Taamei HaMitzvos 10

Taamei HaMitzvos

Rabbi Triebitz learns through section III; chapter 32 and shows the Rambam’s understanding of free choice as central to creation. This is based on an understanding of primary intention and secondary intention. Ultimately the purpose of creation and all the mitzvos is so that mankind will come to have a relationship with G-d. This only makes sense if there is free will. However the secondary intention (which is necessary before reaching the primary intention) is to wean us away from pagan idolatry, which requires most of the mitzvos to direct our hearts to G-d.

Rambam gives two examples of primary and secondary intention in mitzvos. He says that sacrifices are only secondary intention – to wean us from idolatry. Therefore they are only permitted at certain time, by certain people in certain places. However prayer, which is an example of the primary intention, is for everyone, anywhere and at any time.

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