Author Topic: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge  (Read 2269 times)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #100 on: September 22, 2018, 05:05:17 AM »
Through achieving a synthesis of these three soul powers – recognition, understanding and belief – and actually expressing them through his thoughts, traits and emotions, a person will more completely cleave to and be attached to the One True God. This will also provide the key for him to tap into levels within his belief and faith that are beyond his knowledge and intelligence. This is the spiritual accomplishment of becoming a chassid (a pious person), which is the title of one who is actively attaching himself to the True God, may He be blessed. It is this service which God seeks from a person, and it is this service which draws God to a person. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 14)


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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2018, 06:04:58 AM »
Just as God’s absolute existence is not comparable to the dependent existence of the creations (because the Holy One, blessed be He, has no need whatsoever for them), so too, His absolute Truth is not like their partial truth. This is what the prophet expressed by saying, “The Lord God is true.”(Jeremiah 10:10) Likewise, it is written in the Torah, “There is none beside Him”(Deuteronomy 4:35) This includes the meaning that there is no other existence that is comparable to Him. Although all the authentic prophets and sages yearned to intellectually know the truth of His existence, it cannot be grasped in its entirety – as it says, “Can you find the comprehension of God? Can you find the ultimate bounds of the Almighty?”(Job 11:7) (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 15)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #102 on: September 25, 2018, 06:07:12 AM »
Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, effects two infinitely powerful actions at once. Everything He creates is brought into existence ex nihilio with its individual characteristics, and at the exact same time, He conceals His creative power so that it will not be revealed in physical realm. Both of these Divine attributes are beyond the comprehension of any created being. For it is impossible for any being to understand the Godly power that gives it existence and life – as God, blessed be He, spoke to Moses, the greatest of prophets, “You cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” And just as it is impossible for any being to understand how it is brought into existence and given life by God’s creative power, so too, it is impossible for any being to understand the power of His hiding, with which He conceals the creative force in every creation. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 20-21)


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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #103 on: September 26, 2018, 05:36:44 AM »
The various Divine attributes which God revealed about Himself are associated with His corresponding Holy Names that are found in the Hebrew scriptures. Any Name ascribed to God is not a description of Him, as it is impossible to describe his blessed Essence, and He has no name which can describe Him at all. Rather, He is ascribed holy Names as indications of various effects that are caused by His actions.

The first Godly power explained above, which constantly creates everything in existence, each in all its details, is called by His holy Tetragrammaton Name of Y-HVH (On account of its great holiness, this Name is not permitted to be pronounced, as explained in The Divine Code, Part III, topic 2:7. To refer to this Name orally, and preferably in writing as well, one should transpose the letters into a substitute form, and call it Hava’yeh.) The meanings of this Name in Hebrew are that (a) God constantly creates everything that exists, and (b) He transcends time, so that past, present and future are all unified with Him.

The second Godly power mentioned above, the power to hide His unlimited Godly light and creative force – so that we are only able to perceive the effects of His actions in the physical realm, without seeing the true spiritual source which causes and creates these effects – is called by His Name E’lohim. This is the source of what we call “nature” within the creation, which is perceivable in our eyes and can be grasped in our understanding, and which hides God’s unlimited power and His Presence from us. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 21)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2018, 05:43:41 AM »
This is the meaning of the verse in Psalms, “For a sun and a shield is Hava’yeh E’lohim.” This means that just as God made a shield around the Earth that protects us from being obliterated by the heat and radiation from the sun, which are too powerful for us to endure in their full strength, so too, God has a spiritual shield to protect us from the unlimited power of His Divine light and creative force, and this shield is called by the Name E’lohim.

Although this spiritual shielding is not physically perceivable, for nature and the world’s physicality hide it from our eyes, an intellectual person who contemplates the fact that everything is created by God alone, and that there is no other power to cause any such effect in the world, will understand what is written: ”See now, for I, I am He, and there is no [other] God (E’lohim) than Me...”(Deuteronomy 32:39) Here, God informs us that “I am the Creator, and I am E’lohim Who hides My creative power;” He is one and the same God, Who is the only God, with no separation or division. Likewise, it says, “And you shall know this day and take to your heart that Hava’yeh, He is E’lohim – in the heavens above and upon the earth below – there is nothing else,”(Deuteronomy 4:39) so that one should not mistakenly think that there is another power or deity which causes God to be hidden. This is not the case; rather, God Who creates everything ex nihilio is also E’lohim, Who hides Himself from the perception of mortal beings, through the garb of what we perceive as nature in the physical creation. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 22)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #105 on: September 28, 2018, 06:25:59 AM »
This brings us closer to understand the Torah’s words, “There is none beside Him,”(Deuteronomy 4:35) since His knowledge of the created thing and His Divine speech which creates it are all united as one, within his complete Unity. These two Names, Hava’yeh and E’lohim, are not separate in any way. Rather, the One God works simultaneously with these two of His powers. Although this concept cannot be fully grasped by human intellect, it is vital for a person to contemplate the principle that God is totally One, such that He and all His seemingly different powers are one perfect entity. The nature of this perfection is something completely unrelated to the creation, because we recognize created entities, and even abstract human concepts, as being composed of different parts that are brought together. This distinguishes God’s perfect unity as something completely unique from anything else.

