Sunday, September 21, 2014

An apology; and Divine Inspiration, Part 1


First, a personal request: I would like to take a moment to ask everyone receiving this email/RSS feed for mechilah (forgiveness) for anything hurtful or offensive I wrote, or should have written and did not, in the past year. I know that people's sensitivities are varied, but I am not always as careful as I could be. If there was anything at all, please do let me know. I can grow by learning from my mistakes.

The first of the prophetic levels is for Divine aid to accompany a person, moving and energizing him to a great positive deed, like saving an important group from evildoers, or saving a great, important person, or benefiting a large number of people. He will find something moving him to action; this is called "the spirit of Gd." Regarding one who is accompanied by this, the text will say, "the spirit of Gd was powerful upon him," or "the spirit of Gd clothed him," or "the spirit of Gd rested upon him," or "Gd was with him," and similar expressions. This was the level of all of the Jewish judges, regarding whom the Torah said in general that Gd established judges for them, and Gd was with the judge and He rescued them. This is also the level of all of the distinguished counselors of Israel…

And know that a force like this never left Moshe Rabbeinu from the time he reached maturity. This was what motivated him to kill the Egyptian and to halt the wicked one of the two fighters. The power of this force in him was such that after panicking, fleeing and arriving in Midian, a frightened stranger, when he saw a hint of corruption he could not keep himself from eliminating it. He could not bear it! As it says, "And Moshe arose and he saved them."…

None of these [examples of those who experienced ruach hakodesh] was moved to state anything. The purpose of this force is to awaken the strengthened person to a specific action. And it is not for any action that might be at hand, but to help the oppressed, a great person or a community, or to prevent an event that would lead to that [oppression].

And just as not everyone who sees a true dream is a prophet, so, too, not everyone who is accompanied by assistance at a particular event that occurs, like acquiring property or reaching some special goal, can be said to have the spirit of Gd join with him, or to have Gd with him, that he has done something with ruach hakodesh. It is stated regarding one who performs an outstanding great deed, or a deed that leads to that, like Yosef's success in the house of the Egyptian, which was a first cause leading to the great matters which occurred afterward, as has been explained.

(Rambam, Moreh haNevuchim 1:45)

כתיבה וחתימה טובה,

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