What is the purpose of life?

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  • #610950
    Lost1970
    Member

    What is the purpose of life

    — Serving G-d?

    — Obtaining a share in the World — to — Come?

    — Obtaining success?

    — Expressing oneself?

    — Political goals?

    #981869
    yytz
    Participant

    Depends on your hashkafa. Everyone is meant to serve Hashem, and part of each Jew’s purpose is to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos (including such “spiritual” mitzvos as loving and fearing G-d, and trusting in Him). But chassidic and kabbalistic thought teaches that each person has a particular soul correction they are also meant to achieve in this life. If a person has a strong interest in a particular mitzvah or good deed, whether it is tefillin or feeding the hungry or achieving worthwhile goals in public policy, it is possible that their life’s mission is to concentrate on that to some extent. Or if a person has a particular weakness, such as a tendency to commit a certain kind of sin or a negative character trait, then part of their purpose in life is probably to correct this behavioral pattern.

    Each group within Yiddishkeit has different emphasis, leading to a different vision of what is our life’s purpose. For example, if you read the works of R’ Shalom Arush you will get a sense that attaining emunah and bitachon, and thus true happiness and character refinement, especially through hitbodedut (personal prayer in one’s own words) is one of the main purposes we should all be striving towards.

    #981870

    yytz:

    Right On!

    Man’s (specifically a Jew’s) purpose of creation was to serve his Creator (incidentally thereby obtaining a portion in the world to come). That is everyone’s hashkafa. The only difference in opinion is by which method, where to put the emphasis. (I don’t have access to Hebrew now (Rabbeinu Google), I think there’s a Passuk in Navi Yeshaya something to the effect “I created you Yisrael, a servant for me”.

    And for that special opportunity, privilege we give thanks thrice daily in the great tefillah of Aleinu.

    #981871
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> Everyone is meant to serve Hashem, and part of

    >> each Jew’s purpose is to study Torah and fulfill

    >> mitzvos (including such “spiritual” mitzvos as

    >> loving and fearing G-d, and trusting in Him).

    >> But chassidic and kabbalistic thought teaches

    >> that each person has a particular soul correction

    >> they are also meant to achieve in this life.

    Thank you very much — I have read that many souls come to this world many times to fulfill all 613 mitzvot.

    #981872
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> Man’s (specifically a Jew’s) purpose of creation

    >> was to serve his Creator (incidentally thereby

    >> obtaining a portion in the world to come). That

    >> is everyone’s hashkafa.

    Thank you very much.

    That is very difficult to follow for someone raised in a secular Jewish environment. There the purpose of life is to become a lawyer/doctor/professor. I did a PhD in Mathematics which I hate, thus I can not and would not get a job in math. I wanted to be a writer/advocate, but I have no formal education. Thus all my chances of what seculars call success are lost.

    Maybe it was G-d’s blessing to me that I could not succed in this life — so that I would return to service of G-d and maybe obtain a share in the Next World. Can I become a part of Orthodox Jewish community.

    #981873
    Lubliner
    Member

    Our purpose in life is to make a dwelling place for g-d down here in this physical world. How do we do it is the question we need to ask ourselves. The simplest answer is by every individual taking advantage of his g-d given talents and using them to the fullest in spreading torah and mitzvos in a manner of leading by example and being a light onto the nations around us.

    #981874

    Lost1970:

    It is the same Creator Who placed you originally in your position, circumstances, who understands your innermost trials, wants, urges and emotional and mental make-up. Our great Rabbis say in the Talmud, “G-d does not make tyrannical and unreasonable demands.”

    He understands the need for slow steps one starting anew and afresh must take. To Him they are so precious, as dear as offering sacrifices.

    Hatzlacha!!

    #981875
    eclipse
    Member

    help others…ESPECIALLY your own family that Hashem put you in

    break bad midos

    learn Torah and then actually keep it

    and more, of course

    but this alone can keep one busy

    #981876

    well the purpose of this word is so it can be perfected. I guess thats why we are here-to perfect it..

    #981877
    chani91
    Member

    the purpose of living is to find out hat your purpose is

    ???? ???? ??? ????? ??????!!!

    #981878
    streekgeek
    Participant

    chani91 – You make that sound so easy. Maybe you want to help me?

    Maybe you want to help us all?

