This week: Bechukotai
Rav Kook was a prominent rabbinical authority
and active public leader, but at the same time a
deeply religious mystic. He was both Talmudic scholar and poet,
original thinker and saintly tzaddik.
I have not attempted to translate his works. I doubt whether if it is possible to lucidly transmit his ideas when constrained to a literal translation. Instead, I have taken sources from his writings and tried to present them in a clear, straightforward fashion. Of course, this method runs the risk of over-simplifying and even misinterpreting the author's true intent. Still, this is a sincere effort that I believe to be faithful to the spirit of the Rav's thought.
I hope you enjoy the material on this site,
In an age when we witness a powerful attraction to the study of languages and sciences, it is impossible to battle against all who are drawn towards them. Indeed, the times and the signs of the day indicate the necessity [for these studies]. The inner tzaddikim (righteous), with their mystical service, come to the rescue at this hour. With nobility of spirit, they open up the blocked conduits and establish the mystical secret of God in “His studies.” These studies encompass all that is in the universe, especially that which advances the world's progress.
The tzaddikim awaken the holiness hidden in each language. They utilize the power of Joseph, who incorporated all [of the physical world] with the Hebrew letter hey.1 They apply the power of the Divine word from Sinai, which illuminates with an ever-increasing light. “Each Divine command split up into seventy languages” (Shabbat 88b).
Similarly, we find that Moses explained the Torah “be'er heitev" - “very clearly” (Deut. 27:8).2 Moses uncovered the essence of good in every language, the inner force that introduced it from holy Majesty. The language itself is thus clarified and refined. Then we may present a “language of clarity” to all nations, so that “all will be able to call out in the name of God” (Zephania 3:9).
2 The Talmud in Sotah 32a explains “be'er heitev” to mean that the Torah was translated to seventy languages.