Showing posts from August, 2023

Two Types of Reward

This building project is reminding me of two kinds of reward. It is a principle of faith that we believe in “reward and punishment” (Ie, G-d will reward us for keeping the Torah, and punish us for transgressing). Why is the belief in reward so central to Judaism?  Aren’t we supposed to do what’s right because it’s right, not because of some stick and carrot game?  Is G-d like a manipulative parent, trying to bribe us into doing his bidding? One answer is that there are two kinds of reward: (1) Arbitrary reward-  I’ll pay you to work and you can do whatever you want with the money or I’ll buy you a bicycle if you clean your room or get a good report card-  The money or bicycle has no intrinsic connection to the work being done.  (2) Build a home with your hands- The reward is the direct result of your handiwork. Clean your room and you’ll have a clean room.  The reward is a direct result of the work. When G-d rewards us for keeping Torah, it’s not a bribe.   The very commandments G-d gi