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Two thoughts to strengthen and inspire us from Rabbi Kook

הרב קוק

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

What would Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook say about what is happening in Israel today? Rabbi Kook (1865-1935) was the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Mandatory Palestine. His deep love for every Jew was reflected in the reverence he evoked from all sectors of the population. He was, in fact, an honored guest at radically secular kibbutzim. Today, the 3rd of Elul, is the anniversary of Rabbi Kook's passing. I do not know what he would say about the situation in Israel today but here are two of his thoughts that can strengthen and inspire us regarding the challenges we face.

"Everyone who follows the recent history of our settling and rebuilding the Land of Israel, from our first steps until today, can see that from every difficulty and descent, we grew and rose to much greater heights than before. Every crisis resulted in a significant leap ahead. Every setback led to an ascent, teaching us never to let our souls despair."

In other words: Every descent leads to an ascent. The main thing is to remain optimistic, not to give in to gloom, and to know experience has taught us that every crisis brings about progress, positive developments, and new growth.

The theme of consolation is also prominent in Rabbi Kook's thought. He does not see the responsibility to offer comfort as his alone, but enjoins all of us to comfort one another.

"Our greatest and holiest obligation now is to offer consolation to one another. We have become accustomed to giving only rebuke, but must instead offer consolation and give comfort to every member of the nation of Israel."

The above thoughts are dedicated to the memories of Shai and Aviad Nigreker who were murdered yesterday in a terrorist attack in Huwara. May we merit to grow from every crisis and to hear words of consolation at every turn. Shavua tov


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