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2.12. The Soul of Man
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– We discussed in section 3 how man is a unique creation, the synthesis of opposing components, namely a physical body and a spiritual soul. But “soul” really refers to more than one thing. First, there’s the nefesh, which all living things possess. The nefesh gives a person […]
2.11. Spiritual Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– It is important understand that God’s system of providence is perfectly fair. Verses that stress this point include “A fair scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Psalms 45:7) and “The King causes the land to endure through justice” (Proverbs 29:4). We also know that we are […]
2.10. The Order of Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– God runs the world in a manner not unlike a human government. The Sages tell us this outright in Talmud Brachos 58a. The spiritual world, like the physical world, includes courts, and there are rules governing them. And, as on Earth, there are higher and lower courts, […]
2.9. The Nature of Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– We speak of God’s providence as if it’s a single thing but it actually involves two separate components: God’s awareness of all things and the influence that He exerts. [II, 5.1] When it comes to God’s awareness, we know that He is necessarily omniscient. Everything that ever […]
2.8. Individual Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– We have discussed how a person’s role in this life is to choose good in a world that offers both good and bad. This choice can manifest in many forms: ego vs. humility; mercy vs. hard-heartedness; being satisfied with one’s lot vs. always feeling the need for […]
2.7. Suffering and Gehinnom
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– As we discussed throughout the preceding entries, man’s purpose in this world is to elevate himself so that he becomes worthy of the ultimate goodness, which is proximity to God in the Next World. God’s wisdom decreed that the best way to accomplish this would be for […]
2.6. The Basic Idea of Providence
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– It should be obvious that if something exists, either in Heaven or on Earth, it must be because God deemed that thing necessary and useful in fulfilling His plan for the universe. The laws of physics were designed so that everything in the universe could serve its […]
2.5. Spiritual Forces
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– Creation is made up of two components, the physical and the spiritual. The physical component is that which we can perceive through our senses. This includes both terrestrial and celestial phenomena. The former includes such things as soil, water and air, while the latter includes the stars […]
2.4. Elevating the Mundane
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– A person’s condition in this world depends on a combination of internal and external factors. [I, 4.1] Upon birth, a human being is almost completely physical in nature, as the intellect exerts only a negligible influence. As a person matures, the influence of his intellect grows to […]
2.3. Life and Afterlife
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Sources refer to the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. —————————————– As we have said, only man has been placed on the crossroads of perfection and imperfection with the ability to choose his own path. This choice must be made of a person’s own free will. If God were to compel a person on the path of goodness, […]