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Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 5, Chapter 7

Ramchal reiterates the point here, though, that everything can play a role in elevating the world in potential, in stirring and sanctifying G-d’s Glory in the process, and in drawing us close to His presence [1].

That possibility was best illustrated by the role the High Priest (Kohen HaGadol) played in the ancient Holy Temple, especially when it came to the daily Tamid offering. For, offering it entailed sacrificing all of the animal’s blood and body-parts (see Numbers 28:2), along with all the various vegetable, mineral, and human elements inherent to all the sacrifices (i.e., the flour, the salt, and the intentions the one who offers the sacrifice has in mind). So, by doing all that the High Priest was able to dedicate all of those various elements to G-d, as we’re expected to do in our daily lives.

That ability set the High Priests apart from the rest of the priests (cohanim), in fact. As Ramchal puts it, the High priests were able to “set out to connect all of creation to its Creator, and they knew just what they needed to accomplish this”. Thus, everything they did in the process was dedicated to fulfilling the needs “of deep mysteries, and to perfecting all of creation by (enabling it to) cling unto its Creator” on a very arcane -- and ironically, a very mundane -- level.

Still and all, we too are to sanctify each and everything we do in much the same way, and to thus draw close to G-d through the everyday things we come into contact with, and to underscore G-d’s assertion that His presence “fill(s) heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 23:24). For, we’re taught that G-d desires a dwelling-place in the lower worlds (Midrash Rabbah), so we’re each expected to welcome Him into it and to thus sanctify everyday things to Him by “introducing” them to Him.

Now, that’s not to deny the unique actions of the righteous, who play yet another role in this whole phenomenon as we’ll see, though.

[1] For Kabbalistic references in this chapter see Klallim Rishonim 33, R’ Goldblatt’s note 22, and R’ Shriki’s notes 140-141.

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.



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