Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter Four: The Divine Merit-System (Part 3)

“But you need to know,” Ramchal makes clear, that while indeed “the main reward is the true good that the righteous will enjoy in The World to Come” as we indicated, that’s nevertheless not the only venue in which the righteous are rewarded.

For, “there are some good deeds … that are rewarded both in this world and in the World to Come”, just as there are “some misdeeds … that are penalized for both in this world and in the World to Come”. And conversely, there are good deeds that are only rewarded for in this world, and some misdeeds that are only penalized for in this world.

Perhaps the wisdom of that can be explained by our own experience.

For as everyone knows, we’re happiest when we’re rewarded right there and then (as when we win a lottery the very same day we enter it, for example; or we catch a train as soon as we get to the terminal, etc.). Now, while we’re certainly happy too when things are almost just-so (as when we win the lottery the following month; we catch the train within 15 minutes, and the like), still and all the joy is less, and we grow impatient in the interim.

And the painful truth is that we’re downright sad when things seem to go against us at every turn (as when we lose the lottery, or miss the train) - - even when it turns out to be for the best in the end. Because as we all know as well, every now and then what starts off as bad is actually for the best (as when winning the lottery would have been an emotional disaster for us, or if we’d have been in an accident if we’d caught that train).

It also follows then that sometimes the best-of-all-worlds isn’t the one we expected. That is, while we might have wished that we could be rewarded in the ethereal World to Come and revel in spiritual glee in G-d’s presence, our souls might not be ready for that. Contrarily, while we might want to be rewarded in the here and now, along with family and friends, our souls might need the more ethereal joy of the World to Come. Or perhaps a combination of the two is best.

But only G-d could make that judgment; for whom among us has the comprehensive wisdom needed to determine that? The point to recall is that “the Righteous Judge always makes His decisions flawlessly”, as Ramchal puts it, taking each and every factor and ramification into consideration.


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.


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

From Egypt to Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Hey, Hey, Hey!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Wandering Jew
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

And Swing with All Your Might
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

> Environmental Hazard
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

"Steps" in the Right Direction
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

I Too Was Struck
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

ArtScroll

Bless You!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

The Grand Prize of History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Home Sweet Home
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Uniquely Human
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Location is Everything
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information