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Why In The World is There A World?

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Topic: Creation, Purpose

Daniel Rabchinskey from Mexico City, Mexico wrote:
Dear Rabbi,

Hello, first let me extend my gratitude for sharing your wisdom in this way. The life we live is not only made for the 80 or so years that we are here; as I have been taught, it is like a passage for the world to come. But why did G-d give us this life instead of giving us our direct existence in the world to come, where we will experience pleasure multiplied by the millions? The reason is so that we appreciate what we have fought to get to. The thing is, why don't we appreciate things if they did not cost us anything? I'd say that it is because G-d made us that way; He can do it all. So the question is: Why didn't G-d make us in a way that we would appreciate everything even if we did not work for it, so that we could be "born" from the beginning in the world to come? Shalom.

Dear Daniel Rabchinskey,

Your question is asked by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in The Way of G-d, and is also addressed by Rabbi Yosef Karo in Maggid Meisharim. The gist of what they say is as follows: The purpose of Creation is chesed, kindness. G-d wants to bestow the greatest possible good upon created beings. The ultimate and greatest good is G-d Himself. Therefore, the ultimate good available to created beings is closeness to G-d. Closeness to God requires compatibility and similarity to G-d. Therefore beings must have free will and not be created already similar, as this would be dissimilar to G-d (i.e., G-d acts because He chooses to do so, not because He is coerced). So that the creatures (humans) must be in a world in which there is choice so that the human can be as "G-dlike" as possible. The good has to be internal not external, just as God is intrinsically good. The only way for us to internalize and be intrinsically good is to do it through challenge and free will, and therefore, this world was created.

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