שלום בשערך - Peace in Your Gates

Friday, March 26, 2004

The Flowchart Analogy for השגחה פרטית (Divine Providence)
It occured to me that as an aid to understanding the concept of השגחה פרטית (Divine Providence)--especially the Ba'al Shem Tov's idea that Hashem is directing the affairs of the world as he is continually renewing the world--one could think of a 'flow-chart,' mapping out a person's route, or destiny. Just as a flow-chart is comprised of 'if-then' statements and different paths, depending on the choices one makes, so too, with Divine Providence--meaning that the moral choices a person makes will determine the next set of circumstances and variables with which he is confronted.

This also speaks to the idea I came across recently (but cannot recall the source), that a person's actions down here influence what happens "upstairs" (i.e., a person's choices will determine the next set of environmental conditions he is dealt). Perhaps, this is also related to what chazal meant by "mitzvah gorreres mitzvah" (one mitzvah leads to another).

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