"The Path of the Just"
Ch. 8 (Part 1)
“Caution” and “enthusiasm” are two sides of the same trait coin. For while
being cautious helps us to avoid losing contact with G-d by encouraging us
not to sin (see Ch’s 2-5), being enthusiastic helps us draw closer to Him
by persuading us to do more and more good.
So, just as we were advised to do so to acquire “caution”, it would help
us to study Torah, and to reflect upon the significance of Divine service
and the scope of Divine judgment in order to attain “enthusiasm”.
But there’s one other thing we could do, Ramchal tells us here. We could
reflect upon “the high significance of the mitzvot”, since once that
becomes clear to us we’re more likely to fulfill them eagerly.
Ramchal grants us some insight into the significance of the mitzvah-system
in other works. He illustrates at one point how carefully laid out all the
mitzvot and their details are, all so that we could achieve a “genuine
(spiritual) rank” (Derech Hashem 1:4:5).
After all, as he puts it, G-d knows our “makeup through and through, as
well as how (we) function”. And so after considering all of that, as well
as everything else that would need to be factored in (like our
circumstances, context, and the historical moment), He charged us to
execute certain actions with specific details there and then, and then He
grants us the promised spiritual rank. After all, we were told that “G-d
commanded us to perform all these statutes … for our good” (Deuteronomy
We’re also told that with each and every mitzvah we fulfill, we “draw
closer and closer to G-d”, we enjoy a certain palpable “degree of
perfection”(Derech Hashem 1:4:10), and that a certain degree of
goodness “wafts down” upon us from up above (Clalei Kinot Hashem Tzivakot
The world itself benefits by our observance, we’re told. It’s set right by
our mitzvot to a degree (Derech Hashem 4:4:4, Da’at Tevunot 158), we
connect it to the Higher Realms (Adir Bamarom p.3) thanks to the agency of
our soul which acts as a mediator between the two (Yichud HaYirah), and we
clarify the fact that G-d alone reigns in the world and nothing else
(Klach Pitchei Chochma 49 [in the Peirush]).
So, with so much at stake and so much to be gained, how could a sensitive
soul not be moved enough to do what he or she can?
Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org