Jewish Books: Mesilat Yesharim

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The Mesillat Yesharim (Hebrew: מסילת ישרים, English: “Path of the Just“) is an ethical text composed by the influential Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746). It is quite different from Luzzato’s other writings, which are more philosophical.

Mesillat Yesharim was written and published in Amsterdam. The earliest known manuscript of Mesillat Yesharim, written in 1738, was arranged as a dialogue between a chacham (wise man) and a chasid (pious person). Before publication, it was rearranged to have only one speaker.

Mesillat Yesharim is probably Luzzato’s most influential work, forming part of the curriculum of virtually every yeshiva since being introduced by the Mussar Movement of  Rabbi Yisrael Salanter.

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