Rabbinic Wisdom

The introduction to מסילת ישרים, Path of the Just, has a fascinating relevance to today and the ongoing lack of morality in today's society. The Ramchal, Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, author of מסילת ישרים points out a very real human tendency to forget basic truths if they are not repeated. He uses the example of love and fear of Hashem and Dveikut, cleaving to Hashem, and acting in the way of Chassidut, doing acts of kindness. All of these are simple basic concepts known very well in Judaism. However, if these basic ideas of Judaism are not repeated on a regular basis, they become forgotten. A righteous person will no longer be viewed as one possessing these character traits, but someone who acts in an extreme way. He will fast all of the time or dip in Mikvaot if snow. All because of a failure to repeat the basics. And so it is today. Because such basic moral points as marriage and raising a family, being of supreme importance; or, "living together" before marriage is wrong; or, saving one's virginity for marriage is right, are not reiterated on a regular basis, they are forgotten. Morality has taken on a new definition of feeling good and doing whatever makes you feel good for the moment. The Rabbis always had such a keen insight into human nature. If we only listened to them!