Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 5, Chapter 1

1. We’d learned about G-d’s interactions with us in great detail in the last section; let’s now delve into our interactions with Him, and see how each affects our common relations [1].

The most fundamental way that G-d interacts with us is by granting us life, of course. Each moment we’re alive we thus interact with Him on that level at least. Of course that tie isn’t unbound once we die; a different sort of interaction occurs then. But that’s beside our point here.

What needs to be said actually is that G-d has not only granted us life -- He has granted us existence itself, be it before life, in the course of it, or after it. Our very being, not only our lives, is only true because He wills it.

That’s to say that when a person is born, he’s placed “on record” of sorts: He can never have not have been born, and we fervently believe that he will never cease to have existed after his demise. There’s no undoing of that reality. Had that person not been granted reality though, he’d be on no record whatsoever, if you will.

It is not simply that all record of his having existed would be lost or undone; there would simply be none.

Understand as well that the very universe and all of reality also only exists because G-d wants it to as well.

Ramchal offers us a well-known analogy to that. “For just as the soul keeps the body alive and without it the body would surely be undone” he offers, “G-d’s interactions likewise keep everything ‘alive’, and without them the universe would be undone”. And he adds that that’s why G-d has been termed “The Soul of all souls”.

That’s to say that G-d’s interactions are the very “engine” and force behind material, spiritual, earthly, heavenly, and other interactions. As we’d put it today, G-d is “behind everything”.

2. But don’t misunderstand. G-d isn’t “behind” each and every act that occurs throughout the cosmos as if to suggest that He’s the direct cause of everything, because He isn’t. G-d allows for everything, since He alone granted it existence and allows it continued existence. But humankind (along with other elements of creation) also holds sway in the course of things, and we too are responsible for many actions.

That’s to say that having the freedom to act whichever way we see fit (within our purview; after all we can’t just decide to fly or to disappear, etc.) we too are “behind” many things … though to a less ultimate degree than G-d is. And thus we of our own volition can ascend or descend ethically and spiritually.

We’ll explore the implications of all that in the chapters to follow.

Notes:

[1] See Klallim Rishonim 25 for this chapter’s Kabbalistic references as well as R’ Friedlander’s Iyyun 41; R’ Goldblatt’s notes 2-5, 7 and note 75 on p. 486 of his edition; and R’ Shriki’s notes 128-129.


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 VAESCHANAN:

View Complete List

Seeing the Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Facing the Challenge
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

The Easy Commandment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

ArtScroll

Living Proof
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Yearning for Eretz Yirsroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

The Best Kept Secret
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Nation Destined for Greatness
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Double Standards
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

What Is True Love?
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Long Journey to the Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

The True Consolation Prize
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Perscription for Happiness
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

> The Easy Commandment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Cause Hashem to Be Loved By Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Your Appointed Portion
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

For Your Sake
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756



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