Rav Kook On Jerusalem As The Gateway To Eden: In Honor Of Yom Yerushalayim
Torat HaRav Kook In Honor of Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day
“Yerushalayim, and Zion in particular, is a teaching about the return of humankind to its highest status -to the point that all the nations who divided into many streams in the past will return to form one pure and good unit”. -Rav Kook, TZ”L
Rav Kook wrote this in 1904, soon after he arrived in Israel to be the Chief Rabbi of Yaffo and the new settlements. He knew about Yerushalayim. In 1888, at the age of 23, his mentor, the Chafetz Chayim, directed him to learn the laws related to the Temple Mount and its service. “The Temple may not be rebuilt in my lifetime, but hopefully it will be in yours. We Cohanim will have to know what to do” the elder sage of Europe told him. This was the seed for the unfolding Temple Mount movement.
From the moment he stepped foot in the Land of Israel on the 28th of Iyar, 5664 (May 13, 1904) his entire being was dedicated to the rebuilding and rededication of Yerushalayim. His family continued to celebrate the 28th of Iyar as the day that the Kook family returned to Israel. We now celebrate it as Yom Yerushalayim.
For it was on the 28th of Iyar in 1967-the third day of the Six Day War-that the Israeli Defence Forces recaptured the Temple Mount and its environs. Appropriately, the first people brought to the Kotel on June 7, 1967 were Rav Kook’s son-Rav Tzvi Yehuda, TZ’L, Rav Kook’s primary student HaRav David Cohen-HaRav HaNazir TZ’L and HaRav HaNazir’s son-in-law, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, TZ’L
“A righteous one decrees and the Holy One fulfills.”(Talmud). Rav Kook was the Kohen Gadol-High Priest of the return to and the rededication of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.
“When we come to speak of Jerusalem…here the genius of Israel stands in all its splendor…the Soul of the Living Elokim is unfolding and growing within us-awakening us to renewal. The ‘announcer of Tzion’ standing on the high mountain. Speaking to the cities of Yehuda-here is your Elokim. [based on Isaiah 40:9) This is the most faithful witness to the wholeness of the Living God Soul mysteriously inspiring our movement of national return…The word of God and the stream of Light of the God of Israel is revealed in all our movements, large and small…Behold it is standing before us…proclaiming loudly: “Make Jerusalem splendrous in the land, build Jerusalem!” (Maamarei HaRayah:Yerushalayim-p.298)
Rav Kook gives free reign to his prophetic capacity as he heralds:
“The turtledove has arrived, the events of the days are calling out to us loudly-Build your holy city…” (Maamarei HaRayah-Chibat Yerushalayim-p. 329)
And Jerusalem and Israel are being built. It is clear that if Rav Kook TZ”L would see Yerushalayim and Israel today, he would see his vision confirmed and unfolding. Challenges and all.
And his vision went even further. In the continuation of the opening quote describing the role of Jerusalem and Zion in bringing the world together, he continues:.”
Even greater than this is Gan Eden-the Garden of Eden/Delight in which the human race will return to their highest and there will be no need for learning, guidance and help from the group. We will be living in the Garden of Eden/Delight, cultivating and safe-keeping, as a delightful expanded journey that will fill the material and the spiritual realms with delights.” (Pinkas HaDapim Bet:8)
The process of building Yerushalayim as a model of the possibilities for planetary human unification will lead us to the reality of the Garden of Eden. The Torah is explicit that this is the goal of history and that the Creator’s loving desire for good to be manifested is the most powerful force in existence.
“We will be living in the Garden of Eden/Delight..as a delightful expanded journey that will fill the material and the spiritual realms with delights.”
במהרה בימינו-Speedily in our days.
יום ירושלים שמח– A joyous Jerusalem Day to all.
Prepared by Rabbi Itzchak Evan-Shayish, [email protected], [email protected]