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"The Way of G-d"

Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"

Ch. 4: "Human Responsibility"

Paragraph 11

Ramchal concludes this chapter on human responsibility with a reiteration of an argument he’d been making up till now. Twice in this short paragraph he recounts what the "*true* purpose of the mitzvot" is. And that’s for a number of reasons.

Primarily to underscore the fact that mitzvot serve a deeper, far more compelling role in the world than we imagine (i.e., they’re not just "good deeds", or lovely expressions of cultural pride, as we indicated before; they’re agents of sweeping change and consequence). But also to advise us to tend to them as diligently and purposefully as we would anything of such magnitude; and to see them as means to an end.

For as he puts it, the mitzvah system is actually meant to provide us with the means to engage with G-d, draw closer to Him, and bask in His "light" (which, as we described the last time, nourishes us spiritually and grants us spiritual health and vitality).

As Ramchal explained in "The Path of the Just" (Ch. 1), "Our sages... taught us that we were created to delight in G-d and enjoy the radiance of His Divine presence...." And that "the means to bring you to this goal are *the mitzvot*." Hence, mitzvot do indeed serve as a means to an end, and that end is closeness to G-d.

He also says here that we’re to be sure to avoid anything that would lead us away from them and from G-d Himself. He expands upon that point in "The Path of The Just", too.

He says there that "it’s only fitting... that there be no goal in any of your actions, large or small, other than to get close to G-d and to *eradicate the barriers that separate you from Him*” which he identifies as "matters of this world (alone, and nothing more) and the sorts of things that depend on them." That’s to say that we’re to be careful not to be distracted by the various electric and loud curios that dazzle the eye, and carry away the heart from its desired end.

Ramchal’s final point here is that "the actual minutiae of the mitzvot" (i.e., what exactly to do, when, and under what circumstances) have great, great significance vis a vis our souls and the spirit of the world in general. And that while *some* of that will be discussed in later portions of this work, he wouldn’t be explaining all of them. For there are many of them, each one matters, and this work was only meant to serve as an introduction.

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