Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 18 (Part 1)

We are coming upon the hillside now, almost within touch of it; we have now begun a discussion of the trait of “piety”, which Ramchal had set as the central theme of The Path of The Just (see our Introduction). There will be a lot to say about it, to be sure, (after all, the Zohar offers that the pious dwell in “the highest Courtyard” -- the one that only those who truly love G-d manage to enter [1, p. 39a]).

There is certainly a lot to be said as well about piety’s profound offshoots which we will come upon later including “modesty”, “fear of sin”, “holiness”, “Divine inspiration”, and “resurrection of the dead”, but the fact remains that we are on our way.

Ramchal repeats a few things here that he had said before about piety to underscore the point. He reiterates that “there are many people doing a lot of things in the name of piety that are in fact only pale, … formless, shapeless shadows of the real thing”. And that is because they haven not bothered to dwell deeply upon what they were doing to attain it, and had not “laid all the factors on the scales of wisdom”, even when they had the very best of intentions.

Still and all, as a result, “they have assumed a false piety”. And they have inadvertently “left a foul impression of piety” in the eyes of many, he adds. For there are a number of people who have “come to associate piety with foolishness and absurdity”, and to equate it with “the incessant recital of petitions and confessions” and with “weeping, exaggerated prostrations and all sorts of odd flagellations”.

(In fact, as it was worded in the Introduction, “there are all sorts of conflicting ideas on the subject of just what piety and service to G-d are all about. And they run the gamut from stark abstinence or selfless subjugation, to a rather laissez faire sort”. The kind we will be discussing here, though, is different from any of that.)

The truth of the matter is that “piety is a profound thing in its own right” when it is “rooted in … wisdom,” and it contributes to “the ultimate rectification of all things” in the end.


 

Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

Rabbi Feldman's new book, Bachya Ibn Pakuda's The Duties of the Heart, is now available! Order Now


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

School of Soft Knocks
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Why Bring the Children?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

ArtScroll

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Repentance or Excuse?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

The Gift of Scholarship
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Time for Teshuvah
Shlomo Katz - 5769

A Standing Ovation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Only Skin Deep
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

> This Time, Let's Do It Right
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Prayer's Gate
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Our Doting Father
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Centrality of Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

A Person Thinks... and G-d Laughs
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

Facing the Covenant
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Judging the Day of Judgement
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764



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