Torah.org 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.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Gratitude, Jewish Style
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Yehi Ratzon - Text and Instructions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

> The World Was Created for Me
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Open Your Eyes
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

The Joy of Mitzvah Observance
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Art of Jewish Prayer
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

That Ancient Memory
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

The Remaining Curse
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Elul
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5755

We Will Survive
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Call of the Shofar
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

ArtScroll

Get the Merchandise
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Uniforms vs. Uniformity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Overlook It When You've Been Wronged
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Bikkurim - Basket Case
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information