(An empirical, scientific research about the necessity of the work of the Creator)
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lay down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.”
“And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again, a second time, to recover the remnant of His people, who shall be left from Ashur and from Egypt, from Patros and from Kush, and from Elam and from Shin’ar, and from Hamat, and from the islands of the sea” (Isaiah 11).
“Rabbi Shimon Ben Halafta said, ‘The Lord did not find a vessel to hold the blessing for Israel but peace, as was said. ‘The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace’’” (end of Masechet Okatzin).
After having demonstrated in previous articles the general form of His work, whose essence is nothing more and nothing less than the love of others, practically determined as “bestowal upon others,” meaning that the actual manifestation of love of others is bestowal of goodness upon others, love of others should therefore be determined as bestowal upon others, which is best suited for its content, aiming to ensure that we do not forget the intention.
Now that we know for certain the conduct of His work, there still remains to inquire whether we accept this work on faith alone, without any scientific, empirical basis, or do we also have an empirical basis for this. This is what I want to prove in the essay before us. But first I must thoroughly prove the subject itself, meaning who it is who accepts our work.
But I am not an enthusiast of formative philosophy, since I dislike theoretically based studies, and it is well known that most of my contemporaries agree with me, for we are too familiar with such foundations, which are rickety foundations, and when the foundation fluctuates, the whole building tumbles.
Therefore, I have come here to speak only through critique of empirical reason, beginning from the simple recognition no one disagrees with, through proving analytically [separating the various elements in an issue], until we come to determine the uppermost topic. And it will be tested synthetically [the connection and unity between matters, such as inference and the “all the more so”], how His work is confirmed and reaffirmed by simple recognition from the practical aspect.
Contradictions in Providence
Every reasonable person who examines the reality before us finds two complete opposites in it. When examining creation, its reality and conducts, there is an apparent and affirmed leadership of great wisdom and skill, 1) both regarding the formation of reality and 2) the securing of its existence in general.
Let us take the making of a human being as an example: The love and pleasure of the progenitors is its first reason, guaranteed to perform its duty. When the essential drop is extracted from the father’s brain, Providence has very wisely secured a safe place for it, which qualifies it to receive life. Providence also gives it its daily bread in the exact amount. Providence has also prepared a wonderful foundation for it in the mother’s womb so that no stranger might harm it.
It tends to its every need like a trained nanny who will not forget it for a moment until it has acquired the strength to emerge into our world. At that time, Providence briefly lends it just enough strength to break the walls that surround it, and like a trained, armed warrior, it breaks an opening and emerges into the world.
Then, too, Providence does not abandon it. Like a loving mother, it brings it to such loving, loyal people it can trust, called “Mother” and “Father,” to assist it through its days of weakness until it grows and can sustain itself. As man, so are all the animals, plants, and inanimate; all are wisely and mercifully cared for to ensure their own existence and the continuation of their species.
But those who examine that reality from the perspective of provision and persistence of existence can clearly see great disorder and confusion, as though there were no leader and no guidance. Everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, building himself on the ruin of others, the evil thrive and the righteous are trampled mercilessly.
Bear in mind that this oppositeness, set before the eyes of every sensible, educated person, has preoccupied humanity even in ancient times. And there are many methods to explain these two apparent opposites in Providence, which occupy the same world.
First Method: Nature
This method is an ancient one. Since they did not find a way and an outlet to bring these two evident opposites closer, they came to assume that the Creator, Who created all these, Who watches mightily over His reality lest any of it be canceled, is mindless and senseless.
Hence, although He watches over the existence of reality with wondrous wisdom, He Himself is mindless and does all that senselessly. If there had been any reason and feeling in Him, He would certainly not leave such malfunctions in the provision of reality without pity or compassion for the tormented. For this reason, they named Him “Nature,” meaning a mindless, heartless Supervisor. For this reason, they believe that there is no one to be angry at, pray to, or justify before Him.
Second Method: Two Authorities
Others were more sophisticated. They found it difficult to accept the premise of nature’s supervision, since they saw that the supervision over reality, to secure its existence, is a far deeper wisdom than any human culmination. They could not agree that the overseer over all these is Himself mindless, for how can one give that which one does not possess? Can one teach one’s friend while he himself is a fool?
