- Teachings (1)
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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
Singer of the Song of Infinity
My Thoughts Are Broader Than The Sea
My thoughts are broader than the sea. I cannot express them in prose. Not out of any self-aggrandizement, I must be a poet--but a poet in free verse. I cannot be tied to the chains of meter and stanza. I flee simple prose because of the heaviness within it, because it is so constricted, and I cannot enter other constrictions, which are perhaps even greater and more oppressive than the oppression of prose, which I flee.
My Creativity Flows Like Wellsprings
My creativity flows like wellsprings of water, raises waves, is in a constant ferment, pouring forth streams, founts of water.
The princeliness of my soul within me is constantly alive and active. My perspective, filled with holy light, grows ever broader. Behold, I am summoned for strength and for might, and to fortify and strengthen the heart of all who are faint.
My prayer proceeds from the source of my soul. It is great and filled with the pride of Hashem.
The heart yearns to create, to create without cessation, to create with an ongoing flow, because that is the nature of the soul: to flow like a river.
And what interferes? Preparatory phases, points of view, ideas, the approval of others.
All of theses are incidentals, which can by no means block the racing of the spirit. More than that, the spirit at the zenith of its waves can in no way be stopped, particularly by such matters, so as to be required to base its activity on them. It must create: it must move its own storms, impel its own suns and stars, which bear the entire world, and which demand movement that is constant, swift racing, without cease, with nothing able to block them and stop them.
Let us salute creativity streaming forward, proceeding upright, in its glory taking giant strides forward, racing like a warrior upon the path.
How Many Thoughts Have Been Strangled
How many thoughts have been strangled during the time that I did not write down any ideas.
True, they are certainly lying in the depth of the soul. They have not been lost from existence. But the water must constantly be drawn forth so that use is made of it to water a great multitude, and the thoughts must flow so as to be brought from potential to actual.
“Write a vision and explanation upon the tablets.”
My Inner Thoughts and Feelings Have Been Hidden
For a long time, my inner thoughts and feelings have been hidden in the depth of the heart. They did not emerge and did not come to any expression because of chaotic confusions, and because of affairs of deed and various studies.
But the pressure of the soul is awesome, and I find myself forced to express something out of a spiritual duress.
“I called from my trouble to Hashem, and He answered me.”
Fine Pearls from the Treasure House of the Soul
My heart yearns within me for all of those lofty thoughts, hidden within my heart, which I have not taken out of concealment into revelation.
Are they not fine pearls from the treasure house of the soul, of much greater value than any original ideas and philosophical musings artificially constructed by intellectual toil and mental effort?
Cruelty To The Children Of The Spirit
The cruelty to the children of the spirit that are lost because I do not give them life by clothing them in the appropriate expressions for them, via which they would be able to appear in all their character, that cruelty embitters my heart, and fills me with spiritual languor and great anger of the spirit.
This is an echo of the proclamation, “Woe to people for the insult to Torah,” which comes forth every day from Mt. Chorev, which every individual hears on the tablet of his heart. And everything depends on how deep is the impression that remains of that hearing.
Indeed, repentance comes from hearing [that]. And the great compassion for strangled ideas will bring me to repent. [It will bring me] to an inner quickness, to express myself at breadth, with exactitude, in detail, that my soul will use to spring forth at every moment from the mass of feelings and ideal yearnings, which contain blessing for the individual and for the many, for the Jewish people and for mankind.
I will no longer tell my heart to be astonished and desolate, or entirely taken up with plans that are not the essence of the yearning of my soul. But I will indeed return to that inner, pure content, which my spirit within me constantly awaits.
“And I will wed you to me forever, and I will bind you with justice and with justice, and with kindness and with compassion. And I will bind you to me with faith and you shall know Hashem.”
As One Who Finds A Great Treasure
I must make up my loss, to study the usefulness within all the ways of allusions and examples, of how comparisons are made in spiritual matters.
And even when it appears that nothing is added and now new idea, that is not so, for by virtue of transferring the matters from place to another, one adds movement, vitality and an inner light, and a light new light of life shines and flows forth. “Her breasts will satisfy you at every moment, in her love you will be constantly ecstatic deranged”—just as long as an infant nurses, he finds milk, so too, as long as a person studies words of Torah he finds in them new meanings.” And with that of course one must review so that the topics will shine more and more, and the freedom of thought in holiness, in the depth of an inner faith, must rise in strength constantly from the source of holiness, so that one’s thought will be filled with counsel and wisdom. “New in the mornings, great is Your faithfulness.”
But even if one feels no more than a repletion of thought with stylistic changes, we must know that here too is light and life, and rejoice in that as one who finds a great treasure.
Kernels of Light
It is better in my view to draw kernels of light of flashes than to go on at length with complex theories. The lightning flashes come from within the inner radiance of the soul in its natural state, whereas complex theories already are coming from within a manufactured thought and craft. Of course, that too is within the principle, “It is good hat you grasp one and not release your hold of the other, for one who fears God will accomplish all of these.”
Rivers of Truth
It is possible that if I write for myself and about myself, there will be revealed to me rivers of truth much more pure and deep than anything than I can think of with the goal of revealing truth and new insight.