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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#3 The Uniqueness of the Wisdom of Holiness
8Collections 8:159; Glimmerings of Holiness 1:1

The Wisdom of Holiness1 is superior to every other wisdom in this respect:

it transforms the will and the personal character of those who study it,

so as to bring them closer to the same exalted level where [the wisdom] itself is empowered.

This is not the case with any of the worldly wisdoms,

[for] although they describe lofty, beautiful and noble topics,

they do not have that particular system-property:

[the power] to draw forth and channel2 the individual essence of the person pondering3 them

to their own level of value.

And, in truth,

[the worldly wisdoms] only plug into the scientific ability of the person [who is studying them]

and relate not at all to his other strengths, nor to his unique personhood.4

And the reason for this [unique power of the Wisdom of Holiness to re-create its studier]

is that all matters of holiness emerge from the source of the aliveness of life5,

from the origin of life which brings everything into being;

and it is within the power of this consecrated content

to ceaselessly form vast numbers of created beings,

to drape a heaven and found an earth6,

so it certainly has the power to impress a dramatic new form on the person exploring it.7

And all the secular sciences do not have this power,

because in and of themselves they do not innovate or generate new things;

what they do

is describe and present something that already exists to a rational perspective,

and this is why they cannot also make the person pondering them into a new creature;

[unlike the Wisdom of Holiness, they cannot] uproot him from the matrix of his bad traits

and establish him in a state of a new reality,

which is pure and vibrant with the light of true life,

which lasts forever.

עברית +/-
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Footnotes

  1. One of the many names for the Hidden Torah. See Introduction. Back to text
  2. Lehamshich, from m-sh chaf, ‘to draw out, to pull; to seize;’ thus ‘to produce a continuous line or flow.’ In the extensive form (lehamshich), as here, it means ‘to cause to extend’ and is used to describe conducting water into channels (e.g., Temura 12b). Back to text
  3. HaHoge bahen includes pondering, wondering, musing, meditating, etc. – all forms of mind engagement. Back to text
  4. Truer to the Hebrew: ‘And, in truth, [the worldly wisdoms] have no relatedness to the rest of the person’s faculties and his uniqueness, apart from his scientific faculty.’ Back to text
  5. Perhaps this should read ‘Source’ or ‘Origin,’ that is, God, the Source of all existence, all being, whose ineffable name is an anagram of being (havayah). Back to text
  6. Is. 51:16 Back to text
  7. HaHoge, again. See above, note 3. Back to text
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