Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

URL: www.scjfaq.org/faq/12-30.html
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Question 12.30:
What is the purpose of life? Why did G-d create man?

Answer:

We don't know why G-d created man. When we think, we use this finite mind to turn over ideas and let them evolve over time. G-d's Mind is infinite; G-d doesn't experience time subjectvely, and therefore G-d's Ideas are incomparable to ours—not just an infinitely ornate version of ours, but something totally different. What we do know is that G-d is good, and it's the nature of goodness to want to bestow that good on someone. Given that G-d is the ultimate good, what G-d bestows upon us is the ability to experience G-dliness. As it says in Genesis, "let us create man in our image, like our form".

Jewish literature often calls the soul a "spark of G-d", and notes that when G-d breathed a soul into Adam "one who breathes breathes from within himself". Man therefore is given the opportunity to be creative, just like G-d is. Which means that the world is an imperfect one, because otherwise there would be little for us to do. Also, it means that we were given free will. We aren't automata that always do the right thing. We make mistakes. So, we're here to be recepticles of G-d's goodness. Why G-d wants those recepticles is beyond us. So what are we supposed to be aiming for with our lives? Simple: To become better recepticles. This means learning what those mistakes are and working on avoiding them. We should strive to perfect ourselves. This includes being creative, and therefore improving the world around us.


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to questions@scjfaq.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at maintainer@scjfaq.org.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <maintainer@scjfaq.org>