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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#7 Holomovement: Evolution towards Oneness/Goodness
8Collections 1:485, 1:780; Glimmerings of Holiness 2:537

The doctrine of evolution1 which is currently conquering the world2

corresponds3 to the cosmic secrets of Kabbala more than all other philosophical teachings.


which progresses on a path of improvement,

is what instills the element of optimism in the world,

for how can we ever give in to despair

when we see that everything keeps evolving and improving?

And when we penetrate to the innermeaning of

the principle of perpetual evolution towards betterment,

we find in it the idea of the Divine elucidated with absolute clarity:

for it is precisely the [One Who is] Infinite in actuality

stimulating into actuality that which is infinite in potential.

Evolution casts light on all the ways of God.4

The whole of existence is evolving and rising,

just as this dynamic is recognizable in parts of it,

and its ascent is universal as well as particular;

it is rising to the ultimate pinnacle of absolute goodness.

This means that goodness and all-inclusiveness are connected

and that the cosmos is destined to come to this dimension of being:

that all of it will absorb, into each of its details, all of the goodness of the whole of it;

and this is its universal rising: that no detail will be left out, no spark lost from the ensemble;

everything [will have evolved to be] in readiness to participate in the culminating celebration.5

For the sake of arriving at this goal,

we need a fine-tuning6 of spirit towards the highest God-desire,

which comes into being through work on what we believe about God.7

עברית +/-


  1. Torat haHitpatchut, literally, ‘the torah of evolution.’ Back to text
  2. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was published in 1856. Back to text
  3. Mat’emet, from tav-’a-m, a root used for symmetry, correlation, identity, etc., but whose core meaning is ‘twin.’ Back to text
  4. These two pieces, one beginning “The doctrine of evolution which is currently conquering the world,” the other beginning “Evolution casts light on all the ways of God,” are printed together in Glimmerings of Holiness, even though they are distinct entries in Rav Kook’s spiritual diaries. I kept them together because their combination is fruitful. Back to text
  5. Avot 3:20. Literally, ‘everything has been readied for the [ultimate] feast.’ See Bava Batra 75a. Back to text
  6. Shichlul, literally, ‘improving, perfecting, completing.’ Shichlul is a shaf‘el form of the root kaf-l-l, ‘to complete, perfect, include’ (the same root translated above as ‘universal’ and ‘all-inclusive’) and means an ultimate, totalizing improvement. In Modern Hebrew it can mean ‘to upgrade.’ Back to text
  7. Avoda ’emunit behaShem, literally, ‘faithwork on the [topic of] God.’ Back to text
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