The greatest kindness intended by creation is the bestowal upon people of the awareness of the glory of the Creator: “G-d made [the universe] so that they should fear Him” (Koheles 3:14). By gaining fear of Hashem, men gain the greatest benefit in this life as well as gaining eligibility for the true happiness of the World to Come.
As we sing in gratitude and happiness, we are rehearsing for the immensely greater future joy which will never end
All of the marvelous phenomena of the world a) have manifold physical benefits and b) provide intellectual benefits. These benefits of awareness of Hashem are of primary importance, for they confer on man the Perfection which continues on into the afterlife. “The foundation of piety and the root of perfect service is a) to make clear and b) to be convinced of what a person’s duty is in this world, and toward what he should put his attention in all that he toils all of his days. Our sages have stated that we were created to have joy from being with Hashem… and the true place of this happiness is the World to Come” (Mesilas Yesharim 1).
By studying bechina, we recognize the plan and purpose of the phenomena of creation and we discern the kindliness therein. As we enjoy Hashem’s bounty of the universe and sing in gratitude and happiness, we are also rehearsing for the immensely greater future joy which will never end.
“In the afterlife there is no eating or drinking…the righteous sit with crowns (of True Knowledge which they gained in this life [Rambam]) on their heads and enjoy the resplendence of G-d’s presence” (Brachos 17a). The endless joy of the Life to come consists of the ecstasy of viewing the infinite splendor of Hashem’s presence; therefore the opportunity to view and appreciate the Creator’s splendor in this life is the most important preparation for the great, eternal banquet.
“Happy are they that sit in Your house,” for they “are busy singing in this world” (Sanhedrin 91b). After such a life, the best is yet to come: “Still more shall they extol You forever” (ibid.). This life of joy and singing is but a rehearsal for the everlasting career of happy song.
“This world is like an entrance room before the World to Come; prepare yourself in this world in order to enter the palace” (Avos 4:16). “Practice blessing of Him in this world, so that you should be accustomed to them in the World to Come” (Rashi, Brachos 63a).
Excerpted from Gifts From Hashem by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger, Simchas Hachaim Publishing, 2015.