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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#14 What the Revolution Is About
8Collections 2:68; Patches of Clarity 28; Glimmerings 87

The destructive power of the low-grade substances1

that are mixed into our understanding of who God is,

what fear of Him and belief in Him is about,

and into everything that depends on the way we understand these things, was not apparent

so long as the Jewish People did not need to integrate its practical lifesystems into an entirety;but because the time has already arrived when the national rebirth must take place, and the first sprouting of actual deliverance2 must be revealed in the world,these inmixed impurities have become immediate impediments;and the only way the Jewish People will unify into a society,

and comprehend, in the deep story of her own life,

the secret of her strength and the models for her [civic] arrangements,

is through ideas that have been filtered of impurities,

and actions that emerge from the purity of knowing the true God with the highest clarity.

And this is the reason that a huge negative force awakens in the Era of the Messiah’s Approach, characterized by increasing contempt for Torah and its teachers3;

and this negation will burn up everything that is weak and ugly in the divine concepts,

and everything that depends on them,

in the entirety of the Jewish People.

And despite the fact that it is a terrible thing to see, for some matters of truth, good personal qualities, commandments and statutes, seem to get caught up in the flood and uprooted by the negative torrent,nonetheless, in the end it will all sprout anew

with purity and power, with higher holiness,from that strong, pure, majestic seed that no negation can reach;and its light will dawn as new light over Zion4 with wondrous enormity,more sublime than any idea that the impoverished faculties of weary souls, physically and spiritually exhausted by a long, erosive exile,could imagine.

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Footnotes

  1. HaSigim. Sig means ‘dross, inmixed base metal’ (which needs to be removed in order to render precious metal pure). Back to text
  2. Tzemichat keren yeshu‘a. This is usually translated something like ‘the sprouting of the horn of salvation,’ and is prayed for daily in the fifteenth blessing of the Shmone ‘Esre prayer. The phrase is based on Ez. 29:21 and Ps. 132:17. Rav Kook adds the word befo‘al – ‘in action, in actuality’ – to mean concrete evidence signaling that the Messianic age has begun (e.g., the return of the Jews to Zion), that the eternal is breaking into the world of time and matter, that a revolution towards ultimate truth is underway. Radak on Is. 42:9 says that the essential characteristic of this tzemicha that signals the beginning of the Ultimate Age is newness revealed: “As a plant appears on the face of the earth after its period of hiddenness, so will it be with the salvation of Israel.” Back to text
  3. See Glimmering #12, note 3. Back to text
  4. This new light over Zion is prayed for daily in the Shacharit prayerservice, in the first blessing before the Reading of Shema‘. Back to text
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