Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 7, Chapter 4

1. Few things rankle the human heart more than contradictions, truth be known. And while most of us have learned to accept ambiguity and “fuzziness” by the time we become adults, we’d actually much prefer that our reality be neat, clean, and smooth. But it’s very often not, and that’s especially true of messages from Heaven. For, as we pointed out already, only Moses received blunt and straightforward responses from G-d while the other prophets simply didn’t.

In fact, as Ramchal points out, their visions were sometimes “polar-opposites” of each other, “at one and the same the same moment”. And so G-d would seem to appear angry, mild-mannered, jovial, and more at any particular moment to a prophet (see Soferim 16:2; Yalkut Shimoni, Yitro 286; JT Nedarim 3:2; and BT Rosh Hashanah 27a for other examples) or others such things.

2. How can that be? It’s because their visions weren’t of “the things themselves”, Ramchal explains, but were specifically “prophetic visions” -- figurative rather than literal images of what was going on -- that depended on G-d’s designs at the time. The point is that those visions need not have fallen under any “law” of reality or of nature whatsoever -- including those of the sort of logic and consistency we’re used to.

For, at bottom, each vision was meant to express something about G-d’s otherwise inscrutable ways in the world. And if that called for contradiction or the like, well, then so be it. But don’t think it ends there: there are other daunting things about the prophets’ insights, as we’ll see [1].

[1] For kabbalistic references to this chapter see R’ Friedlander’s note 502 and R’ Shriki’s note 181*.

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.



View Complete List

Somebody's a Nobody
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

A Tale Of Two Wives
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Meaning and Purpose: A Good Beginning
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

> This Time
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Safely Carried on the Wings of Eagles
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

Human Separation and Value
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762


What Ends Must Have Begun!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

A Fresh Start
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

Do Torah!
Shlomo Katz - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Deeper Look at Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Cherish the Memories
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Not Competition, Composition!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Easy Way Out!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Forbidden Fruit - The Good and the Bad
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

This Rashi Is Not For the United Nations – It is For Us
- 5769

The Final Letters Spell 'Emes'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information