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"The Way of G-d"

Part 3: "The Soul, Inspiration, Prophecy, and the Supernatural"

Chapter 3: "Inspiration and Prophecy"

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But the assurity, clarity, and vividness we'd just spoken of isn't the be-all and end-all of inspiration. There's a higher and deeper level besides -- actual prophecy.

What most clearly differentiates prophecy from inspiration is the fact that there comes a point in the prophet's preparations when he experiences what's referred to as "d'vekut" -- an actual and visceral adhesion onto G-d's Presence (see 1:2:1). This phenomenon also entails assurity, clarity, and vividness, since there's no doubt in the prophet's mind as to what he's experiencing, it's so real, overwhelming, and Divine.

Ramchal offers the idea that in fact a major function of true prophecy is to prove that a mere mortal can indeed adhere onto G-d's presence. Aside from that, though, prophecy allows for certain information to reach mankind, and for its practitioner to gain insight into many lofty truths and Divine mysteries.

The prophet receives his insights with astounding clarity, much the way the inspired souls we'd spoken of gain their lesser insights, but with a difference. For prophecy comes upon its practitioner with much greater force, as we'll soon explain.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel, and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.

Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and

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