikhah says, "chai gever al chata'av". Much more sources at aishdas.org/10YemeiTeshuvah.pdf#page=47 -- Ran, the Iqarim, the Ramchal, R Chaim Volozhiner, etc... Apr 3 '17 at 21:06
  • The difference between HQBH setting up a system by which we feel the effects of our decisions and one in which He responds to our actions with rewards and punishments is the "when" to which we ascribe His Action. And Hashem has no "when", so... Apr 3 '17 at 21:15

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