Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
ask a librarian logo

Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzatto (The Ramhal)

Introduction

Portrait of the Ramhal, and Italian Mikubal (mystic) who is buried in Tiberia, Israel

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707–1746)

From Introduction to the Mesillat Yesharim:

All of these principles require extensive interpretation. I have found that our Sages of blessed memory have categorized these elements in a different, more detailed formulation, in which they are arranged according to the order necessary for their proper acquisition. Their words are contained in a Baraitha mentioned in different places in the Talmud, one of them, the chapter "Before their festivals" (Avodah Zara 20b):

From this R. Pinchas ben Yair adduced:

"Torah leads to Watchfulness;
Watchfulness leads to Zeal;
Zeal leads to Cleanliness;
Cleanliness leads to Separa
tion;
Separation leads to Purity;
Purity leads to Saintliness;
Saintliness leads to Humility;
Humility leads to Fear of Sin;
Fear of Sin leads to Holiness;
Holiness leads to the Holy Spirit,
and the Holy Spirit leads to the Revival of the Dead."
 

It is on the basis of this Baraitha that I have undertaken to write this work,in order to teach myself and to remind others of the conditions for perfect Divine service according to their gradations. In relation to each one, I shall explain its nature, its divisions or details, the manner of acquiring it, and its deterrents and the manner of guarding against them, so that I and all those who are pleased to do so may read therein in order to learn to fear the Lord our God and not forget our duty before Him. That which the earthiness of nature seeks to remove from our hearts, reading and contemplation will summon to our consciousness, and will awaken us to what is incumbent upon us.

David B Levy

peer reviewed articles on Mesillat Yesharim

Stay connected!

Like us on FacebookLike us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter View our InstagramView our Instagram Read our BlogRead our Blog Watch our VideosWatch our Videos