Description: Chapter 3 - 03
Section II – Chapter 3 – 03
To clarify the point of the Ramchal further, let me quote a Rambam from Hilchos Teshuvah, Perek Tes. The Rambam begins with a question: Now that we have clarified (as he has done in previous perakim,) that the reward for mitzvos and tzaddikim is in the world-to-come, and the punishment for avairos and reshaim is in the world-to-come, why is it that the Torah writes all about reward and punishment in this world? The Torah tells us in Krias Shemah that we say every day, ‘vi’hayah im shamo’ah,’ if you will listen, then you will have all the blessings of this world – abundance, peace, a kingdom, Eretz Yisrael, success in all endeavors, and if you don’t listen and anger Hashem, the opposite will occur – hunger, war, foreign rule, galus and overall misery.
The Rambam answers, that this is all true as it says in the pesukim. If we do mitzvos we will merit all the good in the world, and if not, chas v’shalom the opposite. However, this isn’t actually as a reward of the mitzvah or the punishment of the avairah. The Rambam writes:
We were assured in the Torah that if we will observe it in joy and tuv laivov, He will detach from us everything that prevents us from observing it, such as sickness, war, famine and the like. Hashem will be bless us by giving us all good which sustain our hands to observe the Torah, as plenty, peace, and an increase in silver and gold, so that we be not occupied all of our days in the physical, gashmiyos world, but, instead, be at leisure to study Torah and observe the mitzvos in order to acquire life in the World to Come. He made likewise known to us, that if we will purposely abandon the Torah, the ‘Dayan Ha’emes,’ – the True Judge will remove from the reshaim all the good of this world which had strengthened their hands so that they rebelled, and bring upon them all the evil. As the Torah says: ‘Tachas asher lo avadetem Hashem Elokaichem b’simchah uv’tuv laivov,’ - Because you didn’t serve Hashem with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, with abundance of all things; therefore, you will serve your enemy.
Consequently, the interpretation of all those blessings and curses is this way: so that you be at leisure to grow wise in the wisdom of the Torah, and to busy yourselves with it, and so that you will merit life in the World to Come, and to do you good in the world which is all good, and prolong your days in the world which is unending, and you will find yourselves acquiring two worlds, to good living in this world, which will bring to a life in the World to Come, for if one does not acquire wisdom and good works here he has nothing else to acquire it with. But if a person goes away from Hashem, as a consequence he will have lost two worlds; as long as a man is occupied in this world with sickness, war and hunger he can’t be engaged either in Torah wisdom or in mitzvos, by which to acquire the World to Come.
The Rambam goes on to famously say, that this is why Klal Yisrael and the Nevi’im and all the tzaddikim and chachamim daven so fervently for Moshiach. So that we should finally be at peace from the nations of the world, and have the blessing and serenity to truly learn Torah and do mitzvos and serve Hashem in perfection, so that we can be zocheh to Olam Habah!
As we see, the majority of our tefillos, if not all, are directed towards asking Hashem for this specific ‘siyatah dishmayah,’ that we should have our personal needs taken care of, we should have health, we should have parnassah, we should have peace, Moshiach should come and the Beis Hamikdash rebuilt – all those tefillos are for the sake of us having the siyatah dishmayah to serve Hashem properly!