So at bottom the ultimate intention behind all of the mitzvot is to draw
close to G-d and to bask in His light. And the whole point of refraining
from sins is to avoid drawing away from Him 1.
While these are the overarching reasons for the mitzvot in general, their
specific roles are rooted in deep mysteries that are dependent on man's own
and the world's makeup, as we indicated 2. But we'll address some
of that at a later point 3.
1. Ramchal concludes this chapter by underscoring the fact that mitzvot
serve a deeper, far more compelling role in the world than we imagine. For
they’re not just "good deeds" or lovely expressions of cultural pride;
they’re agents of sweeping change and consequence.
See a reiteration of these points in Messilat Yesharim Ch. 1 where Ramchal
says that "our sages ... taught us that we were created to delight in G-d
and enjoy the radiance of His Divine presence ....” and that "the means to
bring you to this goal are the mitzvot"; and where he also said that "it’s
only fitting ... that there be no goal in any of your actions, large or
small, other than to get close to G-d and to eradicate the barriers that
separate you from Him”.
Let it also be said that we see from here that G-d is both the originator of
the mitzvah system and its objective, nothing or no one else. That’s to say
that it and the Torah itself derive from Him and lead us back to Him as
well, thus forming a perfect circle. And that is its most important point.
2. See 1:4:5. Also see 4:1:5 and 4:4:10 below as well as “Da’at Tevunot 2”
3. See Section 4 below.
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon "The Gates of Repentance", "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason
Aronson Publishers). His works are available in bookstores and in various
locations on the Web.