The Wisdom of Kabbalah and the System of Mussar (Ethics)
The goal of ethics is the well-being of society from the perspective of practical reason, derived from life’s experiences. But in the end, that goal does not promise its follower any elation above the boundaries of nature.
Hence, this goal is still subject to criticism, for who can prove to an individual the extent of his benefit in such a way that he will be compelled to even slightly diminish his own self in favor of the well-being of society?
The religious goal, however, promises the well-being of the individual who follows it, as we have already shown that when one comes to love others, he is in direct Dvekut, which is equivalence of form with the Maker, and along with it man passes from his narrow world, filled with pain and impediments, to an eternal world of bestowal upon the Lord and upon the people.
– Baal HaSulam “The Essence of Religion and its Purpose”
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