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2.7. Suffering and Gehinnom
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– As we discussed throughout the preceding entries, man’s purpose in this world is to elevate himself so that he becomes worthy of the ultimate goodness, which is proximity to God in the Next World. God’s wisdom decreed that the best way to accomplish this would be for […]
2.6. The Basic Idea of Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– It should be obvious that if something exists, either in Heaven or on Earth, it must be because God deemed that thing necessary and useful in fulfilling His plan for the universe. The laws of physics were designed so that everything in the universe could serve its […]
2.5. Spiritual Forces
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– Creation is made up of two components, the physical and the spiritual. The physical component is that which we can perceive through our senses. This includes both terrestrial and celestial phenomena. The former includes such things as soil, water and air, while the latter includes the stars […]
2.4. Elevating the Mundane
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– A person’s condition in this world depends on a combination of internal and external factors. [I, 4.1] Upon birth, a human being is almost completely physical in nature, as the intellect exerts only a negligible influence. As a person matures, the influence of his intellect grows to […]
2.3. Life and Afterlife
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– As we have said, only man has been placed on the crossroads of perfection and imperfection with the ability to choose his own path. This choice must be made of a person’s own free will. If God were to compel a person on the path of goodness, […]
2.2. Why Are We Here?
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– Since God is perfect and His existence requires nothing else, why did He create the universe? This was so that He could bestow His goodness on others. God is the ultimate good. His wisdom decreed that this be expressed by allowing created beings to get close to […]
2.1. God
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With this entry, The God Papers begins with the Ramchal’s classic work Derech Hashem. Source notes refer to that sefer. ————————————————- Every Jew must strive to know that there’s a God, who created everything. God has no beginning and He will have no end. He brought everything else into existence and He sustains it all. […]
63. The Highest Form of Perfection
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The Hebrew word “chachma” (generally translated as “wisdom”) can mean four different things, and the Rambam provides a few examples of each. [III, 54] (1) It can mean knowledge of truths that bring us to knowledge of God (as in Job 28:12 and Proverbs 2:4); this is how we use it most often. (2) It […]
62. What are Kindness, Righteousness and Judgment?
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Before proceeding to the conclusion, the Rambam tells us that the meanings of three terms must be clarified: chesed (kindness), tzedaka (righteousness), and mishpat (judgment). [III, 53] Chesed is the act of extending a great amount of kindness. In Tanach, it generally refers to showing kindness to those who have done nothing to deserve it. […]
61. Acquiring Awe of God
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We do not sit, speak or act the same when we are alone or with members of our families as we do when we are in the presence of important people. Therefore, if a person truly wants to perfect himself and get closer to God, it behooves him to remember that we are always in […]