How can you say about He who performs before us such astute and wise deeds that He does not know what He is doing, that He does it by chance, which it is evident that chance cannot arrange any orderly deed, devised in wisdom, much less secure its eternal existence? Hence, they came to a second assumption that there are two supervisors here: one creates and sustains the good, and the other creates and sustains the bad. And they have greatly elaborated that method with evidence and proofs along their way.
Third Method: Multiple Gods
This method was born out of the bosom of the method of two authorities. This is because they had divided and separated each of the general actions for itself, meaning strength, wealth, domination, beauty, famine, death, disorder, and so on. They appointed each its own supervisor, and expanded the matter as they wished.
Fifth Method: Left His Operation
Recently, when knowledge increased and they saw the tight linkage among all parts of creation, they recognized the concept of multiple gods to be completely impossible. Thus, the question of the oppositeness sensed in creation reawakened.
This led them to a new assumption—that the Supervisor of reality is indeed wise and caring, but because of His exaltedness, which is beyond conception, our world is deemed a grain of sand, nothing in His eyes. It is not worthwhile for Him to bother with our petty matters, which is why our livelihood is so disordered and every man does that which is right in his own eyes.
Alongside these methods, there existed religious methods of Godly unity. But this is not the place to examine them, as I only wanted to examine the origins from which the foul methods and puzzling assumptions that vastly dominated and expanded at different times and places were taken.
We find that the basis on which all the above methods were born and emerged is the contradiction between the two types of Providence detectable in our world, and all these methods came about only to mend that great rift.
Yet, nothing is new under the sun, and not only is that great rift not been mended, it grows and expands before us into a terrible chasm without seeing or hoping for a way out of it. When I look at all those attempts that humanity has been making for several thousand years to no avail, I wonder if we should not seek the mending of this great rift from the Supervisor’s point of view at all, but rather accept that this great correction is in our own hands.
Necessity to Practice Caution with the Laws of Nature
We can all plainly see that the human species must lead a social life, meaning we cannot exist and sustain ourselves without the help of society. Therefore, imagine an event where one retires from society to a desolate location and lives there a life of misery and great pain due to his inability to provide for his needs. That person would have no right to complain about Providence or his fate. And if that person were to do that, meaning complain and curse his bitter fate, he would only be displaying his stupidity, for while Providence has prepared for him a comfortable, desirable place in society, he has no justification to retire from it to a desolate place. Such a person must not be pitied, since he goes against the nature of creation. Since he has the option to live as Providence has ordered him, he should not be pitied. That sentence is agreed upon by all of humanity without dispute.
And I can add and establish it on a religious basis and give it such a form: Since Providence extends from the Creator, who undoubtedly has a purpose in His actions, since no one acts without a purpose, we find that anyone who breaks a law from the laws of nature that He has imprinted in us, corrupts the purposeful aim.
Because the purpose is undoubtedly built over all the laws of nature, none excluded, just as the clever worker would not add or subtract even a hairsbreadth of the necessary actions to attain the goal, he who spoils even a single law harms and damages the purposeful aim that the Creator has set and will therefore be punished by nature. Hence, we, too, creatures of the Creator, must not pity him because he desecrates the laws of nature and defiles the purpose of the Creator. That, I believe, is the form of the sentence.
And I believe that it is not a good idea for anyone to contradict this form that I have given to the sentence, since the words of the sentence are one. For what is the difference if we say that the supervisor is called “nature,” meaning mindless and purposeless, or saying that the supervisor is wondrously wise, knowing, feeling, and has a purpose in his actions?
In the end, we all admit and agree that we are obliged to observe the commandments of Providence, meaning the laws of nature. And we all admit that one who breaks the commandments of Providence, meaning the laws of nature, should be punished by nature, and must not be pitied by anyone. Thus, the nature of the sentence is the same, and the only difference is in the motive: They maintain that the motive is necessary, and I maintain that it is purposeful.
To avoid having to use both tongues from now on, 1) nature, 2) a supervisor, between which, as I have shown, there is no difference regarding the following of the laws, it is best for us to agree and accept the words of the Kabbalists that HaTeva [the nature] has the same numerical value [in Hebrew] as Elokim [God]—eighty-six. Then, I will be able to call the laws of God “nature’s Mitzvot [commandments],” or vice-versa (the Mitzvot of Elokim by the name “nature’s laws”), for they are one and the same, and we need not discuss it further.
