It is well known to researchers of nature that one cannot perform even the slightest movement without motivation, meaning without somehow benefiting oneself. When, for example, one moves ones hand from the chair to the table it is because one thinks that by putting ones hand on the table one will thus receive greater pleasure. If one would not think so, one would leave one's hand on the chair for the rest of one's life without moving it an inch, all the more so concerning greater efforts.
Know that the essence of a person, as such, is quite impossible to perceive without his material embodiment (...) This is because our five senses and our imagination do not offer us anything more than the revelation of the actions of the essence, but not the essence itself.
Even if a person excels in Torah and good deeds more than all his contemporaries, if he has not learned the secrets of Torah and the wisdom of truth, he must reincarnate in the world (...) Now the matter is clarifiedthe whole part of the revealed Torah is but a preparation to become worthy and merit attaining the concealed part. It is the concealed part that is very wholeness and the purpose for which man is created.
Because there is no difference or disparity of form between them (...) "The Torah and the Creator and Israel are one."
"The whole Torah is the names of the Creator." All the stories and the laws and the sentences, all are His Holy Names.
The whole purpose of the Torah is to correct the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, which induced the confusion of the conduct of the sustenance of reality.
"Of all Your work, not a thing You have forgotten; You did not add, and You did not subtract." It is a mandatory law that perfect operations stem from the perfect Operator.
Angels made no complaint about any of the creatures that were created during the six days of Creation, except about Man. This is because he was created in God's image and consists of Upper and Lower together. When the angels saw it, they were startled and bewildered. How would the pure, spiritual soul descend from its sublime degree, and come and dwell in the same abode with this filthy, beastly body? (...) The answer that came to them is is that there is already a tower filled abundantly, and empty of guests. To fill it with guests, we need the existence of this human, made of Upper and lower together (...) Know that this tower, filled abundantly, implies all the pleasure and the goodness for which He has created the creatures.
What a terrible wrong inflict those nations that force their reign on minorities, depriving them of freedom without allowing them to live their lives by the tendencies they have inherited from their ancestors (...) For we can see how all the nations that ever fell, throughout the generations, came to it only due to their oppression of minorities and individuals, which had therefore rebelled against them and ruined them. Hence, it is clear to all that peace cannot exist in the world if we do not take into consideration the freedom of the individual. Without it, peace will not be sustainable and ruin shall prevail.
When we examine the acts of an individual, we shall find them compulsory. He is compelled to do them and has no freedom of choice. In a sense, he is like a stew cooking on a stove; it has no choice but to cook. And it must cook because Providence has harnessed life with two chains: pleasure and pain (...) there is no difference here between man and animal. And if that is the case, there is no free choice whatsoever, but a pulling force, drawing them toward any bypassing pleasure and rejecting them from painful circumstances. And Providence leads them to every place it chooses by means of these two forces [i.e. pleasure and pain], without asking their opinion in the matter.
No mind of a creature can attain Him.
Since the essence of the soul is but a will to bestow, and all its manifestations and possessions are fulfillments of that will to bestow (...) therefore it is immortal and irreplaceable. The soul, with all its manifestations is eternal and exists forever. Absence does not apply to them upon the departure of the body. On the contrary, the absence of the corrupted form of the body, greatly strengthens it, thus enabling it to rise to the Heavens. Thus we have clearly shown that the persistence in no way depends upon the concepts it has acquired, as philosophers claim, but its eternality is in its very essence, meaning in its will to bestow, which is its essence. And the concepts it acquires are its reward, not its essence.
Indeed, if we set our hearts to answer but one very famous question, I am certain that all these questions and doubts will vanish from the horizon, and you will look unto their place to find them gone. This indignant question is a question that the whole world asks, namely, What is the meaning of my life? In other words, these numbered years of our life that cost us so heavily and the numerous pains and torments that we suffer for them, to complete them to the fullest, who is it that enjoys them?
Anything that is perceived and sensed by the five senses, or which takes time and space, is called 'Corporeal.'
There is a positive force, meaning constructive, and a negative force, meaning negative and destructive. They create and complement the entire reality in general and particular through their harsh and perpetual war with one another. As we have said above, the negative force appears at the end of every political phase, elevating it to a better state, and thus the phases follow one another until they reach their ultimate perfection (...) In addition, being a social creature, the individual development is not enough. Rather, ones ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society.