‎⁨ספר מסילת ישרים ⁩

‎⁨ספר מסילת ישרים ⁩ Book Details

By רבי משה חיים לוצאטו

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‎⁨ספר מסילת ישרים ⁩ Overview

The aim of this work extends beyond the achievement of the perfection of human character in Divine service. Its stated aim is to remind the reader of one's deepest obligations in this regard, as well as to encourage the centrality of the deep study of this subject matter in one's daily life. Unlike many other musar books, which are ordered according to the authors' own lists of character traits, Luzzato builds his work on a Beraita in the name of the sage Pinchas ben Yair, whose list goes in order of accomplishment:

"Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair said: Torah leads to watchfulness; watchfulness leads to alacrity; alacrity leads to cleanliness; cleanliness leads to abstention; abstention leads to purity; purity leads to piety; piety leads to humility; humility leads to fear of sin; fear of sin leads to holiness; holiness leads to prophecy; prophecy leads to the resurrection of the dead".[1]
Within each step, Luzzatto explains the step itself, its elements, how it can be acquired, and what might detract from its acquisition. For example: Watchfulness can be acquired by setting aside time for introspection, and acquiring watchfulness can be impaired by excessive mundane responsibilities, wrong company or a cynical stance in life. The same pattern is used for every single one of the traits mentioned.
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