What Does God Expect of Us?

Question

Hi,

I just got up from sitting for my mother and had time for some life introspection. My question is as follows: How is the system God created fair? We are brought into this world against any choice, with instincts and tendencies that diametrically oppose the rules we are to follow, and if we break these rules (as I have too many times to count), can expect to experience unimaginable torment in the next world for who knows how long. How is this fair in any way? I mean, seriously, if this was a business proposal, I’d laugh you out of my office. Talk about risk/reward. I know there is no easy answer. Maybe you can recommend a book or two to offer some insight. Thank you.

3 months

Answers

  1. I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences on the passing of your mother. May God comfort you and your entire family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

    What a fabulous question! I thought that you might be relieved to know that your question is one that needs to be asked, and is actually one that the greatest Rabbis have grappled with in every generation.

    Below is a small list of books that explore the issue. They are listed in order of easiest (everything is relative!) to most difficult:
    If You Were God by Aryeh Kaplan
    Masterplan by Aryeh Carmell
    The Choice to Be by Jeremy Kagan
    The Way of God by Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Feldheim elucidated edition)

    I hope that you find some or all of these helpful in your quest to try and understand what it is that God wants from us.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team