Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter Seven: Moses and Prophecy (Part 3)

The first moments of prophecy were apparently quite capsizing and riotous. As Ramchal puts it, “when a prophet would begin to prophesize he would first experience a great trembling”, as “all his limbs would quiver and quake”. He then begins to “lose consciousness” and enter into a trance.

Understand of course that the prophet wouldn’t be apoplectic or suddenly suffering a seizure, though that must be what he seemed to be going through to the observing eye. He wasn’t ill or crazed either. What was happening was that a part of his personhood was being undone by the presence of G-d and shifting about, and was being replaced by what we could only term a full-bodied, supernatural personal receptivity to whatever G-d would be infusing him with.

He would then begin to experience the sorts of visions that only true prophets would merit seeing, which Ramchal terms “revelations of (G-d’s) Glory”. And the prophet would then understand that he was indeed being made privy to what “Supernal Wisdom deemed he should know”.

The prophet Isaiah described the following quite unearthly moment that could serve as an example of what happened. “I saw the L-rd sitting on a high and exalted throne,” he said, “and His lower extremity filled the Temple. Seraphim stood above Him, with six wings … each; with two (each one) would cover his face, and with two he would cover his feet, and with two he would fly. Each one called out to the other and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the L-rd of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ The doorposts quaked from the voice of him who called, and the house became filled with smoke. And I said, ‘Woe is me … for my eyes have seen the King, the L-rd of Hosts” (Isaiah 6:1-5).

It goes without saying that not everyone merited such revelations. One had to have managed to “attach himself unto G-d’s presence” to a very great degree, in Ramchal’s words, which of course implies involving oneself in all sorts of intellectual, prayer-centered, and mystical practices, and being of the highest moral caliber.

That would enable a potential prophet to achieve “great spiritual stature” and to then be granted the ability to “perform all sorts of miracles and wonders” depending on his standing, aside from his communications.


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 DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

No Empty Matter
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Placing The Partitions
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Soft Sell
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

ArtScroll

Harsh Hugs
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Secret to Rebuke
Shlomo Katz - 5772

And So The Journey Continues
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

> A Hopeful Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Visionary Words
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Striving to Succeed
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Elusive Allusions
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Hidden Yet Loving
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Paradise Lost
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Speaking Louder
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Falsehood's Foothold
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

To See or Not to See - That is the Question
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762



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