Ramchal

Ramchal

By Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

The name of this class, Ramchal, is a name by which Rabbi Luzzato is commonly known and is a Hebrew acronym for Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, the outstanding scholar and teacher of Jewish ethics who lived in the 18th century.

Questions are welcome and should be directed to Rabbi Feldman.


“Da’at Tevunot — The Knowing Heart”

Ramchal’s Da’at Tevunot lays out several of the most vexing issues in life and offers inspiriting solutions to them based on Kabbalah. The issues include G-d’s sovereignty, the role of evil and wrongdoing in the world, the meaning of life, G-d’s plans for the cosmos, and more. But while the work is based on the Kabbalistic system, it doesn’t depend on Kabbalistic terms and images, so it could be understood and enjoyed by all.


“Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith”

This new class in the “Ramchal” series will be based on a lesser known, brief work of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto’s that’s entitled Ma’amar HaIkkurim (literally, “A Discourse on Fundamentals”). Like “The Way of G-d”, this work also goes about explaining essentials of the Jewish Faith clearly and concisely, but it explores things discussed in the other work from another angle and also delves into things not mentioned there. They touch upon what we Jews believe that others don’t, what our over-all world view is, what matters most and what least, what the future holds, what’s expected of us and what we can hope for, and a lot more.

The topics under discussion are entitled: “G-d”, “The Spiritual Realm”, “Torah and Mitzvot”, “Reward and Punishment”, “Heaven and Hell”, “Divine Providence”, “Moses and Prophecy”, “The Redemption”, “Miracles”, and “The Oral Torah”.


“The Great Redemption”

At bottom, each nation is a product of its dreams and realizations. And while we Jews have certainly come upon a world of realizations in the course of our 2,000 year long exile, we’ve forgotten some of our dreams. Perhaps the greatest of them though is the dream of the coming of the Moshiach (“Messiah”) at long last and our being redeemed. But how will that happen, and what will be going on in the Celestial background to bring it about? Ramchal discussed all that in an early work entitled “A Discourse on The Redemption”.

Join us in a slow and deliberate study of this important work by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, master Kabbalist, philosopher, moralist, and thinker. We will cite the book nearly sentence by sentence, explain it, delve deeply into its wisdom, and grow within our beings in the process.

Our teacher will be Rabbi Yaakov Feldman, a student of the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, of blessed memory. Rabbi Feldman conducts Torah.org’s “In Search of Spiritual Excellence”; and he has translated and offered a commentary to another work by Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, “The Path of the Just”. He has done the same for Bachya Ibn Pakudah’s “The Duties of the Heart”, Rabbeinu Yonah’s “The Gates of Repentance” (Jason Aronson Publishers), and Rabbi Luzzato’s “The Way of G-d”.


“The Way of G-d”

Perhaps nothing stirs the Jewish heart more than the idea that G-d can largely be explained, that our metaphysical ties to Him are real, and that there are tangible things we can do to draw closer and closer to Him our whole lives long. All of this is discussed with great depth and clarity in a masterwork of Jewish thought known as “The Way of G-d”.

Join us in a slow and deliberate study of this central work by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, master Kabbalist, philosopher, moralist, and thinker. We will cite the book nearly sentence by sentence, explain it, delve deeply into its wisdom, and grow within our beings in the process.


This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel z”l, and Sara Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid, z”l.

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Ramchal Biography