Freedom to Grow

“It would have been easy for God to create a billion computers programmed to sing His praises continually. But that would not be worship. Freedom of the will is not accidental to human existence as Judaism conceives it. It is of its very essence. Worship is not worship if it is coerced. Virtue is not virtue if we are compelled by inner or outer forces over which we have no control. In creating humanity, God, as it were, placed Himself under a statute of self limitation. He had to be patient. He could not force the pace of moral development of mankind without destroying the very thing He had created. This self limitation – what the kabbalists called tzimtzum – was God’s greatest act of love. He gave humanity the freedom to grow. But that inevitably meant that change in the affairs of mankind would be slow.”

The Role of Time in Social Transformation (Beshallach, Covenant & Conversation)