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The Mesillas Yesharim is certainly one of the most influential and popular seforim ever written. It is considered a basic text in most yeshivos and is widely studied by Jews throughout the world (both in the original language and in translation). Before we can address the reasons for the immense popularity of this work, we first need to address one of the ...


7

The relevant quotations from Emunos V'Deos are, respectively, here (end of Maamar 1) and here (introduction to Maamar 3). In the first-mentioned place he cites Isaiah 48:17, אני ה' אלקיך מלמדך להועיל מדריכך בדרך תלך - "I am Hashem your G-d, who teaches you for your benefit, who guides you in the way that you should go." In the second place he starts by ...


6

This is a rather famous issue, so much so that Rabbeinu Bachya (1100's) already lists five answers to this question. Later, Abarbanel lists 7 (in his book Tzedek Olamim), and the Kli Yakar (to Vayikra 26:12) collects 9 answers. There are even more floating around Jewish literature (especially in kabbalah and chassidus), but I think that these will suffice ...


4

Many great Tzadikim have praised the Mesilas Yesharim and have said that all they attained was due to learning from it. This includes the Vilna Gaon, Bnei Yissochor, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin, Koznitzer Maggid, and the Opter Maggid. (See here.) The fact that it was accepted by all, Misnagdim and Chasidim, attests to the greatness of this sefer.


4

The Targum on Mishlei 2:4 translates תחפשנה as sitzb'yah - desire, suggesting that the analogy in Mishlei emphasizes that you should be highly motivated and driven. By contrast, yaga'ti seems to by definition refer to the actual work that someone retrospectively put in to acquire Torah. Note, however, that the Malbim (Mishlei, 2:4) distinguishes between ...


4

I was a bit confused by your question because 'shitah' is usually a term used in learning halakhah but Derekh Hashem isn't a book of halakhah, i.e., what to do, but rather a presentation of a conceptual framework for understanding religion and the world. As far as the sources of the ideas: they come in large part out the Ramhal's engagement with the writings ...


4

In the ספר הכללים which can be found in the back of most editions of דעת תבונות (and is the "basis" of Daas Tevunos), in siman ב, the Ramchal writes: הצמצום הוא מה שהאדון ב"ה כבש כביכול חוק טובו בבריאת נבראיו, שלא לעשותם שלימים אפילו לפי ערכם, כל שכן לפי ערכו Roughly translated: "Tzimtzum is that which Hashem restricted the nature of His complete ...


4

Mesilas Yesharim is written as steps in a ladder. Meaning, you have to work on every attribute before going on to the next and when you do, you reach a new level. In regard to the order of learning his other seforim I say as follows. In the introduction to Mesillas Yesharim, the Ramchal talks a lot about Olam Haba as mans goal. In Derech Hashem, he ...


3

R' Dovid Miller, who has served as Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshiva University, has two recorded shiur series on Derech Hashem up on YUTorah.org, one from 2005, and one from 2012. (Click on "Collections," and then find-in-page for "Derech Hashem" to find these two collections.) They comprise 82 and 97 shiurim, respectively, and a spot-check indicates that the ...


3

In Derech Hashem 1:2, the Ramchal provides the following explanation: ובהיותו הוא לבדו יתברך הטוב האמיתי, לא יסתפק חפצו הטוב אלא בהיותו מהנה לזולתו בטוב ההוא עצמו שהוא בו יתברך מצד עצמו, שהוא הטוב השלם והאמיתי. והנה מצד אחר, הטוב הזה אי אפשר שיימצא אלא בו. על כן גזרה חכמתו, שמציאות ההטבה האמיתית הזאת יהיה במה שיינתן מקום לברואים לשיתדבקו בו יתברך באותו ...


3

The Ramchal answers this question himself in his other book, Daas Tevunos, where he says that in order to be the most pleasurable, the 'good' has to be the most God-like. God Himself didn't have His nature given to Him by an external force, but rather it was a natural outgrowth of his existence. Therefore, a good that is given to a person by an external ...


3

The Zohar recommends examining one's deeds and repenting every night before going to sleep (Korach 178a): הא אוקמו דבכל לילא ולילא, עד לא ישכב ועד לא נאים בעי בר נש למיעבד חושבנא מעובדוי דעבד כל ההוא יומא ויתב מנייהי ויבעי עלייהו רחמי This is cited approvingly by poskim such as the Mateh Moshe (Amud Ha'avoda §829): יעשה כדעת הזוהר וישב קודם שישכב ...