Now it is vitally important for us to examine nature’s Mitzvot, to know what it demands of us, lest it would mercilessly punish us. We have said that nature obligates humankind to lead a social life, and this is simple. But we need to examine the Mitzvot that nature obliges us to observe in that respect, meaning with respect to the social life.
In general examination, we find that there are only two Mitzvot to follow in society. These can be called 1) “reception” and 2) “bestowal.” This means that each member must, by nature, receive his needs from society and must benefit society through his work for its well-being. And if one breaks one of these two Mitzvot, he will be mercilessly punished.
We need not excessively examine the Mitzva [singular for Mitzvot] of reception, since the punishment is carried out immediately, which prevents any neglect. But in the other Mitzva, that of bestowal upon society, not only is the punishment not immediate, but it is given indirectly. Therefore, this Mitzva is not properly observed.
Thus, humanity is being fried in a heinous turmoil, and strife and famine and their consequences have not ceased thus far. The wonder about it is that nature, like a skillful judge, punishes us according to our development. For we can see that to the extent that humankind develops, the pains and torments obtaining our sustenance and existence also multiply.
Thus you have a scientific, empirical basis that His Providence has commanded us to observe with all our might the Mitzva of bestowal upon others in utter precision, in such a way that no member from among us would work any less than the measure required to secure the happiness of society and its success. As long as we are idle performing it to the fullest, nature will not stop punishing us and take its revenge.
And besides the blows we suffer today, we must also consider the drawn sword for the future. The right conclusion must be drawn—that nature will ultimately defeat us and we will all be compelled to join hands in following its Mitzvot with all the measure required of us.
Proof of His Work by Experience
But he who wishes to criticize my words might still ask, “Although I have thus far proven that one must work to benefit people, where is the proof that it has to be done for the sake of the Creator?”
Indeed, history itself has troubled in our favor and has prepared for us an established fact, sufficient for a full appreciation and unequivocal conclusion: Everyone can see how a large society such as that of Russia, with hundreds of millions in population, more land than the whole of Europe, second to none in wealth and raw materials, and which has already agreed to lead communal life and practically abolished private property altogether, where each worries only about the well-being of society, has seemingly acquired the full measure of the virtue of bestowal upon others in its full meaning, as far as the human mind can grasp.
And yet, go and see what has become of them: Instead of rising and exceeding the achievements of the capitalist countries, they have sunk ever lower. Now, they not only fail to benefit the lives of the workers a little more than in the capitalist countries, they cannot even secure their daily bread and clothes on their flesh. Indeed, this fact puzzles us, since judging by the wealth of that country and its plentiful population, it seems unreasonable that it would have to come to this.
But this nation has sinned one sin which the Creator will not forgive: All this precious and exalted work, namely bestowal upon others, which they have begun to perform, must be for the sake of the Creator and not for the sake of humanity. Because they do their work not for His sake, from nature’s point of view, they have no right to exist.
Try to imagine if every person in that society were anxious to observe the Mitzvot of the Creator to the extent of the verse: “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might,” and to that extent would rush to satisfy the needs and wishes of one’s friend in the full measure imprinted in man to satisfy his own wishes, as it is written, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If the Creator Himself were the goal of every worker while working for the well-being of society, meaning that the worker would expect this work for the sake of society to reward him with Dvekut [adhesion] with Him, the source of all goodness and truth and every pleasantness and softness, there is no doubt that within a few years they would rise in wealth over all the countries of the world combined. That is because then they would be able to utilize the raw materials in their lush soil, would truly be an example for all the countries, and would be considered blessed by the Creator.
But when all the work of bestowal upon others is based solely on the benefit of society, it is a rickety foundation, for who or what would obligate the individual to toil for society? From a dry, lifeless principle, one can never hope to derive motive power for movement even in developed individuals [motive power: a purposeful force that moves every body and allots it strength to exert, like fuel in a machine], much less for undeveloped people. Thus, the question is where would the worker or the farmer find sufficient motive power to work, for his daily bread will not increase or decrease by his efforts, and there are no goals or rewards before him. It is well known to researchers of nature that one cannot perform even the slightest movement without motive power, without somehow benefiting oneself.
