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Home :: Pichifkes :: Ten Levels of Hope

Ten Levels of Hope

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Hovot Halevavot enumerates ten levels of hope. Human usually goes through each of them during his life, but only being at the very last one he can achieve perfection:

1. Infant knows only feeling of protectability and nutrition coming from his mother;

2. While child is small, his entire world is focused on his mother, child considers her to be the highest source of power and confidence;

3. Growing up, the child starts understanding that all his family, including mother, depends on father's support, and so he transfers his hope onto him;

4. Teenager is more presumptuous, he often goes through the level when it seems to him he is a master of his fate - that is his life will turn out depending on the occupation chosen, his energy and skills;

5. Or he relies upon some other people, supposing his life can be defined by them;

6. But sooner or later he understands there are some spheres in life, human can not control, like failures, deseases, personal and general misfortune etc. When in trouble, he starts relying upon Omnipotent, imploring Him to save him from evil. However such hope is imperfect and it was blamed by prophet, who said (Yirmiyahu 2:27): "And at the time of their misfortune they say: arise and save us";

7. At the higher level of truth's perception, human refuses to jeopardize himself coz of earnings or be engaged in handicraft harmful for health. He hopes Hashem provides him with everything necessary;

8. At the next higher level human doesn't believe in earthly reasons at all, understanding it's not them what can influence his life. Only Hashem is the reason for everything to happen. The one who realized it is occupied with trade or handicraft only coz of respect for Omnipotent's desire, so that people would do any job and would not sit in idleness;

9. As far as his understanding goes deeper, human realizes one business can not bring him more earnings than another, and that all spheres of his life - property state, health etc - Hashem arranged the best way. That's why he will always be grateful and bless Hashem both for fortune and misfortune, and will never wish for some different fate;

10. And, finally, the highest perfection consists in human's understanding of transience of earthly life and all worldly occupations. But he understands how great is the World to Come which is going to last forever.

Human who achieved the last of levels of hope exists by thinking about grandeur of Hashem, he carefully observes Seven Laws, is occupied with Tora's studies and strain his nerve in daily business only up to some degree coz he hopes Omnipotent provides him with all necessary.

Such attitude to life makes human belonging to the World to Come.

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