Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rav Kook on Teshuva

This is a huge and incredible topic. I will scratch the surface now in my amateurish fashion and hopefully come back to it another time.

Anyone not familiar with Rav Kook's views should try and read up on them. They are fantastic, incredible, sometimes outlandish but always stimulating and challenging.

Sin and repentance take on a new light in Rav Kook's thought. Sin is natural and inevitable, an outcrop of nature being material and static. Teshuva is a cosmic process of returning to G-d, man's individual Teshuva enables the universal Teshuva as well. Teshuva links everything with the Divine.

Rav Kook believed that the human desire for progress, excellence, freedom and an ordered life emanates from a basic human need to get close to G-d, which is the fundamental of human life. Every culture and religion is an illumination of the divine light amongst humans.

The most startling idea for me is the idea of human progress, improving the world, making it a more civilized place, this is Teshuva. He explicitly mentions ecomonically and socially improving society which goes together with personal atonement and repentance - it is all one deed, one act.
There is so much more to say, and even the small amount I have said I haven't expressed particularly well (a major problem with Rav Kook's thought) but I hope I gave you an inkling into his ideas.

Tzom Kal and have a meaningful day.

TRK

6 Comments:

At 10/12/2005 9:47 AM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

Hi TRK. This topic is a perfect segue to my next post (bli neder after yom kipur) to ask for suggestions/guidance/assistance in helping with a school which provides a place for kids at risk who would otherwise have no place to go. It's a perfect opportunity to "economically and socially improve society". I can definitely see you, cloojew, josh and others helping to "evangelize" this important project, which a friend of mine is consulting on. to be continued...

 
At 10/12/2005 10:36 AM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Thank you,
Have an easy fast as well, What if we are here supposed to be doing teshuva for someting we did in a past life and we mess up further. I heard that before you come to this world you choose your family setting. Maybe that is why some of us have such a challenge living up to our family standards? I do not know who I was in my past life... but, I now have to face a whole family tree here and when I get up there... Why would I choose that? Gmar Tov.

 
At 10/13/2005 5:55 PM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

ok - i posted - but on another topic. love to hear your comments.

 
At 10/17/2005 1:44 PM, Blogger TwennyTwo said...

Oops, ignorance reared its head again, I can't for the world remember what Teshuva is from all the Jewishness exposure I got as a kid.

So. What's Teshuva?

peace
TwennyTwo

 
At 10/18/2005 1:10 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

the rabbi who translates rav kooks writings into English sits in front of me in case anyone was wondering

 
At 10/23/2005 1:11 PM, Blogger Soferet said...

BS"D
Teshuvah: response, return, repent, revert, reply, replace, restore, revoke, reverse.

It's a re-embracing of the Holy One, a return to innocence (to invoke Enigma for a moment). To move closer to your Self, your soul, yechidut/unity with the One. & it's very difficult to do for a mere human, but one of our greatest, most challenging & rewarding adventures.

 

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