Yesod Sh’b’Yesod, Yahrtzeit of Ramchal 5780

Tonight is a very important night. It is Yesod sh’b’Yesod in Sefirah, along with the yahrtzeit of the great tzaddikim the Ramchal (Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato) zy’a and Rav Saadiyah Gaon zt’l.

The Ramchal is most famous for writing Mesilas Yeshorim and Derech Hashem. He wrote many sifrei Kabboloh though, and that was his main effort. He attained conversation with a Maggid (essentially a Divine spirit guide, depending on the understanding of the Ari this is either a Malach or the soul of a Tzaddik) when he was only 20. Even before then he was already knowledgeable in all areas of Torah. He wrote a sefer of tefilos, a condensed exposition of the Seder Hishtalshelus (the Order of Descent, which describes how the Divine influences and Hashem’s Will interface with the wrold) of the Arizal, and various seforim that deal with Sodos HaTorah. Another great accomplishment of his was writing a Sefer Torah in pomegranate ink.

The entire goal of the Ramchal’s work is waking up Jews and helping them to realize their real purpose in the world. A Jew isn’t supposed to just wake up in the morning, read the paper, watch TV, then eat a bowl of cereal and get on with the day. A Jew is supposed to devote every moment of the day to avodas Hashem. Sometimes this avodah must be done through bitul Torah, as Rebbe Nachman speaks of in several places. In the last perokim of Mesilas Yeshorim dealing with Chassidus (in the original, pre-Baal Shem Tov sense), the Ramchal basically brings out that the ultimate purpose of all the various levels of p’rishus (asceticism) and the pushing yourself towards higher levels in all avodos is ultimately to get to the point where every action you take is directed towards avodas Hashem. At this point of development, which everyone can accomplish with a little elbow grease, every action we do is Divine and accomplishes Tikkunim in this world and all worlds. The way to do this is through following the holy guidance of the Mesilas Yeshorim, learning Toras HaChassidus, along with learning Zohar and other Sifrei Kabboloh, and engaging in heartfelt prayer to Hashem Yisborach our Father, King, and God. Even though the Chassidus of the Baal Shem Tov was just barely getting started at that time, this form of Torah gives us a deeper appreciation and understanding of what the Ramchal teaches us through his seforim.

Hashem should bentsh us with all good things, the Ramchal should be a Meilitz Yosher (A good advocate) for all Klal Yisroel, we should be free from all forms of oppression from the Sitra Achra, and we should be zoche to the Geulah Shleimah swiftly within our days.

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