When ramchal was in Italy he was put in cherem for his writing and eventually left to live in Israel. Why did this happen and what changed about the perception of him?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/63746/759
    – Double AA
    Mar 29, 2016 at 21:35
  • possible dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22744/759
    – Double AA
    Mar 29, 2016 at 21:37
  • Similar but not a duplicate. This question asks about the author while that one asks about a specific work of the author
    – Dude
    Mar 29, 2016 at 22:23
  • 1
    My unresearched opinion is that the universal ban against him by European Jewry was never revoked. It was only in the next century, in the late 19th century, once the controversy over his kabbalistic "revelations", died down (and he ceased to be a threatening charismatic strange young man, as he was long dead), that his work Messilat Yesharim became popularized by the baalei Mussar. The next century, the 20th century saw the revival of his other writings due to the popularity of the Messialt Yesharim. This continued with the publication of his various works through the last few decades.
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 30, 2016 at 2:15

1 Answer 1


The Ramchal was born 31 years after the death of Shabbtai Zvi, a false Messiah, who turned many Jews away from religion. As such the rabbanim in Italy, who misunderstood some of the Ramchal's writings for messianic, were very afraid of "another Shabbtai Zvi story" and threatened him with excommunication unless he stopped writing.

The Ramchal agreed to stop writing on kabbala and left Italy for Amsterdam in 1734 hoping the more liberal environment there would help him write more freely (that is where he wrote Mesilat Yesharim for instance). He finally made alyah during the last years of his life.

The second part of your question on the changing perception has been answered here in a wonderful way.

For sources and more see his Wikipedia entry and R Yirmeyahu Bindman's biography of the Ramchal.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .