web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


TORAH, TORAH, TORAH

Rav Kook teaches that within the yearning to return to the Land is a deeper, there is a hidden yearning to return to the Torah as well.
Torah scroll. (illustrative only)

Torah scroll. (illustrative only)
Photo Credit: Flash 90

In much the same manner, the Jewish people have lost sight of the treasure of their ancestral past. Seduced by the gentile cultures around us, we have very often ignored our own pure, holy spring, for pools of polluted water.

This cultural assimilation has occurred throughout our dispersion. Even in the Holy Land, the symbols, influences, and values of Western society abound. The immigrants returning to Israel brought back, not only their pure Jewish souls, but also a lot of foreign baggage. Socialism, communism, atheism, capitalism, bohemianism, materialism, and secularism are only some of the travel stickers we have collected along our journey. One day, Rabbi Kook assures us, a feeling of shame will cause us to return to our original love, the Torah.

The darkness of heresy caused our people to detach themselves from this rich meadow and to stumble in foreign pastures which have absolutely no life nor vitalizing substance for us. The pain of this great anguish will burst awesomely forth, clearing the way for sensibility and reason to know what positive elements might be retrieved from all the false paths which led us astray. The soul’s inner longing for holiness will be freed. It will break out of its prison, and with a powerful thirst, every awakened spirit will begin to drink deeply from the original, exalted life source (Orot HaT’shuva, 4:9).

With a return to the Torah, the Jewish people erase all of the foreign concepts and values which have tainted Jewish identity and culture during our long exile in gentile lands, and replace them with a library of holy Torah tapes and texts. Rather than being divided between two separate worlds, a Jew at home and a German or Frenchman on the street, we return to our unique Jewish wholeness. We come to hear clearly the voice of our souls calling us back to our God. Embracing our holiness, we long for a life of Torah, a life of moral purity, a life cleansed from sin. With each Torah verse that we learn, with each Mishna, with each page of Gemara, we give revitalizing Jewish nourishment to our long-neglected souls.

To accomplish such a vast, national t’shuva, Rabbi Kook writes that a broad system of popular Torah education is needed. After having abandoned our unique Jewish treasure for so many years, we have a lot of relearning to do. In fact, many Jews returning to Judaism have to start at the very beginning by learning the alef bet.

From a moral point-of-view, the innate fear of transgression is the healthiest human disposition. This quality stands out in the Jewish people, in its natural aversion to any sin or wrongdoing in opposition to the Torah and the commandments, which are the inheritance of the community of Jacob. This disposition will only return to the Jewish people through national program of Torah learning, both in producing outstanding Torah scholars, and in establishing fixed times of daily learning for the masses. It is impossible for the Jewish people to return to their natural life, in all of its breadth and stature, if it will not also return to its spiritual nature, in all of its fullness, including the all-important fear of sin which, when healthy, brings remorse and t’shuva in its wake. With the strengthening of the Nation’s vitality in all of its facets, its restless confusion will cease, and its national institutions will all return to their natural moral focus, so unique and deep-seated in Israel, to differentiate with a hair-splitting exactness between the forbidden and the permitted. Then all the detailed laws of the Torah and the Sages will be recognized as the necessary foundation for an independent Jewish life, without which a vital national existence is impossible (Orot HaT’shuva, 6:3).

The holiness of the Jewish Nation is expressed in our yearning for absolute morality, goodness, and universal justice. To accomplish this on a national level, in day-to-day life, high-sounding platitudes are not enough. To be a holy Nation, holiness must be grounded in every aspect of life. Morality must shine in all spheres of endeavor. Only in this manner can all of life be sanctified and uplifted. How can this be achieved? Only by Israel’s commitment to all of the Divine laws of Sinai. It is the detailed commandments, in all of their exact measure and precision, which embody God’s will for the world. Only the Divine Law of the Torah can provide the foundation for a pure Jewish life, by establishing guidelines for every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, to the type of clothes we wear, to our dealings in business, our personal behavior, and our national priorities and goals.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “TORAH, TORAH, TORAH”

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
FIFA president Sepp (Joseph) Blatter and PM Benjamin Netanayhu
Netanyahu Warns FIFA Palestinian Threats Will Destroy International Sport
Latest Blogs Stories
Riskin Glick Debate

“Land for Peace is a security issue, not a halachik issue” claimed Rabbi Riskin

Fatah1.jpg

Fatah only agrees to talks with Israel to destroy Israel and strengthen its own corrupt&violent rule

Highway 5

The only places where Arab access may be restricted would be what Americans call “gated communities”

Doug Goldstein

Are natural sources of energy, such as thorium and molten salt, effective alternatives to oil?

HaModia’s list of the new government’s ministers omitted the women ministers’ first names: WHY?

Introducing Obama’s latest 2-state solution…

To friends in America: Wishing someone “Happy Memorial Day” means you don’t understand the holiday.

President Obama believes anti-Semites limit their anti-Semitism to discrimination and organizing, but will always put their survival first!

What motivates a successful leader? Who are the best kinds of people to use as your role model?

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

“Said Rabbi Yochanan: Happy are those who see the fall of Tadmor…” (Talmud Yerushalmi)

Why has Prime Minister Netanyahu given Erdan & Hanegbi insultingly low-level cabinet appointments?

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

Will it get better/worse for Bibi or does the wily Bibi know/plan something that will shock us all?

Dr. Vernon Smith, 2002 Economics Nobel Prize winner, on predicting housing markets & economic issues

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Audience at Israel Day Concert

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Rabbi Levinger (zt"l)

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Rav Kook often studied Rebbe Nachman’s writings with guests during Suedat Shleeshi meal on Shabbat

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/torah-torah-torah/2012/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: