Radlah and Mazal

Ramchal discussed Radlah in a number of other works, mostly expanding on its complex and esoteric Kabbalistic implications. At one point, though, he discussed it philosophically, and we’ll end this section by concentrating on that here.

He spoke of two different Divine systems of governance in place in the cosmos: one based on reward and punishment (i.e., a linear, nearly arithmetic system within which one act results in reward while another results in punishment) and the other based on a far less cut-and-dry system termed mazal.

Mazal here doesn’t refer to “luck” or “chance” as it’s usually taken to, or even to the influence of the constellations (which are themselves termed mazalot [1]). He uses the term as an expression for the unreadable, uncanny, ineffable, unpredictable, non-linear affecting factors in one’s life and in the cosmos at large — the sorts of surprising anomalies we’ve been speaking about displayed in Radlah and which are subsequently played-out in our down-to-earth realm [2].

He offers that absolutely everything that happens in the cosmos — and in our own personal experience — feeds into the ultimate Tikkun. It’s just that some people and things arrive at that with a happy profusion of “light and (manifest) goodness” while others must regrettably experience “tribulation, suffering, and concealment (of light)”.

His ultimate point is that none of this determined by one’s merits or demerits or his character failings or strengths. it’s all rooted in the needs of ultimate Tikkun at that point.

The bottom line is that all of these occurrences play themselves out in the interactions between MaH and BaN, and they’re rooted in unfathomable Radlah [3].




[1]         See 2:4 above, and note 18 there where we hearken to this point in Klach.

[2]         See his discussion of this in Clallim Rishonim 34; also see Da’at Tevunot 167-160.

[3]         This also touches upon Theodicy, discussed in 14:4 above.


(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org


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