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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: "Divine Providence"
Chapter 8: "The Details of Divine Providence"

Paragraph 2

It's important to realize that not only does G-d interact with our physical circumstances as we've been detailing, He also interacts with our spiritual circumstances. And that touches upon our ability to reason and know, our relationship to G-d, and our spiritual status.

Ramchal then goes on to explain the importance of our spiritual status, and in the course of that he presents us with a layout of a perfect world rich in spiritual and intellectual content, and contrasts it with the world we now know. Since the two depictions he presents are so well put, thorough, and enlightening we thought we'd offer them both in nearly word-for-word translation.

"The truly best situation for the world to be in would be for people to cling onto wisdom and serve their Creator." That's best because as a consequence of it, "the truth would be forthright and clear-cut, the wrongful would be pursued and overcome, and deception would be undone." All that would be so rampant and so self-evident that "no one would serve anyone or anything but G-d" -- since it would only make sense to do that. We'd then find that "only good qualities would exist", which is to say, that we'd be the people we're all capable of being, "while wrongful ones would be rejected and despised."

What will result from all that? "Tranquility and quietude will prevail, and there'll no longer be tribulation, pain, or harm. G-d will openly display His Glory to the world, and He'll rejoice in His handiwork as His handiwork rejoices in Him."

That's clearly not the state of the world now, which seems the very antithesis of all that. For indeed as Ramchal presents it, we find ourselves "awash in desires"; the great majority of us "despise wisdom and are far removed from it"; "very, very few if any" of us "tend to serve G-d"; "truth has been dashed to the ground, wrongdoing is reinforced and succeeds, and there's more and more deception and misjudgment". "Foreign practices prevail" here, and "good qualities are eclipsed by wrongful ones" as we all know only too well.

That explains why "there's hardly any quietude, and no tranquility" in our times, as well as why "a lot of tribulation and harm" prevails instead. For indeed as we all sense for ourselves, "G-d is hiding His Glory from the world" now, "and everything seems to go about as if by chance, and entrusted to the laws of nature" alone. "G-d doesn't rejoice in His handiwork, mankind doesn't rejoice in Him, and no one even recognizes or knows what it means for all of creation to rejoice before its Creator." And as one would expect in such a world, indeed "the wrongful are powerful while the good are subordinate."

The point to recall is that everything physical and spiritual that's relevant to our lives, whether depicted here or not, is influenced by G-d.

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

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