Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Slow Reading of The Introduction to "The Path of the Just" (Part 2)

"The advantage to be gotten, therefore, from the reading of this book (i.e., "The Path of the Just") will not come about with a single reading of it."

-- In order to take in the truth as we must and stay the course, we have no choice but to hear, or, read it again and again like a pledge of allegiance made each day. Because to hear it once is -- by definition -- to never hear it again. And besides, ...

"It is quite probable that the reader will find little if anything in his first reading of it ("The Path of the Just") that he would not have known beforehand."

-- ... which would lead him or her to scoff at what's written here, since nothing delights and captures the mind like the thunder and lightning of novelty, which will be the exception to the rule here. (Many have, in fact, delved deeply into "The Path of the Just" to uncover novelty and succeeded, since the mind wants nothing better than to distract the heart, our intended audience. But, again, the search for novelty is beside Luzzatto's point, while taking-in what's said here *is* the point.)

"(The book's) advantage comes in the reader's review and meticulousness. That way he will recall what he might have offhandedly forgotten and place upon his heart an incumbency previously unrevealed."

-- So, what's asked of us is to read and reread "The Path of the Just" and to conscientiously apply it to our lives, so as to keep it ever-fresh and in mind, and in order to affirm to ourselves by degree what's expected of us if we're to be the people we're capable of being.

Translation of text (c) 1996 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Original comments (c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman