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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#31 Complete Teshuva Requires a Re-Understanding of the Universe
Glimmerings of Penitence 10:1

Truly complete Teshuva requires higher seeing,

a rising to that precious world filled with truth and holiness;

and this can only happen through engaging with the depths of Torah and the Divine Wisdom

[that are] in the secrets of the universe.

For this [study], of course, we need physical cleansing and ethical purification

as assistants,

so that clouds of passion do not obscure our radiance of mind,

but first amongst all these experiences1 must come Torah,

more precisely, the highest Torah,

for only it can shatter all the walls of iron

that separate the individual person and the community from their Father in heaven.2

Teshuva arises from a lucid assessment of a world clearly explained,

and it itself clarifies and elucidates the world with its power.3

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Footnotes

  1. Hofa‘ot, literally, ‘phenomena, events, appearances.’ Back to text
  2. Cf. Berachot 32b, “R. Eliezer said: ‘Since the day the Temple was destroyed an iron wall divides Israel from their Father in heaven.’ ” Back to text
  3. See Glimmering #49, “Teshuva Clarifies the Mystery of Ourselves and the Secrets of the World,” for another expression of this Mobius-loop of cause and effect that is characteristic of Teshuva. Back to text
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