First Thoughts

There are a number of main points here we’ll be concentrating on. 1) The idea that everything will return to pure Elokut, and its sub-theme of all wrong turning to right, 2) the Mashal (symbol) and Nimshal (meaning) paradigm, 3) why we’re to study Kabbalah,  and 4) Ramchal’s reason for having written this book.

The first point is revolutionary and overarching, and it’s taken to be one of Ramchal’s greatest chiddushim (though the Leshem referred to the return to pure Elokut as well, as we’ll point out, as well as the Ba’al HaSulem). The Gra agrees with the idea of Mashal and Nimshal along with others as we’ll see. The reason’s for studying the Kabbalah as he does are unique to Ramchal (and the Leshem vehemently disagrees with him). And the final point simply comes down to the fact that Ramchal wanted to remove all anthropomorphisms from the Ari’s works (as did the Ba’al HaSulem, as is known).

We’ll start off with a longish discussion of the first point next, which will lead on to an analysis of the first section (i.e., the first four Petachim).

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