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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#15 Expanding Our Understanding of Man’s Place in God’s World
8Collections 2:126; Patches of Clarity 46

When our education about the divine is meager,

then the picture of the divinity that we imagine is also small.

And because [every theology]1 explains the infinite tininess of Man relative to the divine,

one cannot imagine the extent to which the human being

is made into a lowly and powerless creature

by a fear of heaven that is devoid of knowledge.

So how can a person aquire the ability to imagine divine enormity

in such a way that his own unique pattern of soul-splendor will not be eclipsed, but expanded?

By expanding his faculty of knowing,

by liberating his imagination and giving his thought free-flight,

by coming to know the world and life through the wealth of feeling in all being,

to which end he truly needs to become familiar with2 all the wisdoms of the world,

and all theories of life3,

and all the various cultural paths,

and the ethical and religious contents of every nation and language;

and he will know how to filter them all with greatness of spirit.

And it is clear that, as a Person of Israel, the entire basis of his understanding

must be built upon a foundation of Torah in its most totally expanded state.

And he must constantly work on keeping his road from narrowing,

and keeping his opinions from becoming forced and choppy,

rather than progressively expanding on a confident path.

He must not burden himself with many fears,

which prevent the mind from its work

and the spiritual senses from the outpouring of their influence;

let him just be bravehearted,

he will come to know glory,

good and evil,

and the higher originality from which everything flows in an orderly pattern

which becomes progressively complete along with his own process of self-completion.

And then,

in proportion to his own soul-growth,

the divine light will dawn on him,

and his own personhood will become huge;

and the most sublime divine humility,

which enhances all human talents,

will fill all his innerspaces;

and heavenly courage will constantly strengthen him,

and he will do enormous and surprising things for himself and for the whole world.

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Footnotes

  1. HaTochen ha’Elohi, literally, ‘divine content, divine stuff.’ Back to text
  2. La‘asok be, literally, ‘to engage in, occupy oneself with.’ Back to text
  3. Torot haChayim, literally, ‘the Torahs of life.’ Back to text
  4. Netzurot, ‘[formerly] hidden.’ See Is. 48:6. Back to text
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