Therefore, a wise intellectual person should unify his whole heart and soul to Hava’yeh E’lohim, Who creates the heavens and the Earth and all their hosts, and serve Him with all his heart, and dedicate all that he has to serve Him in all aspects of his life. For everything is from Him, and He gives strength, vitality and abilities to each person.

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #106 on: September 29, 2018, 07:48:35 AM »
Through thinking about and looking for Divine Providence in the steps of one’s life, a person will recognize that God is actively involved along with him in all his ways, and in all his actions. The majority of time, a person who does this will understand  on his own how to act in the correct and fitting manner for the situation he is in. For when one contemplates that God is watching over him and putting him in a specific set of circumstances at a specific time, and is surely intending for the person to perceive and take action so as to bring out the best outcome from this, it will bring him to try to discern the purpose for which God put him in that situation. For example, it may be to help or inspire another person, or to sanctify God’s Name in that place, or to gain the merit of passing a test or overcoming an obstacle which God is placing in his path. When a person sets his mind to this, God in His abundant kindness can give him a spirit of understanding and a feeling for why this situation was intended, and for what he is obligated to do so as a servant of God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 28)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #107 on: September 30, 2018, 07:08:04 AM »
Sometimes an understanding of a situation will remain hidden from the person, but if he is righteous and prays to God to enlighten him about its purpose, it is likely that God will show him an answer. In regard to some things, it may take days, months, or years before God reveals His Divine Providence in something that occurred. Or it may be that God’s active involvement in a matter will remain hidden forever, and known only to Him, as King David declared in the Book of Psalms, “[Give thanks] to Him Who alone performs great wonders;” i.e., the most wondrous aspect of God’s involvement, which may be a chain of actions that span all the previous generations leading up to a present set of circumstances, remains known only to Him alone. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 28-29)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #108 on: October 01, 2018, 07:43:08 AM »
In this way, once the Patriarch Abraham discovered the truth of the One God and connected to it, he was not affected by anything else in the world – as it says, “Abraham was [but] one ...”(Ezekiel 33:24) This means that even though he was distinct from the rest of humanity in his monotheistic faith, and many people, great and small, argued against him and mocked him, he steadfastly continued with the mission he set for himself, since he knew that this path was the truth. This is the ultimate level of one who is completely sincere in his heart and actions, whose sincerity compels him to follow God’s will in all matters. Therefore, it is said about Abraham:”And he trusted in God, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness,”(Genesis 15:6) and “You found his heart faithful before You.”(Nehemiah 9:8) (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 37)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #109 on: October 06, 2018, 06:41:09 AM »
Once an upright person succeeds in becoming complete in all his actions, and he is continuously yearning for God, he will be truly ready to have self-sacrifice for God. For he understands that anyone’s personal pursuits are not the main thing, and that the whole purpose of existence and importance of mankind is in understanding God to the maximum of one’s capability. Therefore, he will devote his whole self to God with all his faculties. He will strongly and constantly desire to rise to God, to the level of Godliness which he cannot comprehend in his intellect and emotions , and before which he stands in a mode of selfless surrender to God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 38)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #110 on: October 08, 2018, 07:50:34 AM »
The ultimate example of this was Abraham the Patriarch, who invested his soul in his mission to publicize the truth that God is One. When he discovered this truth, he started to call all the populace to leave their idols and vanities and to break their statues. He proved to them with clear and conclusive proofs that their idols were naught and had no power. When Nimrod, the wicked king of Babylon, heard about this, he wanted to silence Abraham, so he seized him and threatened to throw him into a fiery furnace if he would not acknowledge idolatry and bow down to it. Abraham immediately chose the furnace, but a miracle occurred and he was saved. Abraham, however, did not expect this, and he did not have regard for his life if it would mean agreeing to lie and deny the truth for which mankind was created. Abraham reasoned to himself, “What is the point of lying and saving my life, in order to live a life of falsehood? While accepting the falsehood of idolatry, I would be like a broken machine and a soulless walking corpse. If so, my life would be no less than death. It is better for me to die as a means to publicly sanctify God’s Name in the world – which has been my lifelong mission – rather than to abandon the truth just to save the physical life of my body.” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 38)


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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #111 on: October 08, 2018, 07:51:08 AM »
Indeed, Maimonides writes:

