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Acquiring Torah 43: Ramchal: Derech Eitz Hachaim IX

Since you now know that it is your duty to contemplate and understand, I will begin to explain the matters which you should contemplate and investigate.


The first investigation you should undertake concerns the Divine motive for the whole magnificent work of creation. Do not reply: What is man that he should pursue the King in order to discover His train of thought! Since Scripture has testified that, “Your thoughts are exceedingly profound (Psalms 92:6),” it would seem arrogant and presumptuous to claim ability to find out the intention of the it would seem arrogant and presumptuous to claim ability to find out the intention of the Emanator, Blessed be His Name!

On the contrary, it has been said in this connection, “God’s secret is shared with those who fear Him, and His covenant is made known to them (Psalms 25:14).” This mystery embraces the entire matter of actions which He has performed and is performing, all the laws of creation which He has established for the heavens and the earth and all their effects, for all these numerous and great works shortly have a single aim and object. Such is the mystery mentioned in the above verse.

The laws laid down for this purpose constitutes the covenant to which the verse refers, the covenant which allows every creature to preserve its form without deviation.

According to the Tikkunim, there is an allusion to it in the word ““Bereishit,” whose letters, when rearranged, form “Berit Eish,” a Covenant of Fire.

But in order to understand these laws, one must begin with an inquiry into the importance of the different categories of creation. Inanimate objects, plants and animals are clearly not the most important, since there is no ultimate advantage in their actions and they have neither intellect nor understanding. This leaves men and angels; and if you examine their affairs, you will find that men are of primary and Angels of secondary importance. This is the mystery expressed in the Psalm, “God, our Master, how glorious is Your Name throughout the earth, bestow Your splendor above the heavens (Psalms 8:2).” David was accurately aware that the Only One, Blessed is He, receives power, as it were, from the actions of human beings, in order to benefit them and all creatures; and that, too, is the mystery of, “Grant strength to the Lord (Psalms 68:35).”

Similarly, Moshe taught, “You have forgotten the Rock who made you (Devarim 32:18),” from which we learn that Israel’s actions add force to Is might About.

The order of stimulus, according to the statute laid down by the Emanator, Blessed be His Name, is that when Israel asked below on earth so as to increase the power of the Holy One, the increased power reflect its splendor among the attendant angels who stand ready to carry out the actions which He has been stimulated to perform.

Accordingly, when ever the Holy One, Blessed is He, is stimulated to act, the matter is manifested among the His attendance entrusted with the implementation of the actions which He has been stimulated to perform, through the Radiance that reaches that reaches Him from us. (Ramchal; Derech Eitz Hachaim IX)

When one studies Torah or performs a mitzvah he must be focused on the power we have to stimulate Divine action About.

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