    #981879
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> He understands the need for slow steps one starting

    >> anew and afresh must take. To Him they are so precious,

    >> as dear as offering sacrifices.

    Thank you very much. The main issue for me is to keep motivation. I had religious awakenings, but then I was back at secular life. The longest awakening was in Jan ’91 — ‘Jan 94. The second was Oct ’96- Feb ’97. The third was Spring — Summer ’03. This one started Summer ’13.

    Most secular Jews believe in G-d. I have kept Sabbath and most of kosher since ’96. But most of the time a secular person is occupied with worldly pursuits.

    How can I keep motivation to become observant?

    #981880
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> help others…ESPECIALLY your own family that Hashem

    >> put you in break bad midos

    Unfortunately there is a deep conflict within my family. They believe my purpose in life is to become a mathematician, I wanted to be a writer/advocate. I have lost everything in life.

    How can I become a part of observant community?

    #981881
    Lost1970
    Member

    Most secular Jews are not Atheists. 84% of American Jews including myself believe in G-d and His Torah.

    But on everyday basis a secular Jew may devote only a few minutes a day to Mitsvas. The rest of the time he/she pursues secular goals such as being a doctor/lawyer/mathematician/advocate/writer. Now all I lived for has fallen apart. I do not know what to do now.

    #981882

    Lost1970:

    How should I know. There are so many other smart, intelligent individuals that frequent this fabulous place, the CR. Then, of course there are numerous organizations that do kiruv, they have the right resources to do it right. To make someone feel at home, validate their feelings, emotions. Explain Torah concepts in a way that will be understood better. Me? I wouldn’t know, else I’d too be a baal teshuva – I could sure use some teshuva.

    That being said, I don’t truly get the picture (from what you’ve chosen to reveal), that you’re unobservant, or not frum in any way now. Is your problem that you feel you don’t have time or want to expend attention to Torah and mitzvhos? A lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too. Many have degrees, professions, jobs, things they must devote their time (and lives) to. That’s the way Hashem made the world. As Medresh (Eicha) says “If I don’t work by day, I won’t eat by night”. Hashem fashioned the world just so that one must somewhat devote attention to the mundane. The only difference is how much, the balance. And that is the difference between one who has chosen to be an oved Hashem, and one who “will just do” – a practicing Jew, keeping all mitzvohs.

    An oved Hashem will direct his mind constantly to HaShem ????? ?` ????? ????, and work and do the mundane the barest minimum. Others fall for the temptations of the worldly trappings, and forget the main thing, the ikkar.

    To sum it up, I get the picture you’re already “here” just an additional “boost” maybe is needed.

    #981883
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> Is your problem that you feel you don’t have time or

    >> want to expend attention to Torah and mitzvhos? A

    >> lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too.

    I do not know. I am really Lost. I am lost between three directions:

    Direction 1: I understand that I must serve G-d and work for obtaining a share in Eternal life.

    Direction 2: My heart pulls me to be a writer/advocate — have not engaged in writing/polemics for a long time.

    Direction 3: I am suppose to work on my unpaid internship for my Mathematics PhD — so I pretend to work.

    >> A lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too. Many

    >> have degrees, professions, jobs, things they must

    >> devote their time (and lives) to. That’s the way

    >> Hashem made the world.

    I do not work. I pretend to work for my unpaid internship. I thus do almost nothing.

    >> I get the picture you’re already “here” just an

    >> additional “boost” maybe is needed.

    I am mostly for obtaining guidance.

    #981884
    Chcham
    Member

    The purpose of life is to live life with purpose

    #981885

    Lost1970:

    Sounds like you’re describing me! I also do not work (regularly), my “work” here attests to that. And I have less than you, I don’t have any degrees to pursue. Also I’m not a writer. So you’re ahead of me.

    Next. Your three options are not exclusive, as I wrote to you previously. One can be a perfectly upright, God-fearing, righteous, Jew and still pursue a degree. That is called hishtadlus. Nothing AT ALL wrong with it. Just that your motivation should be, as the Rambam says, in order to better serve the Creator. So then it’s considered as a tool for Kedusha. But that’s all for later. Now, it’s just important to know that it’s not going against Hashem’s will at all.

    Do your best in your worldly endeavors, and then do your best connecting to HaShem in the Shul and bais medrash (or wherever).

