Lots of people wonder why we’re here.
Why did Hashem create us? Why did he form us in this way and put us on earth? What’s the purpose of what we call ‘life’? Perhaps you can argue that to live life properly, you need to first understand it’s meaning, at least on some rudimenary level. And so the meaning of life is a topic that has plagued us as long as we’ve been able to ask questions. Which is why, when I read the Hayom Yom this morning, I wanted to share the it with my readers, because in my eyes, at least, it provides answers to a lot of our questions.
It is written: “Man goes out to his work and to his labor (avoda) until evening.”- Every soul in its descent into this material world has general and personal tasks. This, then, is the meaning of the verse:
Man goes out to his work – the soul “goes out” from its position in the trove of souls, in the highest heavens, and descends from plane to plane until it comes to be invested in a body and in the natural and animal souls. The purpose of this descent is “man to his work” – to his general task of achieving dominance of “form over matter” (meaning, the spiritual over the material), to illuminate the world with the light of Torah and the candle of Mitzva.
…to his labor refers to each individual’s particular mission, for every soul has its unique Avoda in intellect and emotions according to its nature and character.
…until evening – while there is still time to accomplish, as it is written, “Today, to perform them (the mitzvot).”
On a more profound level the verse may be explained as follows: The verse refers to the ascent of the soul in general, achieved by its prior descent (Man goes out) into the material world:
When the soul ascends from its being enclothed in the body in this material world, then…
…to his work – the soul’s occupation in the World To Come is commensurate with its occupation in the material world. If he had studied Torah regularly, there too (in the World To Come) the soul is ushered into the “Tents of Torah”;
…to his labor – if he performed his avoda properly then his ascent goes on…
…until erev (“evening”) – higher and higher until he attains the ultimate delight and areivut (“sweetness”) of the Essence of the En Sof, may He be blessed.
(The above text is courtesy of the amazing Jewish learning website, Chabad.org. Please feel free to visit the website and share its content, but remember to credit the original source!)