Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Will

It is this God that we are
to love
with a complete
and all encompassing love. This love is so great
that other loves
such as the love of self,
one’s wife,
sons and daughters,
and the love of money
will be as naught
in comparison to one's love for
And this is what is meant by the verse
“And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart
all your soul
and all your possessions (meodecha)” (Dt. 6:5).
The language of all (meod) is used to say
that all that is dear
to your will
be totally cancelled
in relationship to your love of God.
“All your heart” was interpreted by the Rabbis
by both of your inclinations (Yezer) - the good and the bad.
That is to say, you should not say
that since the evil inclination
tempts you to go against the will of the Blessed,
how did He really create it? For
in truth
it is not the intent of the evil inclination
to tempt a person
so that he will not yearn towards God
and not listen to Him.
But rather
the Blessed Creator
decreed upon the evil inclination that it is his task to tempt you
to transgress the will of the Blessed One
so that you will serve God through free will
and not as one
who has no choice.
This is the essence of the purpose of the creation of mankind
and this attribute (of free will)
makes the human greater
than an angel

as it is stated inparagraph I.1 [And so it is expounded in the Zohar].

- Aruch HaShulchan, I.6

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