Mishlei – Proverbs: Natural Yashrut
“He has secured wise counsel for the upright; it is a shield for those who walk in innocence.” (Proverbs 2:7) As rabbi joseph powerfully explained in “They Are Life To Those Who Find Them,” our objective in learning Torah and observing God’s commandments is to develop ourselves into higher beings who live with a sense of God’s Will. (The Rules of Creativity) This is Nachmanides explanation of, ‘Yashar.’ or, being among the upright. Everything Solomon has taught us thus far in Mishlei has been to guide us in developing ourselves through the steps of wisdom to achieve living as Yesharim, the upright.
We may learn, understand and appreciate the Ramban’s message of developing a higher sense that will sensitize us to intuit God’s Will as we face life, but we cannot achieve that sense until we follow Solomon’s guidance through the stages of Wisdom.
“But, see, this I did find: The Lord has made man straight, but they sought many intrigues.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
Solomon, as Kohelet, considers what happens when we search for wisdom without following the system of Mishlei: We, who naturally begin as “Yesharim,” lose our way as we seek “many intrigues,” meaning; we search for wisdom without guidance. We get lost in a maze of different wisdoms. We wander from belief to belief, from one “ism” to another, from one perspective to another, all in the name of finding true wisdom, all the while losing our natural sense of Yashar.
“He has secured wise counsel for the upright; it is a shield for those who walk in innocence.” Solomon’s curriculum promises wise counsel that will shield our natural sense of Yashar, our innocence, even as we face all the confusing wisdoms of the world.