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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rav Kook on Pesach and Redemption

I know I have not been blogging lately. I have been busy and have not found myself motivated to lately. I know I still have several series which I need to wrap up – God willing, I will soon continue those posts. Meanwhile, I hope everyone enjoys the following ideas by Rav Kook which are very relevant for Pesach.

Rav Kook writes in Orot (translated by R’ Bezalel Naor):

The redemption continues. The redemption from Egypt and the complete redemption of the future are one unending action: the action of the strong hand and outstretched arm, which began in Egypt and works though all eventualities. Moses and Elijah are redeemers in a single redemption; the beginner and the ender, the opener and closer together fill the unit. The spirit of Israel hears the sound of the movements, the redemptive actions, brought about through all eventualities until the sprouting of redemption will be complete, in all its plentitude and goodness.
Also, in Moadei HaRayah (also translated by R’ Naor):
The exodus from Egypt only appears to be a past event. But in truth, the exodus never ceases. The arm of God that was revealed in Egypt to redeem the Jews is constantly outstretched, constantly active. The revelation of the hand of God is the breaking through of the light of God, shining great lights for all generations.
I can not begin to stress how important these ideas are. The difference between the view which sees the exodus as a particular event and the view which sees it as a continuing process is spectacular. God willing, I will one day write a post on the significance of these passages. Just as a hint, keep in mind that Rav Kook saw the spirit of Moses (Torah) and the spirit of Eliyahu (Redemption) as being paradoxically at odds with each other. Each employs forces which strain the other. The Final redemption, in the view of Rav Kook, is the reconciliation of these two forces. Also keep in mind that during the seder night, we do not mention Moshe but do leave a central role for Eliyahu.