Reward and Punishment - Is It Justified??

Bernard Laufer (seeker1@gte.net)
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 01:11:37 -0500

Let's assume that we have an evil individual that we shall call E,
and a good individual that we shall call G.

E dies and he says to Hashem (G-d) that he doesn't deserve any
punishment in the World to Come for his evil deeds because He gave
him an inferior soul, and if he was given a soul identical to G then
he would not have become an evil person.

Likewise, Hashem can say to G when he passes away that he doesn't
deserve any reward in the World to Come for his good deeds because he
was bestowed a superior soul, and if he was given a soul identical to
E then he would not have become a good person.

Hence, in view of the above predicament, one may ask if Reward and
Punishment Is Really Justified.

I found a solution to this vexing problem with the help of Hashem,
and some hints from R. Luzzato's Derech Hashem (The Way Of G-d), but
I am interested in seeing how other people would crack this problem
before I present my solution.

Depending upon the response I receive to this problem, I may present
a related problem which I consider to be a real challenge, and so far
I haven't received the inspiration to solve it.

Dov Laufer