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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Three Weeks: What Are We Trying to Achieve?
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

Close Enough?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Take Vengeance for Hashem
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

ArtScroll

The Accidental Murderer
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Personal Tragedies
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Collateral Damage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Following Instructions!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

> A Book of Memories
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

The Sword is Mightier than the Pen
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Been There Done That
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Not Very Promising
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

It Must Have Been a Miracle!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Which is the Bigger Wonder?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Criticm - To Accept or to Defend
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759



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