Contains completely revised editions of two previously printed works, plus one never before translated into English; Hebrew with facing English text, including full-color study charts.
The Ways of Reason makes Gemara learning exciting and accessible to every Jew. There are tools for thinking, illustrated by extensive examples from the Gemara; and whether you are a beginner or a veteran in Torah learning, you will see mastery of the Gemara text becoming quicker and easier.
The Book of Logic explores key logical concepts of Talmudic analysis that lead us into a world where ideas take on a life of their own. Based on precision and clarity of thinking, you will see that there is no Beis Midrash without new Chiddushim in Torah. The Ramchal stresses that our inherent intellectual powers must be studied, cultivated and nurtured. Conscious awareness of our thinking and our thoughts is the key to the crown of Torah.
The Book of Words is a guide to the language of Chazal, using numerous examples from Tanach and Gemara. Drawing on an extraordinary understanding of human nature, Ramchal explains the rules of communication affecting the head and the heart alike. The links in the chain of our Mesora from Rabbi to student are forged from this metal, and Ramchal declares that the writings of the Prophets are virtually inaccessible without this sensitivity to language; the same holds true for the Mussar classics. This work appears here for the first time in an English edition.
- ITEM #: 7021
- Dimensions: 6 x 9.6
- ISBN: 978-159826-968-0
- Weight: 3.3560 lbs
- Binding: Hard Cover / 913 pages
- Published by: Feldheim Publishers
- Translated by: Rabbi Dovid Sackton & Rabbi Chaim Tscholkowsky
“The Way of Torah” is an impressive English translation of not one classic sefer by the legendary Ramchal - Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (best known for his mussar or ethical masterpiece – “Mesillas Yesharim,”) but actually three important works that are now available from the Feldheim Torah Classics Library in one volume (the Rohr Edition.) The unifying aspect of these three works is that they combine to offer the Gemara or Talmudical student the guidance of the Ramchal on how best to prepare oneself for the task of trying to learn the wisdom of the Oral Torah, without which it is impossible to truly understand the Written Torah and hence Judaism as we know it today. “Derech Hakodesh” or “The Way of Torah” consists of the Ramchal’s trilogy – “Derech Tevunos” (“The Ways of Reason”); Sefer HaHigayon (“The Book of Logic”); and “Sefer HaMelitzah (“The Book of Words.”) In his general introduction at the beginning of the trilogy – “The Way of Torah,” Rabbi David Sackton touches on a theological difficulty by noting “The wisdom of the Torah is infinite as is the wisdom of the Creator, blessed be He, who looked into the Torah and created the world, and the angels thought that this Torah is surely beyond human reach. There is indeed a riddle here, for how can this infinite wisdom be contained in a bounded and limited vessel, as the 79,976 words of the Written Law, or the 2,711 pages of the Oral Law? “The only way to answer this riddle is to know the true value and meaning of this power of speech which makes Man unique in all the creation. When a person knows this wisdom of words, genuinely hearing them and effectively communicating through them, then, for him, there is truly life and depth of understanding in every sentence. The words of the Torah become a precious instrument in his hands, through which he comes to understand the wisdom of the Living G-d, may His name be blessed.” Until the efforts of Rabbi Sackton and his chavrusa and colleague Rabbi Tscholkowsky, beginning with their translation of “The Ways of Reason,” in 1989 and “The Book of Logic” in 1995 and finally “The Book of Words” last year (2014,) the wisdom of the Ramchal on the study of the Talmud was a secret reserved for those scholars fluent in lashon Hakodesh (Hebrew) or who were fortunate enough like Rabbis Sackton and Tscholkowsky to have been taught the Ramchal’s formulas on learning the Talmud by teachers well versed in these important seforim. Both translators learned and later taught in Yerushalayim’s Diaspora Yeshiva where they were greatly influenced by their Rosh Hayeshiva – Rabbi Mordecai Goldstein. Also in his general introduction, Rabbi Sackton promises the diligent reader that “we will learn in The Ways of Reason about ideas as they are formulated into statements, which help us gather together our knowledge. We will learn about the functions of the intellect and how abstract concepts are represented in speech when we turn to the Book of Logic. Lastly, we will learn about the ability of words to direct and influence the will in the Book of Words. “Once we are able to