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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.

Monday, March 12, 2007

נקמה לאומית


Can't say I feel sorry for the guy.

VeLamalshinim Al ....

Friday, March 09, 2007

רב צבי יהודה הכהן קוק זצ"ל

Rabbi Zvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook Zt"l passed away 25 years ago during Purim.

Rabbi Hannan Porat has an interesting article about Rav Zvi Yehuda here.

What I found interesting (and never new before) was that Rav Zvi Yehuda was the inspiration behind Yossi Gamzu's famous Hebrew song הכותל.

Apparently, when Rav Zvi Yehuda reached the Kotel only hours after it was liberated, he said "יש לבבות אבנים, ויש אבנים לבבות" (There are hearts of stone and there are stones with heart). This was formulated into the refrain of the song as follows:

הכותל – איזוב ועצבת
הכותל – עופרת ודם
יש אנשים עם לב של אבן
יש אבנים עם לב אדם.
What I never knew before was that there is actually an extra stanza to the song which was never recorded and which is specifically about Rav Zvi Yehuda at the Kotel.

The extra stanza is:
עמד מול הכתל עמנו
הרב הישיש בתפילה.
אמר לי: אשרי שזכינו כולנו,
ושב ונזכר: לא כולם …

עמד בדמעה מתנוצצת
יחיד בין עשרות חיילים
אמר לי: מתחת לחאקי, בעצם,
כולכם כהנים ולווים …
I find this a beautiful and appropriate addition to a beautiful song.

In case you don't know it, here are the lyrics for the song as it is commonly recorded:
הכותל - אזוב ועצבת,
הכותל - עופרת ודם.
יש אנשים עם לב של אבן,
יש אבנים עם לב אדם.

עמדה נערה מול הכותל
שפתיים קרבה וסנטר.
אמרה לי: "תקיעות השופר חזקות הן,
אבל השתיקה עוד יותר..."

אמרה לי: "ציון הר הבית"
שתקה לי: "הגמול והזכות",
ומה שזהר על מצחה בין ערביים
היה ארגמן של מלכות.

הכותל - אזוב ועצבת,
הכותל - עופרת ודם.
יש אנשים עם לב של אבן,
יש אבנים עם לב אדם.

עמד הצנחן מול הכותל,
מכל מחלקתו רק אחד
אמר לי: "למוות אין דמות אך יש קוטר -
תשעה מילימטר בלבד..."

אמר לי: "אינני דומע",
ושב להשפיל מבטים,
"אך סבא שלי, אלוהים היודע,
קבור כאן בהר הזיתים".

הכותל - אזוב ועצבת...

עמדה בשחורים מול הכותל
אמו של אחד מן החי"ר.
אמרה לי: "עיני נערי הדולקות הן
ולא הנרות שבקיר".

אמרה לי: "אינני רושמת
שום פתק לטמון בין סדקיו.
כי מה שנתתי לכותל רק אמש,
גדול ממילים ומכתב".

הכותל - אזוב ועצבת...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Promising new blog

I just found a promising new blog, Tsmicha.

The author, Dan Illouz, has a great post on a famous statement of Rav Kook:

"המזכירים כרכים ומוקפים מימות יהושע בן נון לא יוכלו להישאר עבדי אחשוורוש"

“They who mention towns and walled cities from the days of Yehoshu’a bin Nun are unable to remain servants of Ahashverosh”

May he succeed in spreading the redemptive Torah of Rav Kook to all the corners of cyberspace.