Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Slow Reading of The Introduction to "The Path of the Just" (Part 13)


"'Love' -- that a type of love of G-d be set in your heart that would lead you to do what satisfies Him as energetically as you would do the same for your mother or father. It should bother you if G-d is unsatisfied, either because of yourself or someone else, and you should want it for G-d and derive a great joy in obtaining it for Him."

-- Unfortunately and for reasons beyond our scope, the idea of wanting to please G-d as much as we would want to please our parents doesn't move us today. Wanting to please Him as much as we'd dearly love to please *ourselves*, though, does work, sad to say.
-- In any event, as Ramchal puts it later on in this work, "one who truly loves G-d ... would act as a loving son would to his father by doing more than his father would ask for. He would do all he possibly could even if his father had only inobtrusively hinted at a desire for something. And if his father asked for that thing just once, and demurely at that, that would be enough for such a son to perceive the extent of his father's unstated true desires. He would deduce that such-and-such -- something beyond what he was told -- would bring satisfaction to his father, and he would not have to wait for an explicit and reiterated request to do it" (Ch. 18). And, "one who truly loves his Creator ... would not need convincing or persuasion to serve Him -- in fact, unless he is held back by a major deterrent, his heart would have him surge forward and would drive him towards this love"; indee, he or she would "care about nothing else" but G-d's concerns and would be happy to fulfill them, and he or she would do so with alacrity and bounce (Ch. 19).

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