11 Cheshvan 5782 / Sunday, October 17, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
 
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Hashem's Goodness    

Hashem's Goodness



The fact that the evil are punished to benefit them later is clear proof that Hashem's will is only for good; for the intended result...

 



Hashem's desire is only to bestow good. Even evil is a means through which He bestows good. In this way His oneness is clearly revealed.
 
Opening 2:  The will of the Emanator, blessed be His Name, is only good, and therefore nothing will endure except His goodness. All that is initially evil does not arise from another domain that could endure against Him. In the end it will certainly be good, and then it will be revealed that there is no domain other than His.
 
This is the answer to the objection posed above: If the Supreme Will wanted to bring into being powers capable of setting limits to His power (as if such a thing were possible) - this would not be contrary to the Supreme Will, since He willed it so.
 
The will of the Emanator, blessed be His Name, is only good - We cannot say that the Supreme Will wanted other wills to exist having the power to limit Him in any way whatever. For the Supreme Will wants only good, and it would certainly not be good if His goodness could not reach His creatures. If you say that such is the nature of goodness - to benefit the righteous and punish the wicked, while "showing compassion for the wicked is cruel" - the Torah says the opposite: "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious" (Exodus 23:19) - "even though he may not be worthy" (Berachot 7a). It is also written that, "The sin of Israel will be sought but it will not exist, and the transgression of Judah will not be found" (Jeremiah 3:2). From here we see that it is God's will to benefit even the wicked.
 
If you argue that all this applies only after the long exile and punishment - this is precisely what proves the point. For if so, we see that the Supreme Will brings it about that eventually everyone benefits. From this we may infer that His will is only to benefit, quite literally. However, He has to deal with each one suitably according to his nature. It is necessary to punish the wicked in order to forgive them afterwards. If the intention was to reject the wicked, they should literally be destroyed instead of being punished in order to benefit them afterwards. The fact that they are punished to benefit them later is clear proof that His will is only for good. For the intended result of an action is the ultimate purpose that governs all parts of that action. In the end, all men, whether righteous or wicked, receive goodness. If so, the ultimate purpose is to bestow goodness on all. This proves that His will is only for good.
 
And therefore nothing will endure except His goodness - Seeing that His will is only to benefit, it must be that things will not continue endlessly in their present state. Granted, if He did not spurn the destruction of the wicked, we could have said that their punishment is not bad, but rather that, "Evil pursues sinners" (Proverbs 13:21) and their punishment is fair retribution, as discussed above. However, now that we have said this is not His way, but that he punishes the sinner in order to bring him to repent so as to benefit him, if so, the punishment itself is bad. As such, it cannot continue forever. It must come to an end so that the sinner may be released. Since the punishment is bad, it is against the Supreme Will. And just as it cannot continue forever in each individual case, so it cannot continue forever in the world as a whole, for it is against the Supreme Will.
 
To be continued.

 To purchase The 138 Openings of Wisdom, click here.
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra (http://www.azamra.org/).




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