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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: “Divine Providence”, Chapter 2: “Mankind in this world”

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We spoke before of certain wrongful people who had nonetheless done some good in their lives which they were rewarded for in the here and now. That phenomenon proved to underscore the fact that nothing good goes un-rewarded, and that G-d's ways are always just. But let's recall, though, that these mainly-wrongful people don't inherit a place in The World to Come. The reward they experience in life ends with life.

There are, though, essentially good people who also enjoy a great deal of reward in life. But they pay a heavy price. Because the merit they'd have accrued from their goodness would play itself out here rather than in The World to Come, much like the mainly wrongful people above. That seems to contradict G-d's justice. We'll see, however, that G-d's justice always holds sway.

Nonetheless we find there to be many people who reap the reward for their good deeds in their lifetimes. And yet some of them go on to enjoy The World to Come (i.e., essentially good people), while others don't (i.e., essentially bad people). So what sets them apart?

It's this. While the mostly-wrongful people are indeed rewarded for their few good deeds here in the world, they never ever attain a place in The World to Come, as we said. Whereas the essentially good people who reap their reward here in the world do earn a place The World to Come-- but only barely so. For their accommodations would be minimal, since they'd been rewarded in this world as well. In fact, some essentially good people could very well have attained rather lofty positions in The World to Come had they not been rewarded in life. And that's why many righteous people shun good fortune while in this world.

This too bears witness to G-d's (sometimes inexplicable) justice. For while everything good we do is indeed rewarded, certain things merit eternal reward while others only merit temporal reward (some of which can be rather luxurious, and others of which more modest, of course, the way our eternal rewards vary). It's just that He alone knows what merits what, and to what degree.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel, and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.

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