Wouldn’t it be valuable to know of a systematic, logical way to understand all the major concepts, philosophical questions and definitions that Judaism embraces? Well, there is. The book is called Derech Hashem, written by Rav Moshe Chaim Luzatto. In this series, Rabbi Zeldman concisely explains each concept from this classic work on Jewish thought.
We are incapable of truly conceiving G-d because there is nothing in our limited and physical world to draw a parallel from. What then are the six things we can know about God, and how can we understand the implications of His oneness?
As human beings, we are hard-wired to pursue pleasure in every action we do. Why did God see fit to create us this way? Hear which is the ultimate pleasure God has in mind for us to attain, and what we must do to partake of it.
God can create anything He wants, whenever He wants. So just what did He have in mind when He created us with all of our failings and weaknesses? Wouldn't the world be more peaceful and beautiful if He had just skipped over the suffering parts? Hear the deeper wisdom of striving to achieve higher goals, and how it's intrinsically tied into our sense of esteem.
The push and pull of our 'body and soul' is difficult and confusing. The more one side gains dominance, the harder it becomes for the other side to win. And what is your true identity - a soul in a body or a body in a soul? Rabbi Zeldman says it's neither. Hear a fundamental truth for understanding this ongoing struggle.
Rabbi Zeldman explains the following topics: The connection between the body and soul, and how death contains the seed for restoring health. Weighing free will decisions from your unique landscape of positive choices. And where does the soul go after death, with an interesting description of the World to Come.
What happens to the soul after death? The Ramchal describes a process that allows rejuvenation for the soul while it waits for the body to be purified. It also allows the soul to express itself with its fullest spiritual power. Along with a discussion on free will and choices we make while alive. Once resurrection occurs, is it possible to reach higher levels of closeness to G-d?
The intellect and the soul are inextricably intertwined, which is why a child is so far removed from a mature state of moral choice. Our internal state is a picture of a soul restrained by a body, and the need to use our minds to help ourselves overcome the physical barrier. Why is it fair for us to be expected to reach greater heights while being saddled with a body that takes up so much of our time with its needs?
When we follow G-d’s directions for living, we are affected in two ways: We build a relationship with Hashem, as well as gaining the positive spiritual effect of the actual action . Follow Rabbi Zeldman as he describes the method we can use to bring about those gains even when we act in ways that were not expressly directed by G-d, but are important for our spiritual wellbeing.
Rabbi Zeldman begins this lecture with a discussion on the power of Torah study and the existence of evil. He moves on to the idea that the world is split into the spiritual realm and the physical realms. However, the spiritual realm is as varied and unique as the physical. The Ramchal discusses the existence of the soul, the concept of angels and other powers that are used to bring about physical results.