Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 7, Chapter 4

1. Few things rankle the human heart more than contradictions, truth be known. And while most of us have learned to accept ambiguity and “fuzziness” by the time we become adults, we’d actually much prefer that our reality be neat, clean, and smooth. But it’s very often not, and that’s especially true of messages from Heaven. For, as we pointed out already, only Moses received blunt and straightforward responses from G-d while the other prophets simply didn’t.

In fact, as Ramchal points out, their visions were sometimes “polar-opposites” of each other, “at one and the same the same moment”. And so G-d would seem to appear angry, mild-mannered, jovial, and more at any particular moment to a prophet (see Soferim 16:2; Yalkut Shimoni, Yitro 286; JT Nedarim 3:2; and BT Rosh Hashanah 27a for other examples) or others such things.

2. How can that be? It’s because their visions weren’t of “the things themselves”, Ramchal explains, but were specifically “prophetic visions” -- figurative rather than literal images of what was going on -- that depended on G-d’s designs at the time. The point is that those visions need not have fallen under any “law” of reality or of nature whatsoever -- including those of the sort of logic and consistency we’re used to.

For, at bottom, each vision was meant to express something about G-d’s otherwise inscrutable ways in the world. And if that called for contradiction or the like, well, then so be it. But don’t think it ends there: there are other daunting things about the prophets’ insights, as we’ll see [1].

[1] For kabbalistic references to this chapter see R’ Friedlander’s note 502 and R’ Shriki’s note 181*.

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.



View Complete List

This Land Is My Land”
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Yetzer Hara - Friend or Foe?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Of Fire and Money
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757


The Antidote for "And Yaakov Remained Alone"
- 5774

Darkness and Light
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Oh Brother
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Shadowy Existence
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Divine Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Be Patient!
Shlomo Katz - 5761

To Charm and Disarm
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Light Up Right
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

> Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Yaakov Sent Malachim -- Literally
- 5769

How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information