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Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 6, Chapter 4

1. But let us never forget, as Ramchal words it so elegantly, that G-d assigned “the rectification of creation” to “all the souls He’d created to serve Him”, to be sure. But the fact remains that we’ll each only do that in ways that G-d alone “knows is appropriate to (our) individual makeup and raison d’être”.

That’s to say that each of us has been created by G-d to serve Him in his or her own way, and each will certainly play a part in the great refurbishing and restoration. But we’ll often do it in ways we ourselves cannot fathom or even imagine no matter how well we know ourselves. But that opaqueness is easy enough to understand, given that our actions are often rooted in “a very, very clandestine phenomenon” which even the prophets couldn’t fully ken: the Mazal factor we’d spoken of last time.

Few indeed know about the workings and conditions of Mazal itself; and all we can discern in fact are its consequences upon our lives. Yet it factors into our life’s mission despite that to a very great degree.

2. At bottom, though, it comes to this: it’s simply a fact of life that for one hidden and fundamental reason or another some of us enjoy an abundance of Divine beneficence, while others suffer a very limited amount of it in order to fulfill our missions in this world. It often has nothing to do with what we did or didn’t do, or our ethical makeup: it’s simply an esoteric factor in each person’s life which is rooted in the ultimate rectification of creation.

For, the truth be known, “while one person rectifies this (worldly) factor, another rectifies that (one) in his own way”, as Ramchal underscores. And a lot goes into that that’s simply beyond us.

That being so, it is still and all true that each righteous person will indeed get his just rewards in the end, based on his righteous deeds and experiences in this world irrespective of the above. It is just that while one’s station and experience of the World to Come will indeed be rooted in his righteousness or lack of it, his this-world experience often times will not. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot more to be said about the latter point.

[1] For Kabbalistic references in this chapter see R’ Shriki’s note 161.

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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