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The Path of the Just

“There are as many aspects of ‘innocence’” -- our subject at hand -- “as there are Torah prohibitions”, i.e., as there are things that we’re to be on guard against. That means to say that each Torah prohibition (like not stealing, not lying, not desecrating the Shabbos, etc.) has its own structure and subject matter, which then calls for specific precautions and for unique ways of achieving “innocence” in the face of it.=2 0

But rather than analyze each (don’t forget, there are 365 Torah prohibitions) Ramchal will present the ones we have the most trouble with and suggest remedies. He explains the dynamic behind Torah prohibitions elsewhere, so let’s see what he offers us there beforehand.

It’s important to understand from the first that sins lie “at the lower end of holiness”, Ramchal underscores. That means to say that while they re far and away unholy, sins are still and all rooted in holiness and thus connected to G-d on some, albeit low, level. So they can be redeemed and “turned around to goodness”, we’re told.

In any event, the wrong that’s brought about in the world (which we’re to steer clear of by avoiding Torah prohibitions) is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s error in the Garden of Eden (also see 2:1 above). One thing, and one thing alone, had been prohibited of them, but they nonetheless disobeyed. And so we’re compelled to avoid even more prohibitions to set right their way and to turn wrongdoing to righteousness (see Adir Bamarom pp.407-408. 286).

So in a way, each one of us is set down anew onto a fresh Garden of Eden of our own and asked to accept G-d’s counsel every day. Accept it again and again, and the whole will be set aright; reject it and we too will have fallen short of the mark.

Let’s learn now which prohibitions we’re likely to overlook and see what Ramchal suggests we use to avoid that.

Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and



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