Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Ch. 4 (Part 1)

In the end, the very best way to develop the sort of caution we’ve been talking about, Ramchal advises, is to delve into Torah. Because it will invariably point out what matters in life and what doesn’t, which will then inspire you to be cautious in your life-choices.

But Ramchal then makes a very astute point that has bearing on a lot of things having to do with how we’re to grow in our spirit. He asserts that while one person might be moved to change by one thing or another, someone else might be repelled by the very same thing, and vice versa -- and yet both would need to grow. So it’s obvious that we’d have to know what inspires us and what doesn’t if we’re to move ahead.

He says that there are three sorts of people over-all as far as spiritual yearnings are concerned: “those who fully understand (what matters most)”, “those of somewhat lesser understanding (than they)”, and “the great majority of people”; or, put simply, there are people in search of spiritual excellence indeed, there are also people not quite there but on the way, and there are some who are willing to settle for spiritual mediocrity but who could be inspired to do better if given the right impetus.

For the truth of the matter is that not everyone yearns for nearness to G- d or for a chance to dwell close to Him and to bask in His light forever. While we contend that everyone’s soul yearns to do that, since the soul originated in G-d’s Being and would love to “go back home” for good, the lower elements of one’s beings can actually be repelled by the thought. After all, an individual drawn to “wine, women, and song” his whole life, who is repulsed by the thought of praying for example for any amount of time or of contemplating loftier things, would be aghast at having to spend eternity in Heaven. Yet his soul would want to dwell there, in fact, and would want to know how to. So it should be encouraged to and nudged along (albeit tenderly and appropriately if it’s to be effective).

For Ramchal’s point here is that in fact anyone could be drawn toward goodness (if not out-and-out righteousness) if properly motivated. We would just need to be aware of what makes a person “tick” and use that to his soul’s best advantage.

As such, a more altruistic person would be motivated by high ideals, and should be offered them; someone less high-minded but good should be inspired by fine and correct points that would nonetheless be closer to the ground and less idealistic; and someone lesser-yet who could only be appealed to by more self-serving needs should be told about them. We’ll explore these three types and what motivates them in some detail in the following sections. The wise among us would pinpoint his or her own standing and act accordingly.


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


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

> Maybe
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Noah's Spiritual Leadership
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Gift of Meat
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Free Time
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

ArtScroll

Coming to Terms with the World to Come
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Join the Voices in the Ark
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Name of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Of Showers, Towers, and False Powers
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761



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