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Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 5, Chapter 8

1. The righteous play a specific and a more potent role in all of that, though [1].. Thanks to their deeply-felt prayers, their recitation of certain arcane Divine names, their concentrations on the upper realms that play a role in all of this, and more, the righteous can manage to make the “complete perfection of creation” possible, as Ramchal enunciates it. For, “each and every day they allow for new (acts of) rectification” to come about that only they can allow for, which then enable the great “emanations of blessings” to come our way.

Now, as we’ve cited before a number of times, Ramchal affirms that all the world’s imperfections are a consequence of G-d’s perfection and utter sovereignty being hidden from our eyes. And as we’ve also learned, the truth is that once all of that will be revealed, “the world will be entirely perfect”, as he puts it here, and everything that “prevents created beings from drawing close to G-d” will be undone.

The role that the righteous play in setting off this final phenomenon is this one: they “provoke” it with their specific input and help foster the revelation of G-d’s great sovereignty, and thus “add a degree of rectification throughout creation” in the process.

For given that “there’s no act of Divine service (i.e., a mitzvah) that doesn’t contribute to the world’s perfection” and to the eventual “revelation of G-d’s sovereignty” which then enables us mere mortals to cling onto G-d’s presence, that’s especially true of the mitzvahs that the righteous fulfill. As such, their deeds are more capable of allowing for G-d’s great blessings to rain upon us.

2. Ramchal now begins to touch upon a very esoteric and mystical principle which addresses our true inner relationship to G-d. As he explains it, our ability to cling onto G-d’s presence is rooted in the fact that our souls are a “portion” of Him, if you will; and so like all “portions that cling unto their whole”, i.e., like all parts of a whole that fit naturally into the whole that they’re a part of, we quite naturally “fit”, so to speak, within G-d's being..

Indeed, we’re taught that “His people are a portion of G-d” (Deuteronomy 32:9), and that we’re so intrinsically close to G-d that it’s perfectly proper for us to call out amorously, “May He kiss me with the kisses of His lips” (Song of Songs 1:2). It’s this inherent intimacy that fosters the great raining down of “a flow of holiness”, a “flow of G-dliness, spirit, and … of blessing” when we fulfill our mitzvahs, and that enables us to succeed in this otherwise unholy world.

3. Our attaching onto His presence in love in fact brings about an extra degree of love in Him for us, and for our service to Him, seeing that our mitzvahs help bring about the great universal perfection we spoke of above. In point of fact, that’s the inner function of all of G-d’s mitzvahs, Ramchal adds: they help bring about worldly perfection. And our engaging in them allows for a free flow of blessings in the world which then redoubles back onto us [2].

Aside from that, though, there are other, more arcane functions at play in each and every mitzvah we fulfill which “anyone who can delve into them can uncover" and such a person can also experience "the goodly ‘taste’” that lies deep within “each and every one of them”.


[1] For Kabbalistic references in this chapter see Klallim Rishonim 31 and 33 (at end); R' Goldblatt's notes 2, 5-6, and 10-11 as well as notes 84-85 on pp. 489-490 of his edition; and R' Shriki's note 142.

[2] See 5:4:2 above.

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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