2

While there are any number of Biblical verses that support the idea that God created this world for the purpose of bestowing good, the fundamental reason for believing this is theological. Because Judaism sees God as the source of all existence, He is therfore perceived as being entirely independent of creation, needing nothing whatsoever. From this it ...


2

There is a story printed in Rabbi Zevin's Sippurei Chassidim (translated by Artscroll as "A Treasury of Chassidic Tales"). I haven't read it in a while, so I don't remember all the details, but here's what I do remember: The son of one of the Rebbeim (it might have been Ger or Belz) became Rebbe when his predecessor passed away. Some of the Chassidim ...


2

Sefer Ohr Olam (Mechon Ramchal Yerushalayim) says that on the 17th of Shevat 5491 the Ramchal established the "Chabura Kadisha". Unfortunately, I don't know what that is or why it was deemed so significant as to warrant a holiday to celebrate its founding.


2

Since Olam Habah is beyond the Torah, as there are no Mitzvos or Aveiros there, and the Torah is only for those that are living on this world therefore there is no mention of Olam Habah in the Torah. http://www.hidabroot.org/CommunityDetail.asp?FaqID=9822 עולם הבא הוא בעצם עולם שמעבר לתורה. שמה לא מקיימים מצוות ואין אפשרות לחטוא בעברות, כמו שחכמים ...


2

I think the passage YEZ quoted is the best passage. For additional material, the entry צמצום in the encyclopedia אספקלריא collects several more passages from the writings of the Ramhal on the topic. There are different aspects to the Tzimtzum for the Ramhal: there is the aspect of our existence not being perfect, as related in that passage quoted by YEZ; ...


1

'To bestow goodness'; in order for men to enjoy it, by enjoying it this gives pleasure. The second question is dealt with by Derech Hashem in the first section chapter 2. In short what he says is that in order to achieve or have something in totality, one must be the owner of that thing. G-d alone is perfect, not lacking anything and is in essence this ...


1

The Ramchal addresses this issue in Derech Hashem (among other places). He explains that the ultimate good is Hashem Himself, and therefore connecting to Hashem and being like Hashem is the ultimate experience of good. A central element of Hashem's perfection is that He was not given His perfection by an external source, but rather His perfection is ...


1

I don't know the original source, but one example is the Ramchal's "Daas Tvunos" (דעת תבונות) (section 18) who writes that "what him, blessed be his name, wanted, is to create Nivraim in order to bestow good upon them" ("מה שרצה הוא יתברך שמו - לברוא נבראים כדי שיוכל להטיב להם"). I have heard some explain your question by the understanding that if someone ...


1

Avot D'Rav Natan 11:1 provides on explanation of the purpose of work: אהוב את המלאכה כיצד ? מלמד שיהא אדם אוהב את המלאכה ואל אדם יהי שונא את המלאכה. כשם שהתורה נתנה בברית, כך המלאכה נתנה בברית, שנאמר: (שמות כ) "ששת ימים תעבוד ועשית כל מלאכתך, ויום השביעי שבת לה' אלהיך My translation: "How does one love work? This teaches us that man ...


1

The Maharal at the beginning of the first hakdama to Gevuros Hashem answers as follows: A prophet recieves information from outside himself. Therefore he is called a "seer" (חוזה (Shmuel 2 24:11) and רואה (Shmuel 1 9:9, for example), and even though a prophet does not receive prophecy through physical faculties, it still has the similarity to "senses" in ...


1

The premise of your question is that the Torah should explicitly tell us the purpose of our existence, and since it does not explicitly describe Olam Haba, this raises a difficulty with the claim that Olam Haba is the purpose of our existence. I don't know what basis there is for your assumption that the Torah should explicitly state the purpose of our ...


1

I think it's popularity and endorsement by the Rabbis is greatly due to two factors. it shows each person exactly where he is in the road map of spiritual progress and also who are the real tzadikim and who are not (yet) tzadikim. it describes the correct order to take in the spiritual journey. This latter point is also extremely important. There is a ...



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