“Prophecy is only bestowed upon a very wise sage who is strong in his good character traits, whose natural inclinations never overcome him in any worldly matter. Rather, he always overcomes his natural inclinations with his intellect, and he possesses very broad and correct perspective. If a person is completely filled with these good traits and is physically sound, then when he contemplates intently [on Torah’s teachings of the greatness of the Creator] and is drawn into these great and sublime concepts, if he has the correct perception to understand and grasp these matters, he will then become sanctified. [That is to say,] he will advance and separate himself from the ways of all the people who go about in the darkness of the times. He must continue to advance and train himself not to have any thoughts at all about empty matters and intrigues of the times. Instead, he keeps his mind constantly directed to a higher level of Godliness in order to comprehend the wisdom of the Holy One, blessed be He … and appreciate His greatness from this. Then, a spirit of Godly- inspired perception [ru’ach ha’kodesh in Hebrew] will immediately rest upon him. When this perception rests on him … he will be changed into a different person and will understand with a knowledge that is different from what his knowledge was previously. He will rise above the level of wise people in general, as it was told to King Saul: ‘ You will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into a different person.’” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 42-43)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #112 on: October 09, 2018, 06:34:20 AM »
The level of Moses prophecy made a great unification possible. Through him, God brought His Torah into the physical world. “Torah” is the all-inclusive wisdom of God which includes all the created spiritual and physical realms; it is His Word to all people, forever. It is not directed to a specific person for a specific detail of his activities. It is not even a general concept that affects a person’s whole life, being directed to a whole nation or even a whole generation. Rather, it is a prophecy that stands forever as God’s will for His creations. It reveals to us that God lovingly created the universe and all aspects of Creation, with this world and mankind at the center of His attention, and with bestowal of obligations, prohibitions, rewards, punishments and purpose. This is the concept of the prophecy that is in the Torah of Moses our teacher, by which God communicated with him openly on Mount Sinai before the eyes and ears of the whole Jewish people, as will be explained in the following chapters. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 44)


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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #113 on: October 10, 2018, 07:55:15 AM »
It was in regard to greater prophecies, such as those for the needs of a large community, that Maimonides wrote his statement above, that prophecy only dwells on “a very wise sage,” etc., who is fitting to receive a prophecy that will guide his generation.

Nevertheless, even a person who does not reach such a level must still know this essential pillar of religion, that God gives prophecy to humans by influencing their thoughts and helping them to choose well and make good resolutions, and He directs them to the greater good if they are improving themselves and humbly striving in that direction. This is the meaning of the verse,90 “For He stands at the right hand of the needy person to save [him] from those who judge his soul.”

90 Psalms 109:31. “Those who judge his soul” are a person’s good inclination and evil inclination, which pull him toward opposite directions, and God stands by to assist him in following his good inclination, if he so desires. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 47)


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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #114 on: October 11, 2018, 07:02:19 AM »
A main point of prophecy is to show that every person intrinsically possesses the ability to serve his Creator in the way that his Creator desires from him, and that by living up to this, he will reach a level of closeness to God, each person according to the capacity that his Creator has endowed to him. One should not think that God has decreed that some people will be wicked or boorish and incapable of properly serving Him. Rather, every person is created as a unique individual to reach his own specific spiritual goals in the face of his own challenges, known to God, and each one is given the ability and the opportunity to complete this service during his lifetime. At the same time, God does not dictate what a person’s actions will be. Instead, a person chooses with his own power of choice whether to do good or bad. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 47-48)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #115 on: October 12, 2018, 07:08:16 AM »
From this first essential theme, the power of free choice, one can arrive at a second essential theme: reward and punishment.

