Let My People Know

Rabbi Steinsaltz: “Even in the World to Come, there is no rest for the righteous.”

The draw of Judaism is not the prospect of attaining tranquility, as it is in some other religions.

When a person draws closer to God and to the world of Judaism, he is rewarded not with rest but only with questions and more questions.

If a person is especially successful in his spiritual journey, every day three of his small questions will die, and three large questions will be born in their place.

Even in the World to Come, there is no rest for the righteous.

“They go from strength to strength” (Ps. 84:8), which is another way of conveying this notion.

When a tzaddik “graduates” from one world, finishing his learning process in this world, he is promoted to another world.

What does he gain in this whole process if he is constantly working?

What he gains through his labor are new questions, ones that he has never previously considered.

Although these are more difficult questions, they are also questions that relate to a loftier world.

He can engage in more exalted matters, but he never stops asking questions:

What is more important? What is more fitting? What is the proper path to take?

That is what is truly required – not to live in pursuit of tranquility, but to live in a world of questions, each one lifting a person higher and higher in his spiritual journey.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz