Da’at Tevunot -- The Knowing Heart
Section 1, Chapter 10
Let’s reiterate the secrets of the universe we ’ve been privy to so far
since they’re so wide-ranging and challenging, and go so far to explain
the workings of the universe. And besides, seeing this all laid out plain
will remind us of just who we are at bottom and what’s expected of us.
In general it comes to this: G-d “wanted from the first to reveal His
Yichud”, as Ramchal puts it, which is to say, to demonstrate that nothing
whatsoever can thwart His wishes. And He established that as the
underpinning of all of reality (see 1:3:3, 1:4:3, 1:6:1, 1:7:3).
G-d purposefully concealed His Yichud at first, though, which then allowed
fo r wrong and injustice to exist; but once He will have revealed His
Yichud all wrong and injustice will be undone (see 1:6:2, 1:7:2-3, 1:8:1).
And He presented us with the mission of perfecting ourselves (see 1:1:2,
1:2) within the period of time between the concealment and revelation of
Now, all this not only has countless ramifications upon our day-to-day, to
say nothing of our eternal lives, it also affects all of reality.
For, “once G-d decided to follow this path”, i.e., of first hiding His
sovereignty and allowing for wrong and injustice, then revealing it and
undoing all that, “He then provided the space”, i.e., the wherewithal, for
us “to achieve true perfection” Ramchal asserts .
That means to say that now that this dynamic has been set in place, it
follows that everything functions in accordance with it, that this is the
essential universal pattern, and that it offers us the means of growing
and reaching our full potential as G-d wants us to.
In any event, knowing this, we can now understand how the world is at
deeply flawed, chaotic, and puzzling by all appearances, yet perfect,
structured, and comprehensible, given this dynamic.
At bottom, though, we’re assured that G-d will indeed reveal His presence
in the end either with or without human intervention (see 1:8:2-3, 1:9:1,
4), we’ll eventually no longer need free will and will have earned our
eternal reward (see 1:1:2, 1:7:3), and the universe will have achieved
 We wondered what it was that enabled us to perfect ourselves (see
1:2:4 at the end), and the answer (at least in part, since we’ll touch on
this again later) is that it’s G-d's concealment itself that does, since
it allows us the freedom to decide to pursue perfection (see note 7 there
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.