ed note–again, without a doubt one of the most important OpEds flittering around in cyberspace today that should be read and understood for all its seismic implications by every single one of the 7 billion Gentiles inhabiting God’s green earth, but which simply will not receive as much as a passing glance (if that) on the part of a small handful of them.
Now, the reason it is important is several-fold and multi-faceted, the first item being found within the very first introductory paragraph–
‘T’shuva (repentance) is a global, cosmic phenomena that permeates the Creation from the beginning of time till the end.’
This statement is of vital importance in underscoring one of the many very clear and NECESSARY distinctions between the religion of the Jews and that of the other 2 competing faiths, Christianity and Islam. In the first case, the Jews view this ‘repentance’ as something as big as the universe, but not for the ‘holy’ reasons that some may envision. As the reader will see clearly laid out in the following essay scribed by our deranged Judaic, ‘repentance’ is all about real estate and POWER. It is about imposing at the point of a gun the protocols of Judaism upon Gentiles who may not be particularly favorable to its precepts. Within both of the ‘competing’ faiths of Christianity and Islam, ‘repentance’ is something between the sinner and his/her God which is done as the necessary preparatory step in making him/her a better person so that his/her chances of entering the Kingdom of Heaven increase and NOT about creating some evil empire from which one tiny microscopic speck of humanity may rule the universe.
Not so with the religion of the Jews. The entire ‘spiritual’ paradigm is based upon building a physical place for them and only for them so that the ‘corporation’ known as Judea, Inc may send out its decrees that the rest of the world will then be forced to follow, just some of which can be summed up below, to wit–
‘The Gentiles and their kings shall come to your light and to the brightness of your ascension…
You shall drink their milk and draw milk from the breasts of their kings…
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and vinedressers…
As you devour the riches of the Gentiles they shall boast of your greatness and surrender unto you all their gold and incense, and the children of those who persecuted you shall come bowing down to you, while all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet…
The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you, as your gates remain open, day and night, so that the wealth of the Gentiles may be placed at your feet while their kings are led in humble procession before you…
For the nation which will not bow down and serve you shall perish, it shall be utterly destroyed…–Book of Isaiah
Israel National News
In his writings, Rabbi Kook teaches that t’shuva encompasses far more than personal repentance. T’shuva is a global, cosmic phenomena that permeates the Creation from the beginning of time till the end. The ever-streaming waves of penitence effect the world in its entirety, lifting it toward perfection. How does this Tikun Olam (healing of a broken world) come about? Through the historical development of the Nation of Israel that will lead the world to Salvation, marching in front of the parade of nations with its shofars blaring away.
This is all well and good. But first we must ask, what will bring the Jewish people to t’shuva? What will awaken the Divine voice in the Jewish soul? What causes the scattered, exiled Jewish nation to return, as we beseech G-d in our prayers, to the glorious Torah days of our past?
Rabbi Kook writes that the rebirth of the Jewish nation in Eretz Yisrael is the foundation for the ultimate t’shuva, both for the Nation of Israel, and for the whole world.
THE HOLY LAND
To understand this concept fully, one must understand the incomparable holiness of Eretz Yisrael and the importance of its direct connection to the Jewish People. While it is beyond the scope of this essay to explore this subject in depth, we will mention a few of the things which point to the unique connection between the Jewish People and their Land.
The Jewish People possess true national vitality only in the Land of Israel. Outside of the Land, Jews can excel as individuals in all fields of endeavor; there can be great Jewish artists, philosophers, scientists, and Torah scholars, but the light of G-d cannot truly exist when the Jews are scattered all over the world. Only in the Land of Israel can the Jews attain their true identity as a KINGDOM of priests and a holy NATION. As all of the Prophets of Israel declare, for the long-awaited Redemption to occur the Jewish People must live in the Land of Israel in full national sovereignty. Only then can the full revelation of G-d’s Presence become manifest, as the Prophet teaches, “For from Zion will go forth the Torah and the word of the L-rd from Jerusalem.”
In a letter, Rabbi Kook writes:
“The source of the moral baseness which continues to darken the world stems from the lack of recognition regarding the value and exalted spiritual treasures of the Land of Israel. Thus the sin of the Spies, who spoke derogatorily about this holy Land, remains uncorrected. To rectify this, the Land’s praise, splendor, holiness, and honor must be declared to all of the world.”
While Rabbi Kook emphasizes that the t’shuva of the Jewish People and a return to the Torah go hand-in-hand, he indicates that a preliminary stage of national revival will bring this spiritual awakening to pass. First, the entirety of the Jewish people must return to Zion to rebuild their Homeland. Once the physical body that houses the nation is built, then the revitalized Jewish soul will yearn for spiritual completion as well and our people will flock back to the Torah.
We shall try to explain this in a simple manner. We have mentioned that the concept of t’shuva means to return. Suppose a man is expelled from his house by thieves. The wrongdoing will only be corrected when the owner returns to repossess his house.
For the world to reach perfection, G-d decreed that the Jewish people must live a life of Torah in Israel. G-d’s first commandment to Abraham is to go to the Land of Israel in order to serve G-d in the most complete way. Afterwards G-d commands Moshe to bring the Jews out from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael. Over and over, the Torah repeats that the Jewish People are to live their unique Torah life in Israel. When the holy Jewish Nation lives a holy life of Torah in the Holy Land, the vessel is formed to bring the light of G-d to the world. The Nation of Israel becomes an international beacon, an example and light to all of the nations.
At the time of the Second Temple, when we failed to uphold the high moral standard demanded of us by the Torah, we were punished and exiled from the Land. G-d’s worldly vessel was shattered. Israel was conquered, Jerusalem was razed, the Land was laid waste. G-d’s chosen people were scattered and debased. Mirroring the plight of the Jews being sent into exile, G-d’s Presence also went into exile. His light in the world became hidden. In effect, mankind was cut off from G-d.
Thus to rectify this tragedy and return the world to its Maker, the Jewish People must return to their previous stature, including a national life in Israel, the Land of Hashem, the Land of Prophecy, the only place in the world where the Torah can be observed in all of its wholeness because of the many commandments unique to the Land.
On a deeper level, the Zohar teaches that the Nation of Israel, Torah, and G-d are one. In the very beginning of his book, “Orot,” Rabbi Kook teaches that the Land of Israel is also an integral component of this unique bond. Because each Jew has a piece of the Shechinah, or the Divine Presence of G-d within him, when a Jew returns to the Land of Israel, he is, in effect, bringing G-d back into the world. This is a part of the Kabbalistic concept of “raising up the buried sparks of holiness from the klipot.” Since the soul of each and every Jew is infused with the light of the Divine Presence, when the Jewish people return en masse to Israel, the light of G-d in the world returns with them.
A visual illustration will help us envision what Rabbi Kook is seeing when he looks at the awakened Zionist movement. It is a global vision, spanning all human history. To raise ourselves to a more encompassing perspective, imagine being in a satellite orbiting the earth. Down below, scattered all over the globe, are tiny, little lights. These lights are those Jews that are scattered all over the world. Slowly, lights begin to travel to a certain point on the globe — the Land of Israel. More and more lights begin to congregate there. From all over the world, the scattered lights start to unite in Israel. Lights that do not make the journey begin to flicker and disappear. Soon, a great beacon of light is formed in Israel, sending out rays of light to all of the world. These rays are the lights of t’shuva, summoning mankind back to G-d.
ZIONISM AND NATIONAL T’SHUVA
Rabbi Kook teaches that even in the return of the non-religious Zionists to Israel there is a profound holy core. Whether they recognize it or not, the inner source of their desire to return to the Promised Land is the Divine Ideal itself. With time, the spiritual core of Zionism will surely be awakened to reconnect with its Torah source. This great transformation may take one-hundred years. It may take two hundred. We need to remember that after nearly two-thousand years in exile, a few generations is like the blink of an eye.
The important thing to know is that the t’shuva of the Nation is sure to come, as the Torah and the Prophets assure us. Rabbi Kook writes:
“Without question, the light of Moshiach and the Salvation of Israel, the rebirth of the Nation and the Land, the revival of its language and literature — all stem from the source of t’shuva, and out of the depths to the heights of the highest t’shuva everything will be brought to fruition…This process will surely come about. The light of G-d, which is buried away in the fundamental point of Zion, and which is now concealed by clouds, will surely appear. From the lowly valley, it will raise up G-d’s Temple and Kingdom and all of its branches. All those who cling to it, the near and the distant, will be uplifted with it, for a true revival and an everlasting salvation.”
Rabbi Kook’s deep spiritual insight did not blind him to the unholy lifestyles of the secular pioneers. However, he knew that the holy essence of Am Yisrael guaranteed that the Nation would return to its roots. Long before the establishment of the State of Israel, Rabbi Kook described this process in almost prophetic terms:
‘We recognize that a spiritual rebellion will come to pass in Eretz Yisrael amongst the people of Israel in the beginnings of the Nation’s revival. The material comfort which will be attained by a percentage of the Nation, convincing them that they have already completely reached their goal, will constrict the soul, and days will come which will seem to be devoid of all spirit and meaning. The aspirations for lofty and holy ideals will cease, and the spirit of the Nation will plunge and sink low until a storm of rebellion will appear, and people will come to see clearly that the power of Israel lies in its eternal holiness, in the light of G-d and His Torah, triumphing over all of the world powers.’
LAST STOP — JERUSALEM
Thus, it can be seen that the return of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel is a necessary stage in the t’shuva of the Nation. It follows that a Jew who becomes a baal t’shuva in Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York has only returned a part of the way home. While his personal character and behavior have been purified by the light of the Torah, he has traveled only half of the journey. The “t’shuva train” is continuing on to Israel. The final stop is Jerusalem. Every Jew needs to bring his little light home to the Holy Land where it can join the great flame. He or she must raise up their private, individual life to the higher life of the Clal and merge their personal goals with the goals of the Nation. To rectify the blemish caused by the exile in foreign lands, Jews have to stop being in exile and join the ingathered, actualizing the words of our prayers, “And gather us together from the four corners of the earth.”
May it be soon.