Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Chapter 4: “Israel and the Other Nations”
As everyone knows, you can tell the content of a person's dreams -- as well
as the quality of his being -- by the rewards he hopes to earn for his
efforts. And as is also true, the less appropriate his reward, the less
pleased a person will be, and the less effort he'll make. That goes for a
person's material as well as his spiritual dreams.
So if you value the life of the spirit and pursue metaphysical goals your
whole life long, you'd be terribly disappointed being rewarded by a grand
banquet, say, in the end, no matter how opulent. And you'd be disappointed to
be rewarded by a set of esoteric religious texts, for example, no matter how
profound, if you had striven for wealth your whole life long.
Now, as we'd depicted it, the reward due a person in the World to Come is
closeness to G-d and the experience of basking in His supernal light forever.
Obviously, some people would consider that an off-putting prospect and would
do all they could to avoid it.
Ramchal's point here is that since nothing swells the heart of a true
descendant of Abraham more than closeness to G-d in the World to Come, which
was Abraham's ultimate goal, then we'll indeed be rewarded with it.
His other point is that those non-Jews who strove to draw close to G-d by
adhering to the seven Noachite Laws will also earn a place there -- but a
lesser one. Because they'd have done less to draw close to G-d here (i.e.,
they'd have fulfilled less mitzvot) than we had.
This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel,
and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.
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