Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707 –1746), commonly referred to by the acronym “Ramchal,” is one of the best known and most respected Jewish philosophers. He is considered by many to be the preeminent name in Jewish thought, having authored a plethora of classic works.
Ramchal’s magnum opus is no doubt Mesillas Yesharim (Path of the Upright), which has been embraced as the work of musar (character development) par excellence. Many have said that there is more depth in a single page of Mesillas Yesharim than in the entirety of another mussar sefer.
If Mesillas Yesharim had been Ramchal’s only published work, he would be revered centuries later just for that but his output was so much more prolific. His literally dozens of works include Derech Hashem (The Way of God), Daas Tevunos (Knowledge of Understanding), Derech Chachma (The Way of Wisdom), Maamar al HaAggados (A Discourse on Aggadah, i.e., the non-legal portions of the Talmud), plus books on grammar, logic, Talmudic methodology, Biblical commentary, spirituality, Divinity and more.
The Ramchal’s yahrtzeit is 26 Iyar, this year starting Monday night, May 21. To commemorate the occasion, Rabbi Yochanan Bechhofer has delivered a series of shiurim celebrating the Ramchal’s life and legacy. As of this writing, there are three:
Plus, Rabbi Bechhofer shares thoughts from the Ramchal on parsha:
Want more Ramchal? Check out The God Papers – installments 2.1 through 2.17 are based upon Derech Hashem and serve as an introduction or a refresher course to that work.