|Ramchal Da'at Tevunot Text VI|
|Written by Rabbi Avraham Brandwein|
Now, what about Emunah? The Mitzvah of Emunah (Believing in Hashem's Existence) is the first commandment of the Aseret HaDibrot (Ten Commandments). As the verse says, "Anochi Hashem Elokecha." But the
truth is that a person who has reached this level of Emunah which includes Daat (Knowledge and Understanding) has reached a higher level of Emunah.
This is the true Emunah, the Emunah that is desired of us.
For example, imagine a ruler or a king of a country whose subjects believe in him without question. They know him, they are familiar with his great wisdom, his great righteousness. They recognize that everything he does it for their good. Without a doubt, they will obey whatever he commands. If he raises the tax, they will pay it willingly, and won't ask questions. Why?
Because they know that everything he does is for their benefit. They therefore do not ask questions, Why? Why do you demand this? Why do you act thus? Because they know and are certain. Knowing the ruler's reasons will not add to their faith in him. They rely on his judgment completely.
But if a there was a ruler or a king about whom there was a doubt about his actions, his wisdom. Then, everything he would command, every decree, every order, immediately, all kinds of doubts and questions would arise. Why does he act thus? Why does he oppress us with such taxes? And the burden of the ruler's decrees needn't be that heavy. The smallest tax will arouse questions. Why? Because it is human nature that the moment we don't understand what we are being asked to do, we will balk. Every new decree will cause us difficulties.
We see this, for example, when a simple person asks someone else to bring him something, even from a distance of a couple of feet. He will question why. Why do I have do serve you? Can't you do it yourself? On the other hand, if this was an important personage asking him to do this, he wouldn't think twice. He would even run a great distance willingly. He would find no difficulty whatsoever. Why? Because the basic difficulty of doing anything arises from the doubt a person has, his inability to believe, that what he is being commanded is right.
Therefore, when a person reaches this higher level of Emunah together with Daat, and he sees the greatness of Hashem's ways, he now does everything out of the purest Emunah. On the contrary, Emunah is for him even greater than the reasons that he understands. Because he understands that any reason he could possibly understand is limited and could never exhaust the real reasons behind Hashem's actions. He understands that human comprehension is limited, while Hashem's commamdments are extremely sublime. As David HaMelech said, "LeChol Tichla Ra'iti Ketz - To every purpose I have seen an end, Rechava Mitzvotecha Meod - but Your commandments are extremely vast," that is, without end, infinite. On the other hand, any reason we could understand would be limited in its scope, limited to how we perceive things. Therefore, having reached the level where he intuits Hashem's greatness, that He is Melech Malchei HaMelachim, and he truly grasps the implications of this, he, on the contrary, prefers pure Emunah, Emunah that transcends Daat.
We therefore have two types of Emunah. The first level of Emunah is lower than a person's Daat, and it is also an Emunah that a person feels he must believe, but does not understand why he must believe. He believes because he is commanded to believe. This is not the highest level of Emunah. It is important, but not the highest level. It is important as a beginning, as we see at Mount Sinai, "Hashem lifted the mountain up over them and told them: If you receive this Torah, fine. If you do not, then this will be your burial plot." In response, we said "Naaseh VeNishma - We will do and we will hear." What is Naaseh? It is the initial level of Emunah, the level at which we do not yet understand, but we do anyway. Nishma is already a higher level of understanding. And beyond this is, after having understand to a certain extent, there is the level of Emunah that transcends understanding. This is the highest level...
Now we understand why the main function of Emumah is when things are concealed, during a time of Hester Panim, the hiding of Hashem's Hashgachah. When we do not see clearly from our limited point of view that what is happening is coming from the Tov HaMetiv, the One who is Good and who does only Good. At times like these, we need the highest level of Emunah.
This also involves the matter of the Tachlit, the Purpose of things. The Neshamah says here: "What does Hashem want from His creations? To what end is He directing things? What will the final unfolding be?" In order to understand the concept of Tachlit, Purpose, we can take the following mashal.
Imagine a person who receives only good, if there was such a thing. For example, he is served a drink, and the drink is very good, sweet and pleasing. Once he determines that the drink is good, he drinks and asks no questions. This is what pleases him, gives him benefit and pleasure, so he drinks.
If, however, he would be served or commanded or forced to drink something bitter, he would immediately ask Why? For what purpose? Wny should I drink this? This teaches us that the questions about Tachlit usually come up when there is a question of something that seems bad. This is where our Avodah (our service) becomes operative; when a person asks: Why is the world like this? Why is there evil in the world? This is one of the things that spurs a person...