    Hatzlachah!!

    #981886

    One more thing,

    If you’re mostly for seeking guidance, then know that you’ve already reached somewhere. There are others, returning members of our nation, who have made up their minds up regarding what a Jew is supposed to be, what he’s supposed to do and keep, skewed and warped hashkafos etc. (one or two even chanced by here in the past, and tried to spew their great “findings”, “revelations” before they were booted out by diligent mods). No. One who is not ready to accept the authority of a competent Rav, Rabbi, Dayan or manhig will have NO CHANCE of becoming a true observant Jew.

    I don’t know who you should turn to, do your homework well. But you’re already a few steps in the right direction.

    #981887
    Lost1970
    Member

    Thank you. Unfortunately my PhD in Mathematics is a useless degree. I can not and would not get a good job in the subject I do not like. That already was a great waste.

    #981888
    SanityIsOverrated
    Participant

    From what I’ve gathered, the purpose of life is to recognize ourselves. Who we are with both our strengths and weaknesses. Then break free of those bonds. Many of the Mitzvos bring constant awareness to what we do. Being human, many feel limited by their genetics, emotions, and background. God gave us the freedom to choose. We can choose to be ourselves, or we can choose to be greater.

    Being Jewish, we are the Keepers of the Torah. Not a simple job. We have been entrusted to carry it through history. Faith has kept It alive even now. Today, we live by the words that continually expose the Torah as a blueprint for mankind.

    That’s how I personally translate my Judaism, and how it defines my life.

    So how does this work practically speaking for you? Find what speaks to you. If writing brings you purpose, then that should be your goal. The only one you should want to be a success for, is your Creator. I know it can be difficult when the family looks at you as a failure. The question is, do they care for your happiness, or only for your success? What use is it being at the top if you are unhappy? Still, it need not go to waste. Perhaps you can use your mathematics degree for a temporary job while you go back and train as a writer?

    (I also went to college for something miserable. However, I’m hoping I can use my skills to get a decent job so I can pay my way through a degree for something more suited to me)

    Life is what you make of it. I hope this can help you somewhat.

    #981889
    Lost1970
    Member

    Thank you — everyone’s input is very helpful. I must become more observant especially since I have failed to achieve a good life here.

    >> Being Jewish, we are the Keepers of the Torah.

    >> Not a simple job.

    At least I can keep much much more then I did so far.

    >> The only one you should want to be a success for,

    >> is your Creator.

    That is true. Most secular Jews believe in G-d and follow some mitzvot. They also understand that observant Jews are right.

    >> What use is it being at the top if you are unhappy?

    I can not get a job as a mathematician. I am not sure if the I can not or I would not or both — because I will not be happy there.

    #981890
    SanityIsOverrated
    Participant

    Can not, and will not are two very different things. Can not is something that just is. Will not can be changed. May I ask what it is about mathematics that makes you so unhappy?

    Personally, although it is not my field of interest, I do find mathematics fascinating in it’s perfection. The incredible ways that math and science interacts constantly increase my awareness as to the amazing world Hashem has given us. So to me, math can be used to serve Hashem as well as many other subjects.

    #981891
    rebdoniel
    Member

    A person’s tafkid in life is to do the will of HaShem. To follow the Torah, and be a good Jew, to study torah, have a source of livelihood (parnassa), raise a family, etc.

    #981892
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> Can not, and will not are two very different things.

    >> Can not is something that just is. Will not can be

    >> changed. May I ask what it is about mathematics that

    >> makes you so unhappy?

    I do not know. I just do not like it and I did not like it long before I started working on my PhD. I do not see any point in doing what makes me unhappy. I can pretend to work on my unpaid internship but in 3.5 years we have produced very little.

    #981893
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> A person’s tafkid in life is to do the will of HaShem.

    The vast majority of American Jews (84%) and even greater majority of Americans (90%) believe in G-d. Unfortunately for many Jews, the life is occupied by other issues

    — work

    — hobbies

    — arguments

    — Internet

    Thus, many people perform very few mitsvot.

    #981894
    the-art-of-moi
    Participant

    The purpose of life is to figure out what the purpose of life is and do it.

    #981895
    streekgeek
    Participant

    TAOM – Maybe you could help me! You sound like you know what your talking about. Would you do me a favor and check out the thread I recently posted?

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