Maharal – Derekh haChaim 1:2 (part 2) – Relationship ep. 2

(If you missed part 1, see Welcome to the Kloiz!)

This week, Thursday night (Mar 3rd, 2022) 7pm EST we will continue our study of Meharal, Derekh haChaim 1:2. Go to for links to the Zoom room, a link to join the WhatsApp group, to recordings of past shiurim, and the other posts like this one.

Our first week at Zelmele’s Kloiz had lots of wonderful give and take, and many of us stayed on afterward for an exciting discussion. (Which personally, I found quite informative.) Join us at The Kloiz this week!

The resource sheet is on Sefaria at

EDIT: The shiur has been recorded:

The story so far:

The Maharal writes that there are three aspects to tov when it comes to human beings:

  • The inherent tov of a person in-and-of themselves. The way Hashem called various things He created as well as the universe as a whole “tov” before it even did anything.
  • The tov people possess in our relationship with the Creator.
  • And the tov in how we relate to others.

The Maharal sees the three pillars of our mishnah as these same aspects of tov:

  • Torah: Hashem’s wisdom, the route to self-prefection,
  • Avodah: mitzvos bein adam laMaqom (whose epitome is avodahqorbanos or at least tefillah), and
  • Gemillus Chassadim: tov in our relationships with other people.

I personally suggested that these also correspond to the three crowned utensils in the Mishkan and Beis haMiqdash:

  • The crown on aron, which contains the luchos and holds the original Torah — the crown of Torah.
  • The one on the mizbeiach hazahav, which was taken by the kohanim — the crown of avodah.
  • The crown on the shulchan, which has a loaf of bread for each of the shevatim. The crown of providing for the people’s needs — gemillus chassadim — is the crown of kings, taken by David haMelekh.

I also raised the question of the three uncrowned keilim which seem to parallel the three crowned ones. After all, the menorah is also understood in terms of Torah and wisdom, the two mizbeiachs are an obvious parallel, and the kiyor is also about our relationship to the physical — if in a very different way than the shulchan. But we are going to shelve that question until later, when we study the Gra…

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