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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Chapter 3: “Personal Providence”

Paragraph 6

"Take heart," we're taught here, "evil and wrongdoing can only go so far, and no further." Which is to say that despite the terrible numbing and aching feeling deep in our being that says otherwise, the truth is that evil people and wrongdoers can do only so much in this world. There'll indeed be a point when G-d will stop them in their tracks and blot them out.

In fact, the promise that good will prevail in the end is an axiom of the Jewish Faith. A Jew who doesn't believe in it isn't only terribly hapless and woebegone; he or she is in conflict with the entire Jewish Tradition. For anyone who truly believes in G-d Almighty and acknowledges that He has His plans can't help but conclude that evil will pass away from the world, and that G-d and goodness will prevail.

Ramchal's point here, though, is that not only will evil end on a global level, in the end of days; in fact, each individual wrongdoer will be forced to stop being evil at a certain point in his or her "career", if you will, and will be prevented from going further.

As a matter of fact, we're taught that some wrongdoers are actually given the chance to do more and more harm. But, why? So as to get to the point where they can simply go no further, because there's no further to go in the grand scheme of things. This is the import of the teaching that "The door is opened for one who comes to defile himself" (Yoma 38b). That's to say that if someone decides to do harm of his own volition, he's given free reign to do just that (which is the nature of free choice), but there'll come a point where his ability to freely make his own wrongful moral and spiritual choices will taken away from him, and both he and acts of evil will be undone.

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

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