REDEMPTION AND NATIONAL TESHUVA

This scholarly article, a comprehensive overview of the national revival of Am Yisrael in modern times as explained by the Sages, clarifies many misunderstandings surrounding Zionism, the Redemption of Israel, and the establishment of the State of Israel in our times.

TESHUVA – NATIONAL  GOAL  OR  PRIVATE  MATTER?

by Rabbi Moshe Kaplan

             Our time is one of great upheaval.[1] Dramatic historic events are occurring at a frantic pace. A new world order is emerging  Jews all over the world are being reconnected to the Jewish Nation as the Land of Israel welcomes its people home to Zion. The exile is literally drawing to a close with every passing Jew that arrives at Ben Gurion airport to take up new residence in the land of their fathers. The process of transforming the Jewish people from a group of individuals scattered among the nations to a nation reborn on its own soil advances dramatically with each successive wave of aliyah. This transformation demands that we broaden our Torah concepts to encompass the reality of our restored existence as a sovereign nation.[2]

 

Since our generation is experiencing a resurgence of Teshuva in this era of national revival it is essential to elaborate on the concept of Teshuva and its relationship to the return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael. A Teshuva that relates only to T’fillin, Kashrut and Shabbat is incomplete because the Teshuva of each individual Jew is actually only a part of a much greater historical process of Teshuva.

 

Judaism was meant to be not only a religion for individuals, but as the great Rabbi, the ‘Ohr Samayach,’ reminds us in his commentary to the Torah,[3] “G-d does not rest His Name on the individual.” He states that “the Torah was given to the nation as a whole” and “can only be kept in its entirety by the whole nation.”[4]

 

By his connection to the klal (the national entity), the individual takes on an infinitely greater importance and significance.[5] He is then linked to the blessing and Divine connection of the klal, and even his individual life and actions are imbued with the infinite significance of the klal of which he is part.[6] The converse is also true, that when a person separates himself from the nation he severs his link to eternity—“He who separates himself from the ‘Tzibur’ (the community), even though he has no sins… has no part in the world to come” (Rambam[7]).

 

The Divine Ideal of the nation transcends the individual and is expressed through him. Therefore, keeping the Torah is not a private affair between the individual and G-d, but rather stems from his being a part of the national whole. This is why before the performance of Mitzvot we say that we do so “in the name of all of Israel.”[8] Our prayers are in the plural form, praying for the good of the nation,[9] as the Vilna Gaon clearly writes that “it is forbidden to pray for one’s private needs, rather for the perfection of Am Yisrael.”[10] At the beginning of many Siddurim the words of the Ari HaKadosh are cited, that before every prayer one should accept upon himself the Commandment of “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” to love all of Israel, and thus connect oneself to the klal.[11]

 

The oneness of Israel is the foundation upon which all Torah, Mitzvot, and ‘yirat shamayim’ (fear of heaven) are built.[12] Only when this unity was attained were we able to receive the Torah.[13] This is so because the Torah is the Divine content and ideal[14] of an entire nation[15] that ultimately revitalizes all human culture,[16] restores harmony to the world,[17] and brings to fulfillment all of creation.[18]

 

G A L U T   N E G A T E S   T H E   J E W I S H   I D E A L

 

For 2000 years in Galut, the Jewish people had been unable to fulfill its national mission, since Galut by its very nature is the destruction of our national framework[19]—void of Jewish government and army,[20] prophecy,[21] Temple[22] and Sanhedrin.[23] These tools of national expression are unattainable outside the Land of Israel and as a result, the Name of G-d expressed through them is lacking.[24] This provides a deeper explanation for why the Galut is called a “Hillul Hashem,” a desecration of G-d’s Name (Yehezkel chap. 36[25]), for the Divine ideals (שם ד’) cannot be fully expressed outside our land.[26]

 

An independent Jewish government in Israel, Malchut Yisrael, therefore, is not simply a system to facilitate the improvement of the private lives of its citizens, but the vehicle that receives and expresses the Divine ideal in this world.[27] In Parshat Yitro,[28] G-d revealed to the Jewish people their national role, to be a “Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation,” even before He revealed to them the Ten Commandments.[29] Our national mission, when fulfilled, demonstrates to mankind that the expression of spiritual ideals in our lives is not limited to the individual but also encompasses the most complex aspects of human existence, that of national life and international relations.[30] This is diametrically opposed to the Christian belief in the inability to sanctify this world, thereby resulting in a separation of Church and State, and in which holiness is limited to the purely spiritual realm.[31] The Christian ideal is realized therefore by living in a monastery far removed from life. In contrast, the Torah ideal of living as a holy nation necessitates the sanctification of every element of individual and national life[32] including that of a government, an army, industry, agriculture, etc.[33] This ideal manifests the oneness of G-d that encompasses both heaven ֹand earth,[34] the spiritual and the physical realms. This ideal is not mere philosophical speculation, but rather constitutes the very essence of our national reality. In fact, our ability to realize this goal is rooted in the Divinely created structure of the Jewish nation.[35] “This nation have I created for Me, they shall say My praise” (Yishayahu 43:21). “In Am Yisrael, the Divine quality rests in the inner nature of the soul of the nation” (Rav Kook[36]). Like the nature of all things in reality, this innate holiness is not a product of our free will, nor is it affected by our awareness or belief in it.[37] The role of our free will, indeed our obligation and privilege, is to recognize and reveal the inner holiness by setting up our lives, both personal and national, in accordance with this inner essence—the Torah.[38]

 

The Galut denies us the possibility of ascending to our true grandeur and glory,[39] preventing us from serving as a source of blessing and influence to the world—from being “the Heart of the Nations” (Kuzari[40]). For the G-d fearing, the fact that Jews are in Galut is of central concern, ‘for the honor of G-d in the world depends on the redemption of Israel and the enhancement of their honor’ (Path of the Just chap. 19).[41] Galut is not just a situation in which Torah remains intact, lacking “only” a government and a Temple, rather as the Torah itself tells us, “From the time Israel was exiled from their land there is no greater negation of Torah than this” (Hagiga 5b).[42] For if Torah is the expression of Divine ideals in all areas of life,[43] Galut limits the scope of the Torah’s influence to the private domain of the individual,[44] the national life no longer existing. As our Rabbis tell us, “Since the Temple was destroyed G-d has only the four cubits[45] of Halacha [the Halachic individual domain]” (Brachot 8a). The task of the Torah Jew becomes first and foremost to sanctify his own personal life and to fortify himself from the influences of the outside world which threaten him.[46]

 

However, even this personal obligatory observance of Mitzvot in Galut is a mere reminder of the full significance of their performance in Eretz Yisrael. “Even though I am exiling you from the Land [of Israel], distinguish yourself by [performing] Mitzvot so they will not be new to you when you return” (Sifrei Dvarim 11[47]). Maintaining our existence even in Galut against all odds, a drama unparalleled in history, is no mean feat, but is truly the great miracle of the eternity of Am Yisrael and Torah.[48] However, this pale image of Galut Judaism is likened to a graveyard by our Prophets and Rabbis (Yehezkel 37:12, Vilna Gaon on Safra DeTzniuta[49]).

 

But after living so long without our national institutions we began to believe that there is nothing more to the Torah than guidance for the individual.[50] This abnormal existence[51] became second nature.[52] So much have we forgotten the full and healthy image of Am Yisrael that when statehood finally returns a religious Member of Knesset could actually say in the Knesset that we have no need for it. “Am Yisrael was born without land,” he stated, “…[For almost two thousand years] before 1947 there was no State; when Torah was given at Sinai there was no State.”[53] Maybe for him land and state are superfluous, however the Torah and our Sages seem to adamantly disagree.[54]

 

The inner desire to return to Zion always existed, but after two millennia without Eretz Yisrael as a part of our daily lives, this most basic ideal became a dream-like hope for the future. As the contrast between the ghetto reality and the hope of restoring the Davidic Dynasty grew, so did the expectations of a miraculous Redemption, for it seemed that it could come in no other way.[55] In the last centuries of Galut we were so detached from the period of Jewish sovereignty, that the concepts of Redemption became transformed into surreal, almost mystical concepts.[56] The thought of our active participation in bringing it about was replaced by the simple faith that G-d would bring the Redemption when He so desires, without our political involvement, physical labor and self-sacrifice in the effort to regain sovereignty over our land.[57]

