The book Mesilas Yesharim prescribes a ladder of stages to master.

Must one master each lower stage before moving on to the next one, or can he work on two or more simultaneously?

  • Not that my opinion means anything to you but I don't think it is worth trying both at once. My father always says a Derash on the Gemara in Sukka "Tafasta Merube Lo Tafasta" don't take too much on at once. Commented Oct 20, 2013 at 18:23
  • I'm pretty sure that he writes somewhere in the intro that you should do them in order, but I couldn't find it just now. This passage from the intro might be it, but I'll have to give it a better look later.
    – MTL
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 2:57
  • This seems largely opinion based, as the answers below indicate.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


I heard about a person, who achieved a lot in learning and implementing Mesilas Yesharim, that his method was to learn and work on one stage for one month and then go further and start again after finishing.


A rabbi who came to visit my shul noted, I think in the name of the Chofetz Chaim, that it used to be that one should work on the levels of Mesilat Yesharim in order, but no longer. He compared this to a starving man who sits in a restaurant. He will not object if the courses of the meal are brought out of order, but will take whatever he can get. This is in contrast to a wealthy person who, if served his multi-course dinner out of order will be greatly perturbed. Generations past were like the wealthy man, but the current generation should grab from any level of the Chofetz Chaim that they can.

  • I do not have citations for my source here, but I will email the speaker or someone who knows him and try to come back to it.
    – Ze'ev
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 1:55

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