Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Da'at Tevunot - The Knowing Heart

Section 7, Chapter 6

1. But make no mistake about it: those prophetic visions weren’t what we’d term “figments of the imagination” or any sort of curious visual ruminations, and they certainly weren’t hallucinations! Prophets weren’t shamans, wizards, or what’s termed “intuitives”: they were especially righteous, gifted, holy and specifically-chosen rare individuals who were trained by elder prophets when the prophets were young, and were granted manifestly G-d-given skills (see Hilchot Yesodei Ha-Torah Ch. 7).

As such, they knew very well that they were seeing “fresh manifestations” of “G-d’s Glory” that was “brought about just for them”, as Ramchal put it, that would enable them to “comprehend a revelation of G-d’s presence”. That is, they knew their visions were granted by G-d Himself of His own intentions and concerns, and they never doubted its veracity.

2. Ramchal then offers a very home-spun analogy so that we might understand their revelations and how convinced they were of its authenticity. We’re asked to imagine “seeing your friend through a glass window” -- someone you know well. Even though “your friend himself would be behind a glass” and you wouldn’t be seeing him straight-on, “you’d nonetheless be certain that you’d be seeing that friend” since you wouldn’t confuse him for anyone else.

And in fact, “even if you were to imagine that the glass were to be transformed somehow”, that is, even if it was somehow misshapen or colored-over, “so that your friend behind it would appear different than he was” as a result -- still and all, “you’d undoubtedly know that it was your friend himself whom you were looking at” behind the glass, since you were so familiar with him. And you’d quickly realize that while his image was being affected by the glass, he was still himself.

So, too, when a prophet would see an image of G-d before his eyes, Ramchal concludes, he would know for certain that it was G-d Himself hidden behind that image, since G-d was so familiar to the prophet. And even though He would appear behind a “glass” -- an impediment in the form of an inner, and striking image that G-d had formed within him -- the prophet would know that it would still be Him right there and then.


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.


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Two People, One Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Of Men And Women
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Art of the Deal and It's Impact
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Parshas Ki Seitzei
Shlomo Katz - 5769

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

First in the Mind!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

ArtScroll

Reward and Punishment
Shlomo Katz - 5767

A Right to Repent?
Shlomo Katz - 5771

His Story
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Month of Elul: Customs
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Relentless
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

The Shofar: A Wake-Up Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

> Those are the Questions?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Gratitude - A Hereditary Trait?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Rising Above It All
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information