Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato felt that it was very important that a Jew should have an understanding of the fundamental spiritual rules under which the world operates so he wrote the sefer, Derech Hashem. I wanted to share a few of the spiritual rules and hopefully people will be motivated to learn either English version of the sefer.
Derech Hashem is divided into four sections:
1. Fundamentals of Creation
2. Divine Province
3. The Soul and Prophecy
4. Serving G-d
Here are some of the fundamental spiritual rules from each section:
Fundamentals of Creation
– Hashem created the world to bestow goodness on man, who is composed of a physical body and non-physical soul.
– The ultimate goodness is coming closer to Hashem by doing mitzvos that strengthen our spiritual side and avoiding sin which distance us.
– The influences, forces and melachim of the spiritual realm direct what occurs in the physical realm, but man’s free will choices effect the spiritual realm.
– Hashem created and oversees all things for the ultimate purpose of individual man, and humanity as a whole, to coming closer to Him.
– All the qualities in this world, such as wealth and poverty, gratifications and sufferings,… serve as a challenge for man in pursuit of this goal of attaining closeness to Hashem.
– At this point of history, the goal of fulfilling humanities ultimate purpose is dependent on the mitzvos and aveiros of the Jewish People.
The Soul and Prophecy
– Man’s physical body is connected to the spiritual world through five levels of soul.
– In addition to his senses, man can receive information about the world through his souls and the processes of dreams, divine inspiration and prophecy.
– Many prophets received information about the world through dream-state prophecy, Moshe’s prophecy was of an entirely different nature, and through his clear waking-state prophecy, the Torah was transmitted to him from Hashem.
– Man serves G-d and achieves his purpose in the world through the study of Torah and the performance of mitzvos.
– Torah study plays a very large role in bringing man to perfection and the highest positive spiritual influences in the world come about through this study.
– Other areas of serving G-d are the emotionally centered mitzvos such as love and fear of Hashem and the thought, speech and action mitzvos which are classified as continuous (e.g. Belief in Hashem), daily (e.g. Saying Shema), periodic (e.g. Shabbos) and circumstantial (e.g. Mezuzah).