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The Purpose of Creation
Our sages say that G-d created the world because he desired a “dwelling place in the lower world.” In other words, he created a lowly, material world that seems the polar opposite of anything holy—just so that we would transform it into an idyll, a place where G-d can call home.

This desire is what drives all of creation, and this is the task and purpose given primarily to the Jewish people. When we fulfill Torah and mitzvot we fulfill the G-dly desire, we purify the world and prepare it to be a home for G-d.

In order to succeed in this mission G-d gave us tremendous spiritual strengths. Chassidic teachings use the parable of a king who has treasuries filled with jewels accumulated over generations. They are kept hidden from view except in time of war, when the storage houses are thrown open and all treasures are laid waste in order to secure victory. The treasures are the spiritual powers granted us to vanquish the forces of evil and be victorious in G-d’s battles. Under normal circumstances we may not tap into them, but in times of crisis we call upon those inner strengths to emerge triumphant.

The angels likewise perform G-d’s will loyally and with dedication, but they are not required to do battle with forces of evil. We are the only ones sent directly into the arena to get “down and dirty,” to fight our way to victory, to bring the most powerful forces of holiness into the depths of impurity. Our success brings the greatest possible joy and pleasure to G-d.

Our sages say that when Moses ascended on high to receive the Torah, the angels opposed him and wanted the Torah to remain with them, arguing that they are purer than human beings. Moses answered that they did not have the power to bring G-d’s ultimate desire to fruition, since they have no connection to the physical. Only the Jewish people, who know what it means to grapple with physical challenges and desires, can transform this lowly world to holiness, and we are the only ones worthy of receiving the Torah.

References: Talmud Bavli Shabbat 88b. Zohar vol. 1 23b, vol. 2 201b. Tanchuma Naso 16. Tanya ch. 27, ch. 36. Torah Or 43, column 1. Hemshech Basi L’gani 5710. Maamar v’Avraham Zaken, 5738.
 

 


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