- 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
- Lights of Teshuvah
- About the Translator
- Contact Me
Yearning to Speak a Word
We must broaden thought a great deal: in length, in breadth, in depth, in height, in how it spreads and in size—so that it will penetrate deeply, in detail, in an individual way and in detail, in seeking and in miniature, to the very thinnest of threads.
And we travel from the great to the tiny and from the tiny to the great; from the particular to the general and from the general to the particular, and then again.
We soar from the highest emanation, from the ideal, to the corporeal, to the physical, to the realm of action, and we return and rise from the realm of deed to the highest emanation, to the ideal.
And we are involved constantly with movement filled with life, moving outward and inward, rising and descending.
And thus we live an ecstatic life, a holy life, in the glory of the name of Hashem.
We yearn to pronounce the Name, we desire to explicate the supernal light, we are filled with a supernal thirst slaked with delights to fill the mouth with the praise of the God of gods.
And out of an abundance of pure awe, out of an intensity of a trembling of holiness, we return to the silence.
And we engage in holy unifications, supernal unifications, with song, with holiness, with poetry, with gaiety, with purity, with quivering, with shaking with delight.
And all of my bones will sing, and the kingship of heaven will be elevated, and the supernal honor will be uplifted, and my spirit will stride forward mightily, and I am filled with praise and song, and heaven and hear rejoice in my joy, and all judgments are mitigated, and seraphim and erelim [?] angels sing together with me, and the ministering angels gather as in the celebrations mizmutei [?] of groom and bride, and everything expresses glory.
“Blessed is the glory of God from His place.” Blessed is He and blessed is His great name, hidden from all living beings, and concealed from all existence, and over everything, may He be exalted and uplifted, forever.
The Spiritual Muteness
We feel the spiritual muteness.
Woe, how much do we need to speak, how great is the measure of the light of justice and wisdom with which we are illuminated in the depth of our soul?
But how shall we reveal this, how shall we explain, how shall we express it, how shall we make evident the tiniest part of this supernal radiance?
In that regard, the gates are closed before us.
We begin with prayer, we knock with petitioning, we give forth our voice with song and praise, and we speak with metaphor and logic.
We stand attentive at the doors—perhaps they will be opened a hairsbreadth, and all of our mouths will be filled with a flood of speech and all of our tongues will become like streaming rivers, streaming currents of honey and butter.
When I Yearn to Speak a Word
When I yearn to speak a word, the supernal spirituality has already descended from the height of the concealed place of its power, until it has come to knock at the strings of my will. The great populace of the roots of souls has taken form, the very beginnings of hidden things, and become letters that knock at the lowest aspect of my soul, the aspect that is close to the content of the body and connected to its centrality. And I am forced to speak.
I speak from the midst of my treasury of life and the words flow, the ideas multiply, the chimes spread forth. And voice meets voice. The stream that rises from the bottom of the bodily concentration unites with the stream that rises from the heights of the root of roots of the soul, until seeded lights fill the light of the world, the entire plane of my being.
Words and Letters
I feel how words and letters are taken from a high and elevated place, from the source of life, how they are filled with life and how they add strength and life to the world.
However, I also sense how little I feel because of the barrier caused by being outside the Land, for the light of the land of Israel is of a different quality, beautiful and uplifted, and also because of how much sin diminishes this illumination of a sensitivity to the light and of the fundamental life and holiness within the words and the letters as they are pronounced, and how every aspect of repentance opens the conduits of that good light.
May Hashem, blessed be He, give me the merit to attain perfect repentance before Him, and may we attain His light and His redemption soon.
And even if all of these elevated feelings are no more than shadows of illusions, they nevertheless lead to the absolute truth, which is something taught as well by traditional ways and the teachings of the fathers and the depths of knowledge and faith. How great is the quality of language, and how precious is the ability to appreciating speech.
“And I will place My words in your mouth and with the shadow of My hand I will cover you to plant heaven and to make a basis for the earth and to tell Zion, You are My nation.”
I Must Speak About Everything
I must speak about everything, even at the highest heights, that which is beyond my own worth, insight and feeling, for I am driven to that by an inner pressure of my soul.
“He who creates the speech of the lips—peace, peace, to the far and the near, says Hashem, and I shall heal him.”
The Value of Speech
The value of speech grows ever more clear to me. Speech comes forth from its exile, it appears in the value of elevated holiness, and in accord with the degree of its appearance and revelation does the power of prayer and blessing rise.
The light of a sanctified will appears when prayer is illumined, and the spirit of might pulses, the greatness of piety is revealed, fears flee, repentance is elevated and grows more splendid than any strength and might. The glory of the light of holiness pulses and the illumination of the radiance of the land of Israel is again crowned in the depths of the soul, in order to elevate all who have fallen and to strengthen all who have stumbled.
Come to me, all who are weak in strength. I shall strengthen you with the spirit of Hashem—with my mouth I will give you endurance.