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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
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T’shuva is the Real Tikun Olam

Tikun Olam

Using the concept of redemption to illuminate our understanding of world perfection, we can better appreciate Rabbi Kook’s great vision of t’shuva.

“With each second, in the depths of life, a new illumination of supreme t’shuva shines ever forth, just as a new glowing light constantly sparkles through all realms of existence and replenishes them…. The fruit of the highest forms of moral and practical culture, blossom and grow in the flow of this light. In truth, the light of the whole world and its renewal in all of its forms, in every time and age, depends on t’shuva. This is especially true regarding the light of Mashiach, the salvation of Israel, the rebirth of the Jewish Nation and its Land, language, and literature — all of them stem from the source of t’shuva, and all will emerge from the depths to the exalted reaches of the highest t’shuva.”

T’shuva and redemption are parallel processes, reaching the same destination. The main difference between them is one of style and not of substance. For example, redemption has a broad historical, international base with political consequences. Though there are differences between them, these two phenomena are closely intertwined, so that when Rabbi Kook speaks about the t’shuva of the entire world, he is speaking about its overall moral, material, and spiritual redemption.

As we shall see, it is the Nation of Israel, in its return to its original Torah life in the Land of Israel, which is destined to lead all of mankind back to God.

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.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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