When, for example, one moves one’s hand from the chair to the table, it is because he thinks that by putting his hand on the table he will enjoy it more. If he did not think so, he would leave his hand on the chair for the rest of his life without moving it at all. It is all the more so with greater efforts.
And if you say that there is a solution—to place them under supervision so that anyone who is idle at his work will be punished by denial of salary, I will ask, “Do tell me where the supervisors themselves would take the motive power for their work?” Because standing at one place and watching over people to motivate them to work is a great effort, too, perhaps more so than the work itself. Therefore, it is as though one wishes to switch on a machine without fueling it.
Hence, they are doomed by nature, since nature’s laws will punish them because they do not adapt themselves to obeying its commands—performing these acts of bestowal upon others in the form of work for the sake of the Creator, to achieve through it to the purpose of creation, which is Dvekut with Him. It was explained in the article, “Matan Torah,” Item 6, that this Dvekut comes to the worker in the measure of His pleasant and pleasurable bounty, which increases up to the desired measure for rising to know His genuineness, ever developing until he is rewarded with the excessiveness implied in the words, “The eye has not seen a God besides you.”
And imagine that the farmer and the worker were to sense this goal before them while working for the well-being of society, they would certainly not need any supervisors, since they would already have sufficient motive power for a great effort, enough to raise society to the ultimate happiness.
Indeed, understanding that matter in such a way requires great care and proven conducts. But everyone can see that without it they have no right to exist from the perspective of the obstinate, uncompromising nature, and this is what I wanted to prove here.
Thus, I have evidently proven from the perspective of empirical reason—out of the practical history unfolding before our very eyes—that there is no other cure for humanity but to assume the commandment of Providence to bestow upon others in order to bring contentment to the Creator in the measure of the two verses.
The first is “love your friend as yourself,” which is the attribute of the work itself. This means that the measure of work to bestow upon others for the happiness of society should be no less than the measure imprinted in man to care for his own needs. Moreover, he should put his fellow person’s needs before his own, as it written in the article, “Matan Torah,” Item 4.
The other verse is, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” This is the goal that must be before everyone’s eyes when laboring for one’s friend’s needs. This means that he labors and toils only to be liked by the Creator, as He said, “and they do His will.”
“And if you wish to listen, you will feed on the fruit of the land,” for poverty and torment and exploitation will be no more in the land, and the happiness of each and every one will rise ever higher, beyond measure. But as long as you refuse to assume the covenant of the work for the sake of the Creator in the fullest measure, nature and its laws will stand ready to take revenge on you. And as we have shown, it will not let go until it defeats us and we accept its authority in whatever it commands.
Now I have given you a practical, scientific research according to the critique of empirical reason regarding the absolute necessity of all people to assume the work of the Creator with all their hearts, and souls, and might.
Clarification of the Excerpt from the Mishnah: “Everything Is in Deposit, and a Fortress Spreads Over All of Life”
Now that we have learned all the above, we can understand an unclear excerpt in Masechet Avot, Chapter 3, Item 16. It reads as follows: “He (Rabbi Akiva) would say, ‘All is in deposit, and a fortress spreads over all of life. The store is open and the shopkeeper sells by deferred payment; the book is open and the hand writes. And anyone who wishes to borrow may come and borrow, and the collectors return regularly, day-by-day, and collect from a person knowingly and unknowingly. And they have what to rely on, and the judgment is true, and all is ready for the feast.’”
That excerpt did not remain an abstruse allegory without reason, without even a hint as to its meaning. It tells us that here there is great depth to delve into. Indeed, the knowledge we have thus far acquired clarifies it very well indeed.
The Wheel of Transformation of the Form
First, let me present the view of our sages concerning the unfolding of the generations of the world: Although we see the bodies changing from generation to generation, this is only the case with the bodies. But the souls, which are the essence of the body’s self, do not vanish, to be replaced, but move from body to body, from generation to generation. The same souls that were at the time of the flood came also during the time of Babylon, and in the exile in Egypt, and in the exodus from Egypt, etc., until this generation and until the end of correction.
Thus, in our world, there are no new souls the way bodies are renewed, but only a certain amount of souls that incarnate on the wheel of transformation of the form, for each time they clothe a new body and a new generation.
Therefore, with regard to the souls, all generations since the beginning of creation to the end of correction are as one generation that has extended its life over several thousand years until it developed and became corrected as it should be. And the fact that in the meantime, each has changed his body several thousand times is completely irrelevant because the essence of the body’s self, called “the soul,” did not suffer at all by these changes.
And there is much evidence pointing to that, and a great wisdom called “the secret of the incarnation of the souls.” And while this is not the place to explain it, because of the great importance of the matter, it is worthwhile to point out to the uneducated that reincarnation occurs in all the objects of the tangible reality, and each object, in its own way, lives an eternal life.
Although our senses tell us that everything is transient, it is only how we see it. In fact, there are only incarnations here, and each item is not still and does not rest for a moment, but incarnates on the wheel of transformation of the form, losing nothing of its essence along its way, as physicists have shown.
And now we come to clarify the excerpt: “All is in deposit.” It has been compared to someone who lends money to his friend for a business in order to make him a partner in the profit. To make sure that he does not lose his money, he gives it to him as collateral, and thus he is free from any uncertainty. The same applies to the creation of the world and its existence, which the Creator has prepared for humans to engage in and to eventually attain by it the exalted goal of Dvekut [adhesion] with Him, as is explained in “Matan Torah,” Item 6. Thus, one must wonder, who would compel humanity to engage in His work until they finally come to this exalted end?
Rabbi Akiva tells us about this, “All is in deposit.” This means that everything that the Creator had placed in creation and given to people, He did not give to them recklessly, but secured Himself with collateral. And should you wonder what collateral He was given, he responds to this by saying, “and a fortress spreads over all of life.” This means that the Creator has cleverly devised a wonderful fortress and spread it over all of humanity, so that no one will escape. All the living beings must be caught there in that fortress and necessarily accept His work until they attain their sublime goal. This is the collateral by which the Creator secured Himself that no harm would come to the work of creation.
Afterward, he interprets it in detail and says, “The store is open.” This means that this world seems to us like an open shop, without an owner, and anyone who passes through may receive abundantly, as much as one wishes, free of any charge. However, Rabbi Akiva warns us that the shopkeeper is selling by deferred payment. In other words, although you cannot see any shopkeeper here, know that there is a shopkeeper, and the reason that he is not demanding payment is because he sells it to you by deferred payment.
And should you say, “How does he know my debt?” To this he replies, “The book is open and the hand writes,” meaning there is a general book in which each act is written without losing even one. And the aim surrounds the law of development that the Creator has imprinted in humanity, which prompts us ever forward.
This means that the corrupt conducts in the states of humanity are the very ones that generate the good states. And each good state is nothing but the fruit of the work in the bad state that preceded it. Indeed, these values of good and bad do not refer to the value of the state itself, but to the general purpose: Each state that brings humanity closer to the goal is considered good, and one that deflects them from the goal is considered bad.
By this standard alone is the “law of development” built—the corruption and the wickedness that appear in a state are considered the cause and the generator of the good state, so that each state lasts just long enough to grow the evil in it to such an extent that the public can no longer bear it. At that time, the public must unite against it, destroy it, and reorganize in a better state for the correction of that generation.
And the new state, too, lasts just as long as the sparks of evil in it ripen and reach such a level that they can no longer be tolerated, at which time it must be destroyed and a more comfortable state is built in its stead. And so the states clear up one by one and degree by degree until they come to such a corrected state that there will be good without any sparks of evil.
You find that all the seeds from which the good states grow are only the corrupted deeds themselves, meaning that all the exposed evils that come from under the hands of the wicked in the generation join and accumulate to a great sum until they weigh so heavily that the public can no longer bear them. Then they rise up and ruin it and create a more desirable state. Thus you see that each wickedness becomes a condition for the driving force by which the good state is developed.
These are the words of Rabbi Akiva: “The book is open and the hand writes.” Any state that the generation is in is like a book, and all the evildoers are as writing hands because each evil is carved and written in the book until they accumulate to an amount that the public can no longer bear. At that time, they ruin that bad state and rearrange into a more desirable state. Thus, each and every act is calculated and written in the book, meaning in the state.
He says, “All who wish to borrow may come and borrow.” This means that one who believes that this world is not like an open store without an owner, but that there is an owner present, a shopkeeper who stands in his store and demands of each customer the right price for the merchandise he is taking from the store, meaning toil in His work while he is nourished by that store, in a manner that is certain to bring him to the purpose of creation, as He pleases, such a person is regarded as one who wishes to borrow. Thus, even before he stretches his hand to take something from this world, which is the store, he takes it as a loan, in order to pay its listed price. That is, he takes it upon himself to work to achieve His goal during the time he lives off the store, in a way that he promises to pay his debt by achieving the desired goal. Therefore, he is regarded as one who wishes to borrow, meaning that he pledges to return the debt.
Rabbi Akiva depicts two kinds of people: The first are the “open store” type, who regard this world as an open store without a shopkeeper. He says about them, “The book is open and the hand writes.” That is, although they do not see that there is an account, all their actions are nonetheless written in the book, as explained above. This is done by the law of development imprinted in creation against humanity’s will, where the deeds of the wicked themselves necessarily instigate the good deeds, as we have shown above.
The second type of people is called “those who want to borrow.” They take the shopkeeper into consideration, and when they take something from the store, they only take it as a loan. They promise to pay the shopkeeper the listed price, meaning attain the goal by it. He says about them, “All who wish to borrow may come and borrow.”
And if you say, “What is the difference between the first type, whose goal comes to them from the law of development, and the second type, whose goal comes to them by self-enslavement to His work? Are they not equal in attaining the goal?”
In that regard, he continues, “The collectors return regularly, day-by-day, and collect from a person knowingly and unknowingly.” Thus, in truth, both pay their daily portion of the debt. And just as the forces that emerge by engaging in His work are deemed the loyal collectors who collect their debt in portions every day, until it is completely paid, the mighty forces imprinted in the law of development are also deemed as loyal collectors who collect their daily portions of the debt until it is paid in full. This is the meaning of “and the collectors return regularly, day by day, and collect from a person.”
However, there is a great difference and a great distance between them, meaning “knowingly and unknowingly.” The first type, whose debt is collected by the collectors of development, pay their debt unknowingly. Rather, stormy waves come upon them through the strong wind of development and push them from behind, forcing them to step forward.
Thus, their debt is collected against their will and with great pains by manifestations of the forces of evil, which push them from behind. But the second type pay their debt, which is the conscious attainment of the goal, of their own accord, by repeating the actions that hasten the development of the sense of recognition of evil, as explained in the article, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose.”
Through this work their gain is twofold: The first gain is that these forces, which appear out of His work, are set before them as a pulling, magnetic force (from before). They chase it of their own free will with the spirit of love. Needless to say, they are free from any kind of sorrow and suffering like the first type.
The second gain is that they hasten the desired goal, for they are the righteous and the prophets who attain the goal in each generation, as is explained in the essay, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” in the section, “What Does the Wisdom Revolve Around?”
Thus you see that there is a great distance between those who pay knowingly and those who pay unknowingly, as the advantage of the light of delight and pleasure over the darkness of pain and agony. He says further: “They have what to rely on, and the judgment is true.” In other words, he promises all those who pay knowingly and willingly that “they have what to rely on,” that there is great strength in His work to bring them to the sublime goal, and it is worthwhile for them to harness themselves under His burden.
And of those who pay unknowingly, he says, “and the judgment is true.” Seemingly, one must wonder why Providence permits those corruptions and agonies to appear in the world, in which humanity is being fried mercilessly.
He says about this that this “judgment is true,” since “all is ready for the feast,” for the true goal. And the sublime delight that is destined to emerge with the revelation of His purpose in creation, when all the trouble and toil and anguish that befall us over times and generations will seem like a host who greatly troubles himself to prepare a great feast for the invited guests. And he compares the anticipated goal that must finally be revealed to a feast whose guests attend with great delight. This is why he says, “and the judgment is true, and all is ready for the feast.”
