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Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter Eight: The Redemption (Part 1)

Ramchal refers to our people as the nation that is “designated and destined to attach unto G-d” in the end, and to be “crowned with great garlands of holiness”. For there will come a time when “the Divine Presence (the Shechina) will dwell upon (us) and attach itself unto (us)”, and when we’ll become so “perfected” that we’ll “merit attaining the true good”. (See 3:1-2 above for reference to this).

That is undoubtedly the glorious and wholly uncommon day which the prophet Isaiah was referring to when he said, “And they will say on that day, ‘Behold, this is our G-d whom we hoped for! …. Let us rejoice and be happy with His deliverance!’” (Isaiah 25:9). And it’s the promise of just such a day that lies at the root of the great and constant rumblings in the Jewish heart for ultimate goodness, excellence, and full revelation.

Just know, however, that such an astonishing and divine moment will only gradually unfold, and that it will come on the heels of a sure but unhurried process of great spiritual maturation. It will begin with the Messianic Era, which will be followed by The Resurrection of the Dead, and it will result in The World to Come which is what’s alluded to above. Ramchal only lightly touches upon this vast and tempestuous series of events in this work, so we’ll expand upon his points with references to other sources to round out the picture.

In any event, he starts off with the statement that while “each and every person can merit attaining the true good” spoken of above “on his own, based on his own actions”, the world at large will only come to that point once our people achieve our full potential. For once that happens, and we draw close to G-d in full, the world itself will evolve, and everyone will be fully rewarded for his or her efforts.


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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