Tag Archives: joy

20) HA’OROT- RAV KOOK ON YERUSHALAYIM-In Honor of Jerusalem Day

ירושלים, ונקודת ציון ביחוד, תורה על שיבת המין האנושי למרומי מצבו ביחש להעמים שכבר נתפלגו, שישובו לחטיבה טובה וטהורה

Yerushalayim, and Zion in particular, is a teaching about the return of humankind to its highest status -to the point that all the nations who divided into many streams in the past will return to form one pure and good unit”. -Rav Kook, TZ”L    

Rav Kook wrote this in 1904, soon after he arrived in Israel to be the Chief Rabbi of Yaffo and the new settlements.      

He knew about Yerushalayim. In 1888, at the age of  23, his mentor, the Chafetz Chayim, directed him to learn the laws related to the the Temple Mount and its service. “The Temple may not be rebuilt in my lifetime, but hopefully it will be in yours. We Cohanim will have to know what to do” the elder sage of Europe told him. This was the seed for the unfolding Temple Mount movement.

From the moment he stepped foot in the Land of Israel on the 28th of Iyar, 5664 (May 13, 1904) his entire being was dedicated to the rebuilding and rededication of Yerushalayim. His family continued to celebrate the 28th of Iyar as the day that the Kook family returned to Israel.

We now celebrate it as Yom Yerushalayim.

For it was on the 28th of Iyar in 1967-the third day of the Six Day War-that the Israeli Defence Forces recaptured the Temple Mount and its environs. Appropriately, the first people brought to the Kotel on June 7, 1967 were Rav Kook’s son-Rav Tzvi Yehuda, TZ’L, Rav Kook’s primary student HaRav David Cohen-HaRav HaNazir TZ’L and HaRav HaNazir’s son-in-law, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, TZ’L.

They are pictured here:RAV TZVI YEHUDA, HARAV HANAZIR, HARAV SHLOMO GOREN-TZ

“A righteous one decrees and the Holy One fulfills.”(Talmud) Rav Kook was the Kohen Gadol-High Priest of the return to and the rededication of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.

Soon after his arrival, he wrote:

כשאנו באים לדבר על ירושלים… פה גאון ישראל עומד בכל הדר גאותו…..נשמת אלהים חיים ההולכת ומתגברת בתוכנו ומקיצה אותנו לתחיה. מבשרת ציון העומדת על הר גבוה. האומרת לערי יהודה: הנה אלהיכם.

וזהו העד היותר נאמן על שלמות נשמת אלהים חיים המפעמת במסתרים בתוך תנועת התחיה שלנו…כי אם דבר ד’ הוא וזרם אור אל אלהי ישראל הוא המתגלה בכל תנועותינו הקטנות עם הגדולות….והנה היא עומדת לפנינו… ואומר גדול בפיה : “לעשות את ירושלים תהלה בארץ,לבנות את ירושלים

“When we come to speak of Jerusalem…here the genius of Israel stands in all its splendor…the Soul of the Living Elokim is unfolding and growing within us-awakening us to renewal. The ‘announcer of Tzion’ standing on the high mountain. Speaking to the cities of Yehuda-here is your Elokim. [based on Isaiah 40:9)  This is the most faithful witness to the wholeness of the Living God Soul mysteriously inspiring our movement of national return…The word of God and the  stream of Light of the God of Israel  is revealed in all our movements, large and small…Behold it is standing before us…proclaiming loudly: “Make Jerusalem splendrous in the land, build Jerusalem!”  (Maamarei HaRayah:Yerushalayim-p.298)

Rav Kook gives free reign to his prophetic capacity as he heralds:

התור הגיע, מאורעות הימים כולם קוראים לנו בקול גדול: ישראל, בנה את עיר קדשך..

“The turtledove has arrived, the events of the days are calling out to us loudly-Build your holy city…” (Maamarei HaRayah-Chibat Yerushalayim-p. 329)

And building, we have been. I sometimes walk around Yerushalayim and Israel and imagine how Rav Kook would see it.  It is clear to me that he would see his vision confirmed and unfolding. Challenges and all.

And his vision went even further. In the continuation of the opening quote describing the role of Jerusalem and Zion in bringing the world together, he continues:

אמנם גדול ממנה הוא גן עדן, שישוב המין האנושי לגבה מעלתו בפרטיו, עד שלא יהיה צריך שום לימוד והדרכה, ולא עזרת קיבוץ, כי אם לחיות בגן עדן, לעבדה ולשמרה, בתור טיול ועונג מורחב הממלא את החומר והרוח עדנים.”

