- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: Does each one of us have a Destiny, a goal that was
preordained by the Creator for a purpose unknown to us? Is each hair
on our body counted? Is each organ counted for its function or
dysfunction? When we look within ourselves and toward the Universe, we
observe how little we are and that we have "control" over
only a few elements around us, like survival...maybe.
- If there is a Destiny, how is it explained in the Torah.
- If there is no preordained Destiny, or if it changes according to
our actions, inaction or involuntary events, what is your scholarly
and personal opinion in this matter?
- Mesora: We
have free will. Please read my article of this title: Free
- The term "destiny" indicates that we
are not involved in our true purpose, which requires the use of free
will. A person cannot abandon his responsibility. This term
"destiny" is also often romanticized - as if to be
"swept away" in life. This idea is false and silly and has
nothing to do with Torah.
- To many, the word "destiny" seems
bigger than life itself,...all so divine and pure, a thing outside
ourselves over which we have no control. Yet, all these connotations
are false, and are not the Torah's view, which is the only absolute
and truly objective view of what is real. To claim destiny, is to
claim no responsibility for our actions, and this understanding is
completely against God's system of reward and punishment. Destiny also
denies the entire concept of Torah: The Torah teaches "one system
for all mankind" - destiny claims each person has a unique path -
contrary to Torah.
- God does promise a destiny to those who live
righteously and those who live poorly. But that "destiny"
does not mean a binding on our actions. It refers to the next world,
and does not affect our free will.
- But to claim there is a destiny for each
member of mankind here on Earth, is to claim that our free will which
is a self evident truth,...is useless. Suggesting this view increases
one's error, as we claim that God is also imperfect by giving man the
apparatus of an independent will, but not allowing his utilization of
it. God would then have labored in vain. This idea is alien to all
that is true and rational. God is
perfect, and only creates that which has need to be created, that
which will realize its purpose.
- The Torah leads us to the conclusion that the
blind dreamers' safety net of "destiny" is a fallacy best
left for Hollywood.