Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ma'amar HaGeulah (The Rectified World, Ch. 1)

Ma'amar HaGeulah

-- "The Great Redemption", a reworking of Ramchal's "Ma'amar HaGeulah"

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman's series on www.torah.org


"The Great Redemption"

The Rectified World: Ch. 1


The whole point of the redemption, aside from our returning to a sanctified Land of Israel, is to bring about a great universal emendation -- a state in which everything would have reached its potential, fulfilled its raison d'ĂȘtre, and coalesced. Let's see how that will play itself out as Ramchal depicts it.

He says that what has always characterized the world before the great redemption has been the phenomenon of constriction. Holiness was constricted to the Land of Israel in antiquity and went no further, and it was constricted even farther as a consequence of the terrible exile "to ... just a small speck". We're to know, however, that holiness "will once again expand throughout the Holy Land" after the redemption, and then throughout the world (see para. 60).

A lot will happen behind the scenes to bring that about. In fact, we'd alluded to much of this early on in this work, in chapters 6-10 of "The Exile", where we'd given away the end at the beginning, as we termed it. So we'll be alluding to things spoken of there from now on to the end from other perspectives.

We're told that "branches will begin to spread out from the lowest and most external groupings" of the Divine Presence, which will then begin covering the face of the earth, since "it would have been cleansed of its impurities" by then. That's to say that the Shechina's "wings" will begin to spread throughout the world. In fact, "the Shechina’s wings will break through ... right and left" and everyone will begin to "serve G-d in unison" as a consequence (Ibid.).

But this is what's going to be happening even farther yet behind the scenes, and further up the rungs of Divine Luminaries. For a great conjoining of Forces will begin to come about (see para. 61).

Whereas the world would have been managed by rather low echelons of Divine will so to speak until then, that will no longer be the case. Those lower levels will begin to draw strength from the very highest ones, and will come into play in whole other ways.

For one thing, the lowest Luminary (Malchut) will blossom and "be more powerful than it had ever been". In fact, it will be coequal with a fairly high one (Tipheret). "Both (will then be) rectified as they should be" and draw sustenance from much, much higher Divine Levels (Chochma and Binah) (Ibid.), and the "great, albeit silent, shifting of the gears on-high", the "wondrous celestial about-face" we'd cited will have begun in earnest (see The Visitation Ch. 1).

But that won't be the end of it, by any means.

(c) 2006 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

(Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org )

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