 

R E D E M P T I O N   U N F O L D S   I N   S T A G E S

When the time came to return our people to full national life in our land, G-d fortified us with an added energy, much like the “extra soul” of Shabbat. [58] The Vilna Gaon repeatedly emphasized that the Redemption process begins with this Divinely inspired awakening of our national spirit (Kol Hator[59]). This awakening expresses itself historically as both a renaissance of the Jewish nation and the Land of Israel. Individual Jews regain the desire to live again as a nation in their land[60] as the desolate land offers its fruit to welcome the returning nation.[61] For those who had opted to carry the banner of Emancipation and Assimilation, this desire to return to Am Yisrael was truly a momentous step of Teshuva-returning to the fold.[62] And as the ‘Ohr Samayach’ writes, “After he returns to his nation certainly he shall return to his G-d.”[63]

 

Those filled with that simple faith maintained their belief that action on our part was unnecessary or prohibited.[64] However, when the Redemption comes “in its time,”[65] “Not for your sake… but for My Holy Name’s sake” (Yehezkel 36[66]), even when we are unworthy,[67] it unfolds “little by little” (Yerushalmi, Brachot 1:1[68]), that is, in stages, in a natural[69] developmental process that requires our efforts to bring it about.[70]

 

The first stage is National Teshuva.[71] How indeed does a nation do Teshuva? Since Teshuva is the return to the ideal state, what was originally meant to be,[72] the very restoration of our national existence is Teshuva.[73] As Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai clearly states in many of his works, “…our returning to Eretz Yisrael is in itself Teshuva.”[74] The return to G-d and His Torah not only follows this return to Eretz Yisrael chronologically, but it is also caused directly by it.[75] The return to the Land also constitutes a sanctification of G-d’s Name[76] as we read in Yehezkel (chap. 36[77]) “…and I will sanctify My Great Name… I shall be sanctified through you before their [the nations’] eyes, for I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the lands and will bring you into your land.”

 

Z I O N I S M   A N D   T H E   S T A T E   O F   I S R A E L

 

Zionism, the movement to restore the Jewish people to their land and to re-establish their national life, is not a threat to traditional Judaism, as some fear,[78] but is the fulfillment of the very goals of traditional Judaism and a stage in the process of Teshuva.[79] This return is initially to our natural state on the national level. Indeed, this Teshuva is not complete,[80] and there are stages[81] yet to be attained of return to the natural individual holiness expressed through keeping Torah and Mitzvot. But since the Rabbis taught us that the Redemption comes in stages,[82] even if not all is holy at once, one cannot conclude that it has not begun.

 

The Redemption is Teshuva—the return to our inner nature, and the stages of it are the process of that nature coming more and more to expression[83]—like a magnet pulling us ever closer to the full ideal.

 

The secular reborn state is like a child[84] that will ultimately grow up to be a great scholar, but presently cannot even read or write. Unaware of his future role he sometimes uses his developing energies in undesirable directions or even destructively.[85] However, instead of wishing to return to the period before our “troublemaker” was born, we thank G-d for giving us this long awaited baby. Despite its wrongdoings, we make every effort to educate and redirect all of its G-d given powers toward the proper goals.[86]

 

J U D A I S M   A N D   Z I O N I S M  —   D I A M E T R I C A L L Y   O P P O S E D ?

 

Zionism, the modern dress of our ancient yearnings to return to Eretz Yisrael and national vitality, takes the form of natural political efforts, based on human initiative. Unlike the politically inactive “believers,”[87] those who had thrown off the “Yoke of Heaven” felt that they must build the nation themselves, for they did not believe in a G-d that would do it for them. The “secular” Zionists, therefore, came to dominate the national rebirth, the ingathering of the exiles, and the building of the land. The Torah world, feeling threatened, shied away from such involvement and redoubled its opposition.[88] This attitude contributed to the secular view that saw the Torah as an obstacle to be overcome in the process of building the land.[89] Holiness, as they saw it, represented weakness and fear[90] in contrast to the strength and courage they sought, unaware that it is the source of all strength.[91]

 

The two elements[92] of full Jewish life, “Nationalism” and “Religion,” were perceived as separate[93] and irreconcilable. The secular Zionists attempted to sever nationalism from any religious content,[94] believing that the doctrine of “separation of Church and State” applies to the Jewish people as well. The religious community, on the other hand, chose religion without national aspirations, thereby acquiescing to the secular misconception that a separation of the national ideal from the religious ideal was possible.[95] Unfortunately, when each camp sees itself as possessing the whole truth,[96] the two become mutually exclusive, even contradictory.

