Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ma'amar HaGeulah (The Rectified World, Ch. 2)

Ma'amar HaGeulah

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

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman's series on


"The Great Redemption"

The Rectified World: Ch. 2

Ramchal then hearkens back to what was to have been -- but almost wasn't.

"At first", he reports, "a great gate was opened upon the Holy Land ... from which all blessings and peace were to go forth" through the world. But once the Holy Temple was destroyed and we were exiled that gate was closed, and narrower passageways were opened in the heavens in their place. The point is, though, that once the redemption starts the original gate will open up again, and grow wider and wider (see para. 62), which will allow for a great deal of illumination.

The narrow passageways will begin to disappear by then, "but in stages" (Ibid.).

Ramchal adds a daunting thought. He says that once the narrow passageways were opened for the meanwhile "they were ordered and assigned to stay open throughout the exile and to not close up for even a moment", for if they did close "the world would be destroyed" (ibid.). That implies of course that we need to be grateful for the narrow passageways, to be sure, no matter how relatively minor they are by comparison. But it also has us wonder just how powerful the fuller light will be, considering the fact that everything we know of now owes its continued existence to those lesser ones!

Nonetheless, the eventual slow closing of the narrow passageways will bring on a period of great darkness here below for a time, until the original gate would have begun to reopen. And "a lot of courage ... will be needed then, since the times will be so terribly bleak and troublesome", as the forces of evil will have "hardened their hearts" even more so than earlier on, in the process (see para. 63).

That's to say that there there'll be a stretch of time in which the great light would have to wait in the wings before it could reappear. And in the course of that stretch of time, evil will edge its way through before it couldn't appear any longer (much the way a flu grows more and more virulent until the antibodies take hold and squelch it).

Having touched on the presence of evil once again, Ramchal then begins to explicate more about the enmity between good and evil. He starts off rather enticingly by offering that he's about to solve some great mysteries which will enable us "to see how things are connected to each other" in the process (see para. 64). We'll turn to that next, and follow it with a discussion of a number of esoteric ideas to the end of the book.

(c) 2007 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and

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