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Shabbat Parashat Metzora 5782

Igrot Hareaya Letters of Rav Kook: The Power of the Scholars of Eretz Yisrael

#96 part III

Date and Place: 5668 (1907-8), Yafo


Recipient: The organization “Beit Va’ad Lachachamim,” dedicated to the advancement of Torah study in Yerushalayim. Rav Kook focused his letter on his envisioned goals and encouragement for such a group.


Body: [We have seen Rav Kook’s encouragement to the group to use the extra power scholarship has in Eretz Yisrael, with the help of the Divine Spirit, and how they should not just copy the style of scholarship from the Diaspora.]

It takes great hardship for Torah scholars and the pious in the Diaspora to try to unite separate areas [of Torah learning]. The difficulty is because the lofty light of united divinity does not shine there. Brothers, we should thank Hashem, the G-d of Israel, who put us in a place of light, where everything is possible and necessary. One who seeks the ultimate good in Eretz Yisrael can find everything. One who suffices with the lower paths, which are intended for those who live in the darkness of the Diaspora will not even find the little he sought.

The period involved also makes a big difference. Ours is a time when Hashem desires to show us his good graces. Do not minimize the importance of the recent growth of the population of Hashem’s Nation on the Holy Soil. This is a clear divine sign of the approach of the angel of the covenant (Eliyahu the Prophet). Therefore, we must embrace higher levels of Torah scholarship, so that our actions will [get closer] to those of our forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. This will bring Eliyahu and the time of the resurrection of the dead. In every [relevant spiritual] area, there are myriad levels until one reaches such a high level that it flows into the “world of activity.” May those who lie in earth rise up and sing His praises, literally in the near future, Amen.

Dear friends, I urge you to deal with these matters on a daily basis, so that the spiritual greatness that rests in your souls and desires to be touched by the dew of life and of light from the mountains of sanctity will be actualized. Do not allow even one day when your bright spirits might be dimmed, but increase light with strength and calmness. Even if the beginnings will be a little difficult, do not let it upset you. Embrace the challenge, and quickly you will find that your heart contains light and a spirit of Hashem full of happiness, modesty, and strength. “If you want to see the Divine Spirit in this world, be involved in Torah in Eretz Yisrael.”

The holiest land was the most desolate land in the Ramban’s time. Now, thank G-d, a “string of grace” is growing on it. We need to accept it and strengthen it with our efforts. The soul of the Congregation of Israel will soon be awoken in the Desired Land, and we need to take a part in this phenomenon. Most of those devoted to the Torah in Eretz Yisrael are downtrodden and need assistance in their physical life, which is connected to their spiritual life. Their spirits must be lifted, while maintaining a significant focus on the “pain” of Hashem, of the entire world, and of the Jewish People, due to the blocking of the divine lights and their difficulty in influencing the world. Only Eretz Yisrael’s Torah scholars can properly feel the deep bitterness and look to the salvation of the world, as the holy nation emerges from its difficult period. That bitterness turns into the delight of the upstanding, which allows people to draw close to Hashem, to the love of Torah and fear of Hashem, along with love of the Jewish people and every individual human being. This makes one pleasing in the eyes of people and Hashem.

These principles are well known to your pure hearts. Although you do not need people of my low caliber, I could not hold back from sharing these ideas with ears that listen and hearts that feel like yours do. I would be so happy if you look at some of the few things I have published, even though they do not contain many new ideas. However, they can awaken the heart. Specifically, my essay, “Knowledge of G-d,” is worthwhile to review several times.


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