Kenneth Cohen

To Delight With Hashem

The Messillat Yesharim, Path of the Just, is a classic work, written by Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato, also known as the Ramchal. The first chapter of this book, is one of the most important chapters in all books of Mussar, discipline.

The chapter is titled, “Man’s mission in his world.” It describes what should be the focus of every individual in being able to achieve the ultimate perfection in serving Hashem.

The Ramchal says emphatically that the greatest pleasure that man can achieve in this world, is להתענג על ה׳, “to delight with G-d.” Along with this delight, is ליהנות מזיו שכינתו, “to benefit from the radiance of His Divine Presence.” If one is able to reach this level of serving G-d, there is no greater bliss possible in this world.
This is particularly relevant as we enter the High Holiday season. We are meant to do some serious soul searching, where we examine ourselves, and see how we are doing in our relationship with the Al-mighty.

It should be clear that earthly pursuits, and the emphasis on materialism, and physical pleasure, are not going to give us any real sense of satisfaction. Fleeting pleasures do not last. The pursuit of spirituality and the observance of Torah and Mitzvot, far outshine, the physical, mundane world.

Achieving the level of “delighting with G-d, and feeling His Divine Presence,” is a lifelong pursuit. But it is a pursuit that is more worthwhile than any pursuit that exists for man. The result is real bliss. And, by the way, this is the same bliss that awaits us in Olam Haba, the next world. This is achieved if we merit it by living exemplary spiritual lives in this world.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at