- Teachings (1)
- Teachings (2)
- Teachings (3)
Rav Kook's Journals
- From My Inner Chambers
- Thirst for the Living God
- The Pangs of the Soul
- Yearning to Speak a Word
- Singer of the Song of Infinity
- Wellspring of Holiness
- I Take Heed
- To Know Each of Your Secrets
- Great is My Desire
- To Serve God
- To Return to God
- Land of Israel
- My Love is Great
- Listen to Me, My People
- Birth Pangs of Redemption
- New Translations
- New Book
- About the Translator
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Wellspring of Holiness
The Highest Longing In Life
I understand how the highest longing in life is for the most complete perfection of the soul.
The Jewish perfection of the soul has a supernal power and a great will, and it is aware of its own great power.
And the soul knows that it will unite with the light of Hashem when all of its life is brought to fruition by means of the Torah and mitzvot. Thus it loves mitzvot beyond measure. And so I feel my love for the mitzvot, and my inner joy in them, greater than all else.
Great Rivers Cascade
Great rivers cascade in my heart. Great, expansive wellsprings are opened before me.
The Torah, the mitzvahs and their lights shine their splendid rays upon me.
Fortunate is my portion, for a great faith, the faith in God the Life of the worlds, God the Deity of Israel, the Deity of the world, Hashem is my portion and the allotment of my inheritance, my fate and my cup, my salvation and my desire.
Everything appears before me in a whole and gleaming system.
My lips are incapable and too weary to reveal even the smallest amount of the freshness of the light of the spiritual vitality that fills my entire inner being.
“All of my bones shall state: Hashem, who is like You.”
“And I will sing Your might and I will rejoice in Your love in the morning.”
Let Us Sing, Let Us Make Melody
Let us sing, let us make melody, let us feel, let us attain, let us cry, let us dance, let us rejoice.
“And I will rejoice in Hashem, I will take delight in the God of my salvation.”
“He Who performs vengeance on my behalf,” “and Who places me upon my high place.”
“He expands the emancipations of His king and does kindness for His anointed one and for David and his seed, forever.”
I Am Filled With Joy
I am filled with joy.
I am filled with greatness,
Filled with humility,
Filled with bitterness,
Filled with pleasantness,
Filled with delight,
Filled with love,
Filled with zealousness,
Filled with anger,
Filled with kindness,
Filled with goodness for everyone.
Fortunate is the person who can hear me.
Fortunate is the person who can appreciate my inner worth, which comes from my unique beloved nature.
He will be uplifted.
He will be elevated.
He will be exalted beyond all poverty.
He will be sanctified and purified.
Hashem God will be with him.
A Lightning Bolt of the Greatness of the Torah
A lightning bolt of the greatness of the Torah and its good favor flashes before my eyes.
How much might and splendor, how much coordinated light, appears when a person learns Torah.
How much does knowledge of the Torah that has already been absorbed stand [by a person] in every time of trouble, until it assures him of happiness and comfort.
From the time of that incandescence, I will know how to appreciate the depth of life possessed by those who are engrossed in Torah study. Fortunate is their portion.
And when Torah learning is pure, in accordance with the amount and power of thought, the gladness multiplies, life becomes strengthened.
Fortunate are those who learn Torah; fortunate such life in the radiance of its glory.
Torah For Its Own Sake
Torah for its own sake, for the sake of the Torah, means that it is for the sake of drawing forth the light from the source of Torah. That is the living, universal light in which all good is contained.
And we do so for the sake of all Israel, for the sake of increasing the illumination of the entirety of the Congregation of Israel in the very core of existence, in the universal image all being.
We do so for all created beings, to make all formed and created beings happy and strong, with a supernal, divine might.
We do so in order to embrace them in holiness, to illumine them with the light of the living King.
When this love of Hashem enters our heart as we learn Torah, God’s Presence rests upon us and shines upon us with the light of its harmonic radiance.
“Happy is the people that has such a fate.”
Even if only a faded shadow of that glorious greatness sparkles in a person’s heart, the happiness is still of an elevated nature.
How pleasant and sweet is this holy light of Torah for its own sake in the land of life, the land of Israel, the beloved land, the land upon which Hashem sets His eyes, the land where the holiness of God’s Presence hovers tangibly.
How beautiful and how pleasant is the pleasant land, the glorious land. Would that I had wings like a dove to take shelter soon in your courtyards!
“Please, Hashem, please redeem!”
I Must Believe
I must believe a very great deal in my aspect of good, in my core of holiness, in the wellspring of wisdom that the Holy One, blessed be He, pours down upon me via the holiness of the light of Torah that is relevant to me, with the power of the deep emotion of holiness and of my love of people and love of the Jewish people, of my connection to the love of the world-to-come, for spiritual life within myself.
But all of this utter truth cannot cause me to forget in the least my lowliness and my poverty, my insignificance and my coarseness, my worthlessness, my broken heart, my contempt for myself, my disgrace, my shame and my abashment.
“Disgrace has broken my heart and I am stricken, and I hope to move, but nothing; and for those to bring comfort—but I have not found.”
“To You, God, Hashem, are my eyes.”
“In You, Hashem, have I taken refuge; let me not be ashamed.”
“Let those who hope for You not be shamed in me, Hashem, God of Hosts. May those who seek You not be abashed in me.”
However, my great flaws, the mortifications of my disgrace, cannot (heaven forbid) in the very least dim the holiness of faith in the portion of the supernal good, in the holy light within the soul of the living God, the sparks of whose light shine within my soul and spirit.
“My heart and my flesh sing to the living God.”
Despite All Obstacles
Many times, I grew distant from the light of holiness within myself, because I felt an obligation to deal with matters that needed my attention—and I did not acquit myself well there either.
Nevertheless, I am ready to grasp the Tree of Life and to again yearn for the supernal light within God=s delight, in the appearance of holy wisdom—this despite all obstacles whether in myself or in my environment.
Heaven Forbid That I Despair
I must act with a lowly spirit and extreme humility.
Yet nevertheless, heaven forbid that I despair of any greatness, of any elevation, of any blessing, of any holiness, of any light of Torah, of any pleasantness of Hashem, of any success, of any salvation, of any flow of holiness, of any light and rejoicing, of any joy and truth.
“Light is sown for the righteous and joy for the straight of heart.”
“Take pleasure in Hashem and He will give you the requests of your heart. Turn your paths to Hashem and trust in Him.”
The Soul of the World Is Radiant
The Soul of the world is radiant, filled with splendor and brilliance, filled with life, secret treasuries of souls, storehouses of divine inspiration, wellsprings of might, greatness and harmony.
Behold, I am elevated with pride to the heights of the Soul of worlds, the Life of worlds. How wonderful is the vision. Come, take pleasure. Come, be suffused with contentment. Grow ever more refined with refined matters. “Taste and see that Hashem is good.”
“Why do you weigh out silver without bread and toil without satisfaction? Listen to me well and eat that which is good, and take delight in the satiety of your spirit.”
Existence Reveals Itself To Me
I cannot make an absolute distinction between one reality and another, but rather a graduated distinction.
Existence reveals itself to me in all its breadth, from the smallest creature to the spiritual phenomenon filled with might, greatness and harmony, crowned with the diadem of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, thrusting into bold relief with its greatness the ultimately eternal and with its might(which unites all opposites) the glory of being, and which, with its harmony (which is filled with knowledge), establishes the foundation of everything and causes everything to blossom—all souls, spirits and anima, all movements and desires, intentions and assumptions, all longings and enthusiasms—and brings them forth in all their worth in one assembly, a royal array.
“Hashem is King.”