The Path of the Just
Chapter 21 (Part 2)
We claim to like peace and quiet, stillness, and the times when our minds
are purposely slowed down and left uncluttered, but we really do not.
For if we did, and if we used those times to “sequester ourselves in our
room and collect our thoughts for the introspections and considerations of
these truths” (the fact of “G-d’s exalted nature”, of “the infinite nature
of His perfection”, and of “the great and unfathomable difference between
His loftiness and our lowliness” that we spoke of before), then we could
hardly help but be pious, Ramchal contends.
So we’d need to commit to doing just that and to “stealing” some time away
from this and that for it.
But not every life is that amenable. Family needs call out to us, as do our
jobs, and our scheduled times for Torah study (which would seem to be right
in line with this sort of concentration but often isn’t, the truth be told),
so deep reflection upon God and His ways very, very often go by the wayside.
So Ramchal offers an alternative that’s less demanding: reflecting upon and
reciting from Sefer Tehillim (“The Book of Psalms”). As the sentiments
expressed there by King David, who was known as "the sweet singer of Israel"
(2 Samuel 23:1) because he was best able to express the deepest yearnings of
the Jewish heart, will surely inspire you. In fact, Ramchal depicts David’s
words there as being "full of love, reverence and all manner of piety". So
if you recite them, he assures us, " you cannot help but be moved … to
follow in David's footsteps".
And he then adds that "it also helps to read the stories of the pious found
in the Aggadot” where their many great feats of piety and self-sacrifice are
recorded, as you’ll likely be roused to follow their example if you do.