Such as that you will also find in Beresheet Rabbah, Chapter 8, regarding the creation of man: The angels asked the Creator, “What is a man, that you are mindful of him, and the son of man, that you visit him? Why do you need this trouble?”
The Creator told them, “So why were Tzona and Alafim created?” What is this like? There is an allegory about a king who had a tower filled abundantly but no guests. What pleasure does a king have in his full tower? They promptly said to Him, “Lord of the world, the Lord our Master, how great is Your name in all the land. Do that which pleases You.”
Interpretation: The angels that saw all the pain and agony that was to befall humanity wondered “Why do you need this trouble?” The Creator replied to them that indeed He had a tower filled abundantly, but only this humanity was invited to it. And of course, the angels weighed the pleasures in that tower, awaiting its guests, against the agony and trouble that awaited humanity. And once they saw that it was worthwhile for humanity to suffer for the good that awaited us, they agreed to man’s creation, just as Rabbi Akiva said, “The judgment is true, and all is ready for the feast.” From the beginning of creation, all people have reservations, and the thought of the Creator necessitates them to come to the feast, knowingly or unknowingly.
And now all will see the truth in the words of the prophet (Isaiah 11) in the prophecy of peace: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lay down with the kid.” And he reasoned that “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
Thus, the prophet conditions peace in the whole world with the filling of the whole world with the knowledge of the Creator, just as we have said above, that the tough, egoistic resistance among people, along which international relationships deteriorate, all these will not cease from the world by any human counsel or tactic, whatever it may be.
Our eyes can see how the poor, sick person is turning over in dreadful, intolerable pains, and humanity has already thrown itself to the extreme right, as with Germany, or to the extreme left, as with Russia. But not only did they not ease the situation for themselves, they have worsened the malady and agony, and the voices rise up to heaven, as we all know.
Thus, they have no other choice but to come to accept His burden in knowledge of the Creator, meaning to aim their actions to the will of the Creator and to His purpose, as He had planned for them prior to creation. When they do this, it is plain to see that with serving Him, all envy and hatred will be abolished from humanity, as I have shown above, since then all members of humanity will unite into one body and one heart, full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus, world peace and the knowledge of the Creator are one and the same.
Immediately following, the prophet says, “And it will come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set His hand again a second time to recover the remnant of His people…and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Thus we learn that world peace comes before the gathering of the Diaspora.
Now you can understand the words of our sages at the end of Masechet Okatzin: “The Creator did not find a vessel to hold the blessing for Israel but peace,” as it says: “The Lord will give strength to His people, the Lord will bless His people with peace.” Seemingly, one should wonder at the allegory, “a vessel to hold the blessing for Israel.” And also, how does one conclude that from these words?
But these words become clear to them like the prophecy of Isaiah that world peace precedes the gathering of the Diaspora. This is why the verse says, “The Lord will give strength to His people,” meaning that in the future, when the Creator gives His people strength, meaning eternal resurrection, “the Lord will bless His people with peace.” This means that He will first bless His people, Israel, with peace in the whole world, and subsequently, He will “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.”
Our sages said about the reason for the words: Therefore, the blessing of peace in the whole world precedes the strength, meaning the redemption, because “God did not find a vessel to hold the blessing for Israel but peace.” Thus, as long as self-love and egoism exist among the nations, Israel, too, will not be able to serve the Creator in purity, in bestowal upon others, as it is written in the explanation of the words, “And you will be to me a kingdom of priests,” in the essay, “The Arvut.” We see this from experience, for the coming to the land and the building of the Temple could not persist and receive the blessings that the Creator had sworn to our fathers.
This is why they said, “God did not find a vessel to hold the blessing,” meaning that thus far, Israel did not have a vessel to hold the blessing of the fathers. Therefore, the oath that we can inherit the land for eternity has not been fulfilled, since world peace is the only vessel that enables us to receive the blessing of the fathers, as in the prophecy of Isaiah.
Meaning of Foreign Words [non-Hebrew words used in the text]
Altruism: love of others.
Analysis: separating the various elements in a matter.
Synthesis: the connection and unity between matters, such as inference and the “all the more so.”
Motive power: a purposeful force, the strength to exert, which acts like fuel in a machine.
From behind: a force that pushes something from behind.
From before: a force that pulls something from before.