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February 06, 2011


Sara Raftenberg

Thank you for this wonderful article.
I must take issue with one point, and only one. The statement that "the Chassidic movement was a harbinger of modernity in that, for the first time, the individual was in the center" is incorrect. Ramchal was the harbinger of that attitude. His understanding of the Kabbalah as an expression of Hanhaga, and of man being the center of that Hanhaga, which put so many people off, speaks very clearly to that point.


I appreciate your point but I think that Ramchal is a very obscure writer and not a populat writer who changes attitudes. He is difficult to understand and subject to various interpretations. The extent to which that he centers on the individula more than Ari, whom he afer all interprets, is not very clear. You can say the same things about Ari, at least in regard to some of his theurgic positions. Also, Ramchal's writings were not very widespread in Eastern Europe.

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