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Acquiring Torah 41: Ramchal: Derech Eitz Hachaim VII

The choice is in man’s hands. Our Sages of blessed memory interpreted the verse, “Therefore the rulers say, come to Cheshbon (Numbers 21:27) to see,” as meaning that those who seek to roll their impulse must take stock of the world (Bava Batra 78b), for those who do not seek to rule their impulse will never set themselves this task, but only those who seek to rule their impulse will undertake such a reckoning and teach others to do the same.


Surely one who spends most of his years calculating the results of his purely temporal undertakings should devote at least one hour to substantial reflection on the nature of man, the reason for his entry into the world, what is required of him and by the Supreme Caned, the Only One, Blessed is He, and the final end of all his affairs. That is the best and surest remedy against the evil impulse. It is easy, effective and fruitful for man to put aside all other thoughts for at least an hour a day in order to concentrate on the matter I have mentioned.

Let him ask himself: How did the forefathers of the world behave so as to cause God to take such delight in them?

How did our teacher, Moshe, one whom be peace, behave?

How did David, God’s anointed, and all our great predecessors behave?

He will then understand the advantage of emulating them throughout his life, and his thoughts will turn to examine his own current condition and compare it with the path trodden by those eminent figures of antiquity. (Ramchal; Derech Eitz Hachaim VII)

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