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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ramchal - 2nd Hakafa

Continued from here.

In the second hakafa we descend into our own reality. The full pain of galus is confronted in all its lowliness:

More humble. Less proud. The nation has to distill the core of the message while being stripped of all its institutions. The tone is more pleading than the first hakafat but even in exile the nation must be aware of its internal nature, but in a lower tone – “May Your eyes turn towards the faithful, and may You have mercy over the humble.” We recognize the ultimate justice of Hashem and ask that he have mercy on us. The tone is more passive just as the nature of exile is passive.

This is the direct opposite pole of the first hakafa. If in the first hakafa we want to instill awareness of our special active nature, in the second we must inculcate the idea the human activity by itself can never lead to redemption. We must realize that there is Divine providence which guides the world and that our actions must be in sync with that providence so that together, our action and Hashem’s providence will bring the world to its perfection.

We shall see in the third hakafa how this passivity must turn into active longing for Hashem. That, however is for another post.