Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Ḥaqq from Rabbi `Oḅadyah Maimūnī

Let not your intent (himma) falter upon seeing the difficulty and remoteness of the task. Say not that you are the prisoner of lust, anger, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, fear or disease, thus weakening your resolve to search. Instead fortify your determination, toiling in your effort, for whosoever persevere in this pursuit is a true man (al-insān `ala l-ḥaqīqah), concerning whom David has said ‘Happy is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways.” (Ps. 84.6), “Happy is the people whose God is YHVH.” (Ps. 144.15) It is proper that this verse is in the singular for this pursuit is the exclusive concern of the individual. But he who remains remiss (therein) is regarded as a dead man, (Ned. 64b)… (Chapter 2.19-20)

There exists no pre-determination (jabr) and therefore man should close his thoughts to all and awaken his intellect, devoting himself to it since it is the bond (wuṣla) between him and his Creator. Were he continually to think of It, he would not fail to find It, as the prophet has said, Seek YHVH while It is to be found… (Is. 55.6) Were an individual to remain steadfast and persevere continuously until he achieved this state, then the phenomena that were previously concealed from him and others, would be revealed to him. Reason’s will shall strengthen and reveal that which is inscribed on the Table (al-Lawḥ)… [the soul] has no lasting beatitude unless accompanied by Reason. (Chapter 6.37-41)

Reason is the bond (wuṣla) between the Creator and Its creatures… Consider how milk flows from the breast of the nursing mother whenever she thinks of her suckling; even though the latter be not with her, her compassion is moved ‘as a father has mercy upon his children’. (Ps 103.13) In a similar manner upon encountering a mutual affinity (munāsaba) with a certain individual, Reason will abide with the latter and never forsake him, “I will be with him in adversity (Ps. 91.15) “Fear not for I am with you (Is. 43.5) “when you pass through the waters I will be with you” (ibid.2) Be then attentive of this noble discipline and engage therein all your time… (Chapter 1.9-14)

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