Ramchal on the Breaking of the Vessels (Part 5)

Here’s what Ramchal offers in Iggerot Pitchei Chochma v’Da’at. He makes the point there that “the Din (i.e., harsh judgment and retribution) that was (first) revealed in the Trace hadn’t yet reached the (less sublime) stage where it could (actually) be referred to as the source of the other side until it came to form the vessels of Nikkudim … and to (bring about) the Breaking (of the Vessels)” (37). Let’s see what this means.

He’s touching on the idea here of the source of wrong and injustice in the upper realms. His contention is that while wrong and injustice — the products of other side — are ultimately rooted in the harsh judgment and retribution allowed for by the formation of the Trace, still and all, the Trace is so exalted a level that one wonders how anything so unworthy as wrong and injustice could ever be produced there. So he offers that while wrong and injustice are indeed ultimately rooted in the Trace, nonetheless, wrong and injustice couldn’t really come about until the Breaking of the Vessels came forth, which is a related but far less lofty stage than the Trace.

We’ve now touched somewhat on the fulsome subject of the root and role of wrong and injustice in the world, which Ramchal will expand upon in this section. Let’s step back, though, and see what other traditional sources say about that, as well as what Ramchal himself says about it in other works.

(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

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