Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Ch. 10 (Part 2)

Mistaking one inclination of the soul for another is miles apart from confusing apples with oranges, for example. For, while fruits are clearly distinct from each other, most of our traits overlap. The trait of “caution” which we discussed earlier for example is a lot like the one under discussion now, “innocence”, in that they both have to do with avoiding wrongdoing, but they’re also subtly different.

“The person who’s cautious” Ramchal says, “is guarded in his actions and sees to it that he doesn’t sin where sin is clear and obvious to all”, which is to say that he’s sure not to fall into clearly marked pits, which is wonderful. Still and all, though, he wouldn’t have reached the pinnacle. For, as Ramchal lays it out, “he still hadn’t mastered himself” - - he hadn’t yet learned to control his impulses. Because sometimes pits are mislabeled, so we’d need to learn how to step gingerly and deliberately wherever there’s a chance of falling.

If we’re ever to be “innocent” we’d have to not be “tempted by things whose bad qualities aren’t so obvious” but are wrong nevertheless. And we’d do well to learn how to overcome our untoward impulses “and to go in the ways of wisdom instead”.

But how are we ever to do that? By “first earnestly accustoming yourself to be so ‘enthusiastic’ that you‘re cleansed from obvious sins, then by … strengthening yo ur love and desire for G-d” afterwards. After all, our ultimate goal is to draw close to G-d in the first place, so we’ll more likely succeed if we keep that in mind all the time.

Once you do that, we’re assured, “you’ll be able to acquire full ‘innocence’, and what would have been the fire of physical desires would be eclipsed by an increase of G-dly desire”. That to say that the same rich, bold love you’d had for this or that would now serve to have you love G-d instead, measure for measure. And you will have attained a degree of actual innocence.

But don’t for a moment imagine that you’ll have succeeded in full. For, “in truth, only someone who has been thoroughly cleansed of all nagging remnants of sin … would be fit to see the face of the King, G-d” in full innocence. The rest of us, who would be “abashed and embarrassed before Him” either because of our failings or because we’d have imagined that we’d succeeded when we hadn’t, should remember to always go step by step.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Out, Up, and On His Way
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

"More Than I Deserve"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Leaving Ya’akov For Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

The World of Learning
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Angel or Demon?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

> Chanaukah Lights
Shlomo Katz - 5765

The Blessing Emerges From Lowliness
- 5769

Keeping Secrets
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

ArtScroll

Maaser: Give Me a Tenth!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

See Yaakov Run
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Festival of The Reflecting Lights
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Living Lessons
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Lessons in Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

The Kedusha of Galus - Thinking in Parallel
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Power To Choose
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765



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