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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ramchal - 4th Hakafa

Continued from here.

If the last hakafa was one of the activity of man in his degraded state. This hakafa represents a return to passivity:

If the lessons that are to be learned from the exile are embedded into our hearts, we realize that all activity must reflect and show to the world how the Will of Hashem is all that truly acts in the world in the world. Our activity is only a channeling of that will and must never obscure people’s ability to see Divine providence on the world stage. However, this is a different passivity than that which is shown in the second hakafa. There we had the passivity that can only hope for a far-off ideal. Here we have a passivity that hopes for the concrete realization of that ideal and all the stages that lead up to that realization.

This is the first explicitly messianic chapter and it represents the desire of the destitute to see the historical transition from their lowly state to the elevated one. Visions of world justice and the universal recognition of Hashem abound. This chapter is right in the middle of the Hakkafot and thus rightly represents a pivot-point in the consciousness of the nation. The rest of the hakafot are of a different stage in world history. They represent the ultimate result of us understanding the messages of the first four. In the next hakafa, we already celebrate what will be in the future, when the events of this hakafa are complete. Thus, the Ramchal brings us to the present in four hakafot – possibly recognizing that the eternal nation who celebrates with their eternal Torah, can celebrate the inevitable result of world history before it even occurs. It is quite amazing when you think about it – a nation which celebrate in a concrete manner that which most of the rest of the world are not even convinced exists in the potential – in the end, however, that is what we are, the Am HaNetzach, and we must act accordingly.