Thursday, 7 August 2008


From Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook:

"The old way of choosing one path and following it patiently can no longer prevail. We have developed far beyond this. To embrace all paths and to integrate them into a full and secure harmony - this is the beginning of our sacred responsibility."

This would be remarkable coming from anyone but from a RabbI? Kook was the Chief Rabbi of Palestine and Jerusalem during the early years of the Twentieth Century. A remarkable man, deeply Jewish in his outlook but utterly universal in feeling. His hope was that one day all humanity would be united again in God, regardless of religion, race or culture. He was deeply resistant to narrow, legalistic religion, preferring the company, often, of atheists to orthodox Jews because he believed atheists were often purer in outlook and in rebellion against the old fashioned, repressive view of God of the observant. He was deeply critical of anyone who looked down on a culture which was not their own and dreamed of a time when Muslim, Christian and Jew would love together in peace...

Here is another sample of his thinking:

"The realm of mystery tells us, You live in a world full of light and life.

Know the great reality, the richness of existence that you always encounter. Contemplate its grandeur, its beauty, its precision and harmony.

Be attached to the legions of living beings who are constantly bringing forth everything beautiful. In every corner where you turn, you are dealing with realities that have life; you always perform consequential acts, abounding with meaning and with the preciousness of vibrant life. In everything you do you encounter sparks full of life and light, aspiring to rise toward the heights. You help them and they help you.

The glorious wisdom that you comprehend is not a faint shadow of some spiritual mirage that is devoid of meaning, to be displaced by research and science. These phenomena are the children of a real world, introducing themselves to you, sending you good news from afar, news about their well-being and their state of health. Their well-being also contributed to their well-being.

When you ascend to greater heights you raise yourselves to a more noble fellowship, to surroundings of greater splendour.

And everything aspires, longs, yearns, according to a pattern that is adorned with holiness and girded with beauty. For this life of yours is not a meaningless phenomenon."


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