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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#8 Israel’s Role: Uniting Oneness and The One
8Collections 1:259; Glimmerings of Holiness 2:411

[Our] declaration of the Name of OneGod1

aspires to reveal the oneness

of the world,

of humankind,

of nations,

and of everything that existence contains2,

with no split between acts and ideas, intellect and imagination.

And even perceptible splits will become joined by the highest illumination,

which makes their rhyming, harmonizing aspect recognizable3.

In the content of human life, this is the foundation of all holiness4;

in spiritual life, this is the light everlasting: living the earthly moment and eternity at once.5

This is the most magnificent of all the huge thoughts that human thoughtpower can think;

it reveals itself gradually within [a person]

via every talent for spiritual discovery that he has,

leading to the peak of divine revelation, on the path of mind,

and the knowing of [God] face to face.6

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Footnotes

  1. HaKeri’a beShem haShem ’Echad, the calling out of the name of the one God, refers to the Shema‘ declaration, spoken aloud: Shema‘ Yisra’el haShem ’Elokeinu haShem ’Echad – Hear, O Israel, God is our Lord, God is One (Deut. 6:4). Back to text
  2. UveChol haTochen shel haHavaya. Rav Kook uses the word for ‘being,’ or ‘existence’ (havaya), which is an anagram of God’s ineffable name. Back to text
  3. Achdutam veHat’amatam. The root tav-’a-m again (See Glimmering #6, “Seeing Beyond Difference and its Meaning for Man”, note 4), whose core meaning is twin. The highest illumination lets us see that our ‘good’ side and our ‘bad’ side are related through higher understanding of ourselves. It lets us see that our sins, too, are the yearnings for oneness and transcendence which we unknowingly misplace. This understanding makes inner healing easier, including self-forgiveness, and makes a new inner wholeness and a holy perspective possible. See, e.g., Glimmering #32, “Holovision Provokes a New Understanding of the Self.” Back to text
  4. See Glimmering #32, “Holovision Provokes A New Understanding of the Self.” Back to text
  5. This means that, whatever you are doing, you are fully present both in the down-to-earth moment as well as in its highest meaning: oneness. The two worlds – temporal, physical life and spiritual life – have often been considered mutually exclusive, e.g., “[Woe to the wicked ones] who abandon eternal life and engage in pleasures” (Shabbat 33b, Beitza 15b). Back to text
  6. The highest level of prophecy, experienced only by Moshe Rabbenu. See Deut. 34:10. Back to text
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