see the greater whole composed of these parts, then the Ramchal will have indeed given us the foundations of the power of speech in general, and the keys to the great wisdom that can be taken from the words of our Rabbis of blessed memory, in particular. Their special manner of speech, in all their exactness and depth, is now unlocked for us, just as it has been faithfully passed down from generation to generation.” As is common with all of the seforim in The Torah Classics Library published over the decades by Feldheim Publishers, the right side displays the original Hebrew text while the facing left side offers the English translation along with very helpful annotations that offer deeper explanations of the Ramchal’s guide towards better understanding the often difficult sugyas of the Gemora. Even if you read just one page of the Hebrew text and the English translation a day, you will be able to complete the study of all three volumes in the Ramchal’s “The Way of Torah” trilogy in less than a year. And of course, one could just read the English text. In addition to the translated text, Rabbi Sackton has included helpful organizational charts, glossary and step-by-step learning skills “The Way of Torah” definitely if studied carefully should open new vistas of the Ramchal to the student of the Gemaras or even for one who has hesitated until now to jump into the Yam or Sea of the Talmud.
Seventeenth century kabbalist and mystic, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal, was one of the most prolific Jewish writers of his time. Famous for the Mesillat Yesharim, Path of the Just, and Derech Hashem, The Way of God, he authored more than 40 other books, as well as poetry and drama. Giants such as the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Yisroel Salanter lauded him and his books. Yet, in addition to books on self-improvement and growth, the Ramchal also wrote a seminal text that methodically explores and explains the proper way to learn Talmud. Amazingly, Sefer Derech Hakodesh, The Way of Torah is just as relevant today as it was over 300 years ago when the Ramchal wrote it.
We owe a debt of gratitude to scholars Rabbi David Sackton and Rabbi Chaim Tscholkowsky who have translated it, providing ready access to this ancient wisdom. Comprised of three books, The Way of Torah is Ramchal’s guide to the study of Talmud, focusing on mastery of the text, conceptual analysis, and study of rhetoric. The methods that he presents are highly structured and organized and represent a unified approach to the study and transmission of the Torah. He works through consecutive and interrelated levels that build upon each other to create a deep but vast understanding of the Talmud and its Sages.
The foundation of Ramchal’s method, as outlined in The Ways of Reason (Derech Tevunos) and The Book of Logic (Sefer Hahigayon), is predicated on the three mental functions of the human mind. First, the mind absorbs information, filtered through the framework of prior knowledge, by ascribing new information into existing categories. When this doesn’t work, the mind uses a more creative function to create novel associations and connections between what it knows and the new information that it receives. The third mental function, far less contemplative than the first two, is the decision-making capacity. Often more impulsive, it is rooted in free will and the human capacity to choose. Our minds cycle between these three functions throughout the day, so understanding them is to understand the human mind.
What sets the newly published Rohr Edition apart is the aesthetically pleasing color-coded charts in the study guide at the back of the book. These charts enable the reader to visually capture Ramchal’s method in an applicable and lasting manner. Two sets of charts and an extensive glossary of terms serve as a road map to the book, to be used alongside the English translation of these books to organize and
enhance the reader’s understanding of the text and Ramchal’s overall methodology. The first set of charts, A Schematic Overview of The Way of Torah, show how each of the three books connect to the three mental functions. The Glossary includes definitions of terms and explanations of the connections between the branches of the charts. Finally, Learning Skills Step-by-step chart clarifies the skills that underlie Ramchal’s method in a practical and clear manner.
The Way of Torah is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to understand the ogical underpinnings of the Talmud. Rabbis Sackton and Tscholkowsky unlock that resource by not only translating it into contemporary, accessible language, but also by gifting their readers with the visually-pleasing charts that bring the secrets of this book from the potential to the practical.