Even greater than this is Gan Eden-the Garden of Eden/Delight in which all parts of the human race will return to their highest and there will be no need for learning, guidance and help from the group. We will be living in the Garden of Eden/Delight, cultivating and safe-keeping, as a delightful expanded journey that will fill the material and the spiritual realms with delights.” (Pinkas HaDapim Bet:8)

The process of building Yerushalayim as a model of the possibilities for planetary human unification will lead us to the reality of the Garden of Eden. The Torah is explicit that this is the goal of history and that the Creator’s loving desire for good to be manifested is the most powerful force in existence.                          

We will be living in the Garden of Eden/Delight..as a delightful expanded journey that will fill the material and the spiritual realms with delights.”

במהרב בימינו-Speedily in our days.                                              

יום ירושלים שמח- A joyous Jerusalem Day to all.

 

 

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14)HA’OROT-THE LIGHTS OF RAV KOOK: SUCCOT JOY AND UNIVERSALITY

14)HA’OROT-THE LIGHTS OF RAV KOOK:         SUCCOT JOY AND UNIVERSALITY                                 My etrog-5775

“Radiant is the world soul,

Full of splendor and beauty,

Full of life,

Of souls hidden,

Of treasures of the holy spirit,

Of fountains of strength,

Of greatness and beauty.” -Rav Kook TZ’L (Orot HaKodesh 2:247)

The new beginning of Rosh HaShana and the cleansing of Yom Kippur brings us to the joy of Succot. We are now invited to step out of our private perspectives and prisons and celebrate the great miracle and gift of life.

Rabbi David Cohen TZ”L -Rav Kook’s main student-in his masterpiece ‘Kol HaNevua-The Voice of Prophecy’ explains that Succot is חג החיים-the Festival of Life. He points out חיים and לולב-palm frond have the same numerical value- 68. The lulav is waved three times in the six directions for a total of 18 wavings. The numerical value of חי-life is of course 18. If any of the four species are dry or lifeless, they can not be used.

The life process of constant renewal is a great gift of our creation. Rav Kook appreciated it deeply:“Succa is a very high level of joy…Joy emerges from renewal and the renewal of the succa is constant, therefore it is the ‘season of our joy’.” (Rav Kook, Notebook 2:212)

He elaborates:“The perception that dawns on a person to see the world, not as finished, but in the process of continued becoming, ascending, developing-this changes one from being ‘under the sun’ to being ‘above the sun’, from the place where there is nothing new to the place where there is nothing old, where everything takes on new form. The joy of heaven and earth abide in them as on the day they were created.” (Orot HaKodesh 2:535)

The physical experience of the succa and the four species offers us the opportunity to experience and celebrate  the fusion of heaven and earth. The Succot prayers. songs and celebrations direct us to the larger creation. Our Succa is not blocked off from the world. Everyone is invited to our Succa and we are invited to everyone else’s.

For a week we live outside of our normal private boundaries and join together with all life.

Rav Kook explains that this is very important for us to be able to do if we wish to truly grow. (I am translating this in the first person though it was written in the third.):

“We must liberate themselves from confinement within our private concerns. This pervades our whole being so that all our thoughts focus only our own destiny. This reduces us to the worst kind of smallness and brings upon us endless physical and spiritual distress. It is necessary to raise our thought, will and our basic preoccupations toward universality, to the inclusion of all, to the whole world, to humankind, to the Jewish people, to all existence. This will result in establishing even our private self on a proper basis.

The firmer our vision of universality, the greater the joy we will experience and the more we merit the grace of divine illumination…

The call to be committed always to the principle of universality, to the divine ensemble, where all things their being, is the essence of the soul of the ‘tzaddikim-righteous’ who walk before God and whose delight is in the Creator.” (Ibid 3:147)

When we are able to experience life with this perspective our every moment is enriched with meaning and significance. Succot is a tremendous reminder of the precious and wondrous gift of life that we are experiencing.

Rav Kook of course said it much more beautifully:

“The realm of mystery tells us- ‘You live in a world full of light and life.

Let us know this great reality, the richness of existence that we always encounter.

Let us contemplate its grandeur, its beauty, its precision and harmony…

In every corner where we turn, we are dealing with realities that have life; we always perform consequential acts, abounding with meaning and with the preciousness of vibrant life.

In everything we do we meet sparks full of life and light, aspiring toward the heights. We help them and they help us…

And everything aspires, longs, yearns, according to a pattern that is adorned with holiness and girded with beauty. For this life of ours is not a meaningless phenomenon.  

With the light of Your own presence, You have gifted us, HaShem Elokeynu, with תורת חיים-The Torah of Life.” (Ibid, 2: 343)

חג חיים שמח-A Joyous Festival of Life to all.

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