God bestows a good reward to those who do good, and He punishes those who do bad; each person is judged by the choices he makes. If everything was decreed by God, and mankind had no free choice at all, there would be no point in reward, since it would not be the person’s own choice that brought him to do good. Likewise, there would be no point in punishment, since the bad that was done would not be the fault of the wrongdoer. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 48)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #116 on: October 13, 2018, 07:44:49 AM »
God brings close to Himself a good person who acts correctly, and will assist him to do even more good and reach higher levels, and to be successful in his Divine service and to complete the image of God within him. In the opposite case, God hides His face from a bad person and pushes him away, and will make it harder for the person to serve Him, as a punishment for his transgressions. For example, if a pious and righteous person prays to God to show him the correct path in a situation that arises before him, God will answer his prayers and put before him the correct answer, or put in his mind an understanding and feeling for what he should do, or show him in some other manner with Divine Providence.
In contrast, for a bad person who sins many times and defiles himself with evil schemes, if he prays to God when he is in trouble, it is possible that God will answer him out of bountiful mercy, or it is possible that the person’s bad ways will cause God to push him away and to put mistakes, doubts and fears in his mind. This is the spiritual punishment for his actions: God will not answer him, or will give him areas in which to make mistakes. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 48-49)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #117 on: October 14, 2018, 06:27:55 AM »
Regarding this concept, God said to Cain: “Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven, but if you do not improve yourself, sin rests at the door; its desire is toward you, yet you can conquer it.”(Genesis 4:7) This means that if your path is correct, which is up to your choice, you can receive forgiveness for your sin and correct your failings; but if you do not take a good path, sin crouches at your door, and it is ready and waiting for you to err. So do not say, “This matter is decreed upon me; it is not my fault that I sinned, and I couldn’t stop myself from committing the bad action that presented itself to me.” Rather, know that your evil inclination only causes you to desire to sin, and you can control it and thereby gain merit. The choice of how to act is in your hands, not in the hands of your evil inclination. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 49)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #118 on: October 15, 2018, 08:33:24 AM »
Likewise, the sages said: “Raish Lakish explained the verse, ‘If [one is drawn] to the scoffers, he will scoff, but [if one is drawn] to the humble, he will find favor’ - if one comes to defile himself, Heaven will open the way for him, and if one comes to purify himself, Heaven will assist him.” This means that if a person looks for a path to defile himself with sin, or to be a scoffer, God will give him opportunity and open a path for him to sin as he desires, yet this still remains within the person’s free choice. But for those who are humble and looking for the right path, God will give them favor and assistance. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 49)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #119 on: October 16, 2018, 07:33:48 AM »
Therefore, one should not err like those who think that God left the creation to be directed by the natural order alone, with no Divine Providence guiding it, and that God does not care about people’s actions. God’s involvement in a person’s activities – and even in his thoughts and feelings – provides a spark of prophecy. It can rest on anyone, even those who are considered to be of a lowly level. When a person behaves correctly, God’s Presence that dwells in his actions can be perceived, and one who frequently seeks to do good should trust that God will help him and ready a path before him to be successful in his endeavors. However, not everyone merits to be aware of this help from God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 50)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #120 on: October 17, 2018, 05:02:54 AM »
When a righteous person prays to God to help him with some matter, God hears his prayer and will help him with his desires for the good. If he merits, he will perceive and understand God’s answer and His Divine Providence over him. He should intend to unify with God’s Presence through his prayer, as he stands before God and pours out his heart in supplication before Him. He should remove all distracting thoughts, until his thoughts and intentions are pure, and his heart and thoughts are focused in his prayer alone. It was in this manner that the pious ones of the early generations would seclude themselves and concentrate on their prayers to God until they would become removed from physical concerns and achieve a strengthening of their intellectual spirit, until they reached a level of connection to God approaching to the level of prophecy. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 50)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #121 on: October 18, 2018, 05:29:51 AM »
Just as a person will not be awestruck from hearing his friend’s words, Moses’ mental power was so broadly sufficient that he was able to receive and comprehend God’s words to him while he was standing in a composed state of mind.

Unlike other prophets, whenever Moses desired, the spirit of ru’ach ha’kodesh would envelop him, and prophecy would rest upon him. He did not have to concentrate his attention to prepare himself for prophecy, because his mind was always concentrated, prepared , and ready to appreciate spiritual truth, just as the angels are. Therefore, he could receive a prophecy and relate it to others at all times, as he said to those who needed to hear from him an answer from God:”Stand and I will hear what God will command you.” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 52)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #122 on: October 19, 2018, 05:14:09 AM »
Moses was called upon by God to be continuously prepared and ready to communicate with Him, as it is stated: “and God said to me, … ‘Go say to them, Return to your tents. But as for you, stand here with Me, and I shall speak to you ...’” (Deuteronomy 5:25-28) This means that after the Divine revelation of God’s speaking the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai departed from all the rest of the people there (who had been experiencing a state of prophecy while hearing God’s voice), they “returned to their tents” like all other prophets – i.e., to their personal bodily needs and mundane activities. Therefore, they did not continue to separate themselves from marital relations with their spouses. Moses, our teacher, however, never returned to his original “tent.” He remained in a ready state of holiness to receive God’s speech at any moment, so he necessarily had to separate himself permanently from his wife. He bound his mind continuously to God, and the ru’ach ha’kodesh was never fully departed from him. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 52-53)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #123 on: Today at 02:09:31 AM »
There is the possibility that a prophet will experience prophecy for his own sake alone – e.g., to expand his mental capacities and to increase his knowledge – allowing him to know more about lofty spiritual concepts than he knew before.

It is also possible that a prophet may be sent by God to one of the nations of the world, or to the inhabitants of a particular city or province, to prepare them and to inform them of what they should do, or to warn them against continuing the grave sins which they have been doing. When he is sent on such a mission, God provides a sign or a wonder for him to perform publicly, so that the people will know that God has truly sent him and the message he relates was given by God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 53)