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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

An Untaught Law
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

A Dove Amongst Eagles
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Of Hearts and Minds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

ArtScroll

Moshe's Last Stand
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

In Other Words
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Temperament of a Kohen
Shlomo Katz - 5758

> Peace Without Conjunctions
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Torah-Sanctioned Zealotry
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Murphy's Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Future = Trust + Faith
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

A Hopeful Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

No Little Things
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Our lives Revolve Around God
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Because I Want To
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Spear-heading Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 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