More on why we’re to study Kabbalah, and a summation of Ramchal’s intentions for Klach

We’re about to return to a discussion we began here about “The Breaking of the Vessels” which centers on the curious fact that the concept isn’t discussed at any length in Klach, which lead to our discussion of Ma’amar HaVichuach which is its backdrop (which continued here). We’ll now continue that discussion.

As we’d said, Ramchal sees his task in Ma’amar HaVichuach as providing the reader with the Kabbalistic concepts while explaining what they’re all about.

In any event, the philosopher then raises theological issues rooted in the Kabbalistic system that have always vexed him — about the nature of Sephirot, for example; as to whether they’re extensions of God’s being or wholly other, created phenomena. And he then raises other issues, such as how material things can emanate from spiritual ones, how wrong can derive from God’s all-good being (which is one of the problems raised in this section of Klach, as we’ll see); about the makeup of reward and punishment, the import of Divine will and omnipotence, the nature of prophecy; and more (pp. 44-61).

At bottom, declares the Kabbalist, the point of it all is to “catch sight” of God’s governance in the world, if you will, and beyond it.

For, as he puts it, “If you could truly grasp the mystical nature of God’s counsel in regard to the creation of the universe and how He governs it … (to the point where) you can understand how all the consequences (down below) derive from a celestial source, and that all those consequences derive from that source, and that everything is (ultimately) appropriate and (is already) repaired — then what we’d term that (being privy to true) wisdom”. Know all that, in fact, “and you’re no longer (merely) relating details from a ‘closed book’” but you’re in fact reading and understanding a truth (p. 62).

The Kabbalist then explains the layout of Ma’amar HaVichuach, which is structured on the fact that “you first need to know the Kabbalistic concepts we’ve been granted in general terms… Then you have to review them and to know the solution” to the puzzles that all of that presents. We’re thus provided with Klallot HaIlan, and with Klach to be able to do that (p. 63).

(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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