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Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 6, Chapter 7

1. We’re to always recall that “G-d considers humankind’s actions as they are” at the time and in their particular content, Ramchal points out. But we’re also to realize that “He judges those actions for their consequences”, which is to say, in light of the effects they have on the people and things in their contexts. For everything must be considered in terms of the makeup and function of the entire universe.

The other thing to realize is that nothing whatsoever is ever overlooked or forgotten; nothing escapes G-d’s purview, and everything matters somehow or somewhere and to one degree or another.

Now, while you might argue that when something that had once been bad has been set right, that there’d be no need to pay attention to its inglorious past -- or that once something that had been good has become bad that there’d be no need to pay attention to its original goodness -- but that’s not true: nothing is forgotten, Ramchal asserts.

That’s not only so because everything matters, as we said, but also because the consequences of things that went from being bad to good are utterly different from the consequences of things that went from being good to being bad, just as the consequences of things that went from being good to bad twice in a row, and on and on, are unique to themselves. The point of the matter is that everything is to be judged in the light of its own full and rich past, present, and future, as well as in light of the universe’s past, present, and future.

2. We’re just to always recall that “on the great Day of Judgment,” after the Moshiach will have come and the dead would have already been resurrected, “G-d will remove the cloth (that hides the truth of things) from before everyone’s eyes, and (everyone will then be able to see) everything that occurred from creation to that very day”. And as a consequence, Ramchal declares, everyone will be able to discern “the justice behind G-d’s decisions about each and every thing, large and small”, and we’ll all be able to ken the reward that will granted to the righteous which had been due them. And the righteous will then receive it.

[1] For Kabbalistic references in this chapter see Klallim Rishonim 34 (end); R’ Friedlander’s Iyyun 59; and R’ Shriki’s extensive note 169.


Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon "The Gates of Repentance", "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason Aronson Publishers). His works are available in bookstores and in various locations on the Web.


 


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