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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: “Divine Providence”

Ch. 1: “Divine Providence in General”

Paragraph 3

We find that G-d’s Providence functions one way when it comes to creation in general, and another when it comes to mankind. Since we alone enjoy free will, and can thus better or diminish ourselves as well as the world around us of our own volition.

For, indeed, we’re capable of being active participants in worldly affairs rather than the sorts of passive participants other species or phenomena are (though, the truth be known, many of us do lapse into moral, personal, and spiritual passivity, and suffer the consequences of that.)

Hence G-d interacts with us, rather than just oversees or supervises us, as He does other species. And because He and we interact, it also follows that G-d takes everything we do into consideration and sees to it that the consequences of our actions correspond to those actions, measure for measure. (This theme will come up again in the chapters to follow.)

But that’s not the case with other species or phenomena. G-d merely oversees their actions and experiences, and the consequences of them on a broad, more all-encompassing scope. And He does that by interacting only with their spiritual “roots” and “branches” (i.e. their overarching purpose in the world, and the possible repercussions of their existence), rather than with the other species or phenomena themselves.

The difference is often likened to how a teacher relates to a bright student who knows exactly what he’s doing in class, as opposed to how he acts toward the other, more pedestrian students.

The bright student (i.e., mankind) enjoys the teacher’s special attention and he’s allotted certain special privileges. His teacher watches over him proudly, almost dotingly; he duly notes and rewards the student’s contributions to the class, and the teacher may even parry from time to time with the good student. Should he somehow test his teacher’s mettle and go too far, that would be noted too, and the “star” student would suffer the consequences of that.

The other students (i.e., other species or phenomena) are certainly observed in class and encouraged to do what they do best, but because they neither “shine” nor significantly contribute to the quality of the class, they’re observed only far enough to see to it that they get what they can from the class, in order to maintain order and progress. But they’re still-and-all not doted over.

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