Wrong, Evil, and Injustice (Part 1)

As we’d cited before, Ramchal wrote in Petach 30 that rooted in the Tzimtzum is the principle that everything in the created world would follow a natural course until the end. We’d explained it otherwise above, but as he himself went on to say, that (also) implies that flaws would exist in the course of things but that in the end — when God’s Yichud will be seen for what it is — everything would return to its ultimate perfection.

This raises the question, though, of the place, makeup, and source of these “flaws”, which is to say of wrong, evil, and injustice, which we’ll now turn to.

The ultimate question is how is how it is that God, who’s termed the epitome of goodness and beneficence (הטוב והמיטב), could have allowed for let alone have created what’s termed rah (which is usually translated “evil”, but since that restricts the phenomenon to its most extreme example, we prefer to explicate it as referring it to all instances of wrongdoing, injustice, and evil, which is to say — to all instances of un-Godliness).

As Ramchal also offers in this Petach, God saw to it that as a consequence of the Tzimtzum there would be a realm of existence that would be based on (i.e., that the world would function according to the principle of) the mystical implications of right and wrong, and of thesis and antithesis. That’s to say that this universe would be characterized by the existence of two polar-opposite systems: one in which the Sephirot would … bestow goodness, and a second one that would allow for flaws (i.e., wrong, evil, and injustice) which would be termed “the other (i.e., opposite) side” or the root of rah. He then assures us, to be sure, that God’s ultimate goal is that the power to bestow goodness would hold sway, that each flaw would return to a state of repair, and that God’s actual Yichud would become realized (Petach 30) in the end, but he doesn’t explain in the body of this Petach the makeup and source of rah. So we’ll turn to his own comments in this Petach for some of that as well as statements he made elsewhere.

Beforehand, though, let’s see how the Zohar characterizes rah.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org


AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.

You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *