Sunday, February 12, 2006

Netivot Shalom in English

I just came across this website that is a translation of the first few sections of the Netivot Shalom (The Slonimer Rebbe). It is not the al ha-Torah seforim, which I happen to love, but a resource that more should know about.
Rambam, our teacher, opens his great work with Laws of Torah'’s Foundations. These include faith in Hashem, love of Hashem, awe of Hashem, sanctifying His name, and heeding the prophet'’s voice. Rambam calls these commandments "“foundations of Torah"” for they are the very basis for Torah as a whole. The commentary states: "He terms these laws '“foundations of Torah' because these commandments constitute the main part of Torah and its foundations".” They may be likened to the foundations of a building. The height and weight of the building are determined by the foundations that one has laid. If one'’s foundations are poor, the entire structure is in danger of collapse. This is the significance of these commandments of the holy Torah and a Jew'’s service of the Holy One: they are not like other commandments for they are the very base and foundation of the whole structure.
I'm going to ignore my comment on the "faith" that he talks about (Rambam speak of one's knowledge of God - opposed to faith). Nonetheless the Netivot Shalom is an important work, go read it.

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