 

In reality, however, “The national, practical inclination is the external dress [manifestation] of the spiritual, and the latter is the light and soul of the former.”[97] Therefore the two are not contradictory but complementary elements that together build the whole living organism of the Jewish people in its idyllic form.[98] This is not an attempt to accommodate two different concepts. Rather, what has been misconceived as two opposing concepts is really one Divine ideal that transcends the individual components[99] of nationalism and religion, and infuses new life and meaning into each.

 

However distant the stated goals of the secular Zionists may be from holiness, it is not in their hands to remove G-d from Am Yisrael and its national aspirations.[100] “This national reawakening is far greater and purer than all the explanations and reasons we try to give for it… Neither feats of human logic nor the spirit of transient flesh have produced this great vision of our rebirth. It is the word of G-d and the flow of His Divine radiance which is being revealed in our destiny, in matters both great and small” (Rav Kook, Hazon HaGeula[101]). Any lack of recognition (by the secular or the religious!) that this Divine inner source is behind all the amazing events of our era does not change this fact.[102] The spirit of G-d is there—whether or not one believes it or wants it. When one builds Eretz Yisrael, one is building the ֹHֹoֹlֹy Land despite all cries to the contrary.[103]

 

O U R   C H A L L E N G E

Therefore, the goal of Torah leadership is not to destroy or to wage “a fight to the end”[104] against the national framework built by the secular,[105] but to work to expose the holiness that is inherently there and to reveal to the builders the true, Divine significance of their actions.[106]

Since national Teshuva forms the basis for individual Teshuva and is completed and complemented by it,[107] it is absurd to think that individual Teshuva could negate or at best ignore[108] national Teshuva. The redemption process calls upon both elements, the national and the religious, to return to their full glory.[109]

In conclusion, we must not judge the religious significance of the State of Israel only by what is presently revealed, for the Rabbis have taught and forewarned us that the generation of the Mashiach is “bad on the outside and good on the inside.”[110] We must develop the eyes of Emunah to see that inner good that is developing and pushing, and guide it to its full expression.[111] We must learn to see the whole goal that is unfolding before our eyes and thus view the present as a stage in an ongoing process towards complete Teshuva-Redemption.[112]

“Now is undoubtedly the ‘advent of the Mashiach’” said the Hafetz Chaim[113], and “the advent of the Mashiach,. which is the revelation of the Divine Presence in the world, the time when ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord,’[114] will require a measure of understanding on the part of the individual before he will be capable of appreciating it.[115] One who does not analyze the matter of the coming of the Mashiach will obviously not feel anything [when he arrives].” Only by fulfilling our “obligation of studying the Redemption process in great depth” (Vilna Gaon[116]) and of enhancing our Emunah by the learning of Torah in its fullness[117] will we be able to comprehend fully the Teshuva of our generation and lead it to completion.[118]

May we indeed see the completion of the Redemption, speedily in our days, Amen.

 

FOOTNOTES 

  1. At the time of the writing of these notes the war in Iraq is in progress, and every so often we take cover in our sealed rooms from the threat of the missiles. However, we are certain that out of this will be revealed another, more advanced stage of the Redemption process (see Rav Hillel of Shklov, Kol HaTor (the teachings of the Vilna Gaon on the Redemption process as transmitted by his disciple), chap. 1 sec. 13[1]).

[2]  Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, Ma’amray HaRiyah, p.413, para. 4.

[3]  Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, Meshech Chochma, Vayikra 18:4 (and also 23:21). Also Mizrachi and Maharal of Prague, Gur Aryeh, on Breishit 12:2. “G-d’s Kingdom is not received by each individual but rather by Klal Yisrael alone, for G-d does not rest His Name on the individual saying ‘I am your G-d,’ rather He rests His Name only on the nation as a whole.” Maharal, Tiferet Yisrael, ch. 21 p. 65. For an explanation of why Torah was given to the nation and not to the fathers (Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’acov) see Tiferet Yisrael, ch. 17 p. 56, Hiddushei Agadot, III,p. 13. See also Maharal, Netzach Yisrael, ch. 11, on the distinction between “Kedushat HaKlal” (holiness of the nation) and “Kedushat HaPrat” (holiness of the individual).

[4]  Meshech Chochma, Shmot 19:8; Ohr HaChaim, Shmot 39:32.

[5] Orot 144:3, 147:6.

[6]  Kuzari 3:19; Rambam, Laws of Tefila 8:1; Meshech Chochma, Haftara of Parshat Devarim; Rav Yehuda Arye Leib, the Gerrer Rebbe, Sfat Emmet on the Torah, Parshat Kedoshim 5652; Olat Riyah II:157; Iggrot HaRiyah I Letter 301; Orot HaKodesh III:147.

[7]  Mishneh Torah, Laws of Teshuva, 3:11. See also Ta’anit 11a; Tanna D’Bay Eliyahu Zuta 15; Pirkei Avot 2:5; Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitovsk (student of the Maggid of Mezrich and teacher of the author of the Tanya, the founder of Chabad), Pri Ha’aretz, end of letter no. 1 (cited in Rav Filber, Ayellet HaShachar p.72).

[8] Sfat Emmet, Parshat Kedoshim 5652, 5631, 5643. May Marom Vol. VI, “Mayanay HaYeshua,” p. 325.

[9]  See Brachot 29b-30a and Rashi; Kuzari 3:17end-19; Rabbi E. Munk, Olam HaT’fillot (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook, 1974), I:41-42.

[10]  Shnot Eliyahu, Brachot 5:1, explaining the Mishna: “directing their hearts to G-d” as the praying for the good of Israel! See Rav Chaim of Volozhin, Nefesh HaChaim, 2:11.

[11]  See Bava Kamma 50b; Rav Moshe Tzvi Neryah, Likutei HaRiyah, 286; Rav Kook, Orot, “Orot Yisrael,” chs. 2-3, Olat Riyah II:157; Sfat Emmet, Parshat Korach, beginning of year 5631, 5647, 5656; Kol HaTor, ch. 5, Tikun 3,5.

[12]  See Zohar 3:93b.

[13]  Rashi and Ohr HaChaim on Shmot 19:2. The united nation of Israel is the receptacle that receives the Divine Presence (Shechina) and enables His Kedusha to ‘flow’ to us (Sfat Emmet, Parshat Kedoshim 5652, Parshat B’Har 5653), thereby bringing us blessing and success, in spite of the flaws and sins of the individuals (Talmud Yerushalmi, Peah 1:1; Yalkut Shimoni, Hoshea 520; Rashi, Bamidbar 23:21; Kritut 6b; Meshech Chochma, Haftara of Dvarim; Rav Dov Ber of Lubavitch, Sha’aray Orah, Hanukkah, p. 45, cited by Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, notes to Olat Riyah Vol. II p. 429, para. 133). The loss of this national unity leads to destruction (Yuma 9b; Maharal of Prague, Netzach Yisrael, ch. 4) even though the individuals may be meticulous in their performance of the Mitzvot (Yuma 9b; Rav Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv of Volozhin, preface to his Commentary to Breishit, Ha’Emek Davar; Tosefta, end of Menachot; Yerushalmi, Yuma 1:1).

Disunity in Israel has great spiritual and theological ramifications—Rav David Tabil (Rav of Minsk, student of Rav Chaim of Volozhin), Beit David, Drush 6, cited by Rav T. Y. Kook, Olat Riyah II:468 (see other sources cited there); Rav Yishayahu Horowitz, Shnei Luchot HaBrit (HaShlah HaKadosh), Massechet Succah, end of ch. “Torah Ohr”; Netziv, Responsa Meshiv Davar, I:44; Rav Yonatan Eibshitz, Ya’arot Dvash, Drush 1, s.v. Birchat Refa’anu; Rav Moshe Kordevero, