“There is the one who sings the song of his own people, they emerge from the circle of the individual self… and cleave with a refined love to the whole Community of Israel”
Rav Kook is the prophet of the rebirth of Israel. In 1905, he wrote of the importance of Medinat Israel-The Nation/State of Israel- as the foundation of God’s presence in the world. This was the first time that these words –Medinat Israel- were expressed in history. The small committee of Ben Gurion and a few others did not know of this writing when they named Medinat Israel in the May 1948 Declaration of Independence.
Rav Kook’s teachings and students created the Religious Zionist population of Israel. Their ongoing participation and influence in the activities and focuses of modern day Israel is of great current significance.
His writings describe extensively the ongoing development of the Jewish people and Judaism into the Nation and Torah of Israel. He guides us to ‘renew the old’ and sanctify the new’. He explains the importance of the full development of the physical and spiritual Israel as a central step in the process of planetary redemption. It is our ultimate national responsibility.
— Song of Israel
There is another who sings the song of his people….and he attaches himself with a gentle love to the whole community of Israel. Together with her he sings her songs.
“A nation is not the highest happiness for a human being”…
Nationalism is not the ultimate form for humanity…
“This can be said about a regular nation that does not rise above the level of a mutual responsibility pact…” Most countries are a shared insurance company and offer little else.
He continues and explains “this is not true with a nation that has ideals at its foundations, a nation in which the highest ideals are stamped into its very being… A nation such as this offers great happiness to the individual. This nation is our nation, Medinat Israel-The State of Israel, the foundation of G-d’s Throne in the world, whose entire desire is that ‘G-d will be One and His Name will be One’ (Zecharia 14:9)”.
The Settlement in Israel will develop; the national home will be built. Out of it will blow a mighty spirit. The soul of the nation will be reawakened. From the depth of its nature, it will recognize its essence. With mighty strength, it will establish its life-patterns: the special spirit of the nation will establish the faith of the Lord, God of Israel in the world, and it goes without saying, within her own midst…the inner power will break forth as a volcano and Israelite life, by both inner necessity and free consciousness, will assume its authentic form. That natural form will bring the Great Return; the return of love without materialist faltering; an inner return flowing from the depth of truth that is in the luminous life of the soul. One need not be pained at all on account of the gushing streams of the natural national spirit; even the mistakes made along the way, in the end will contribute to building and repairing.
Orot-Lights of Renewal-Ch. 31 (written in Yaffo. 1912-1914)
“Ascend towards the heights, ascend. You are of mighty prowess, you have wings to soar with, wings of mighty eagles. Do not fail them, lest they fail you; seek for them and they will be immediately ready for you.” -Rav Kook
“These are the laws of the higher moral Torah that is engaged in the quest for universal good.” Rav Kook ZT’L
“We are obligated not only to be holy individuals, but also, and especially to be ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’. We should aspire to establish a government worthy of the task.” -Rav Kook ZT’L
“We are called to a new future, full of the highest illumination, to a new era that will surpass in strength all the great eras that preceded it.”
“The leaders of all the nations, their ministers, advisors and parliaments must legislate that the law ‘Do not murder” includes the prohibition of the mass murder of war. They must forbid war, not declare it…”
“On the holy day of Yom HaKippurim- we eat and drink from our holy inner voices of understanding.”
“The true purpose of societal life is to enable human beings to fill life with light and good, with justice and knowledge of the Divine.”
“We can thus fully actualize the exalted ideals of life.
The Torah of Israel is outstanding in crystallizing the idealism that will spread across all of the configurations of life.” (Rav Kook)
“Let us fear God in ways that bear love and inner delight and elevate and vitalize all the potentialities of our soul.” -Rav Kook
“All of life’s endeavors must be directed to disclose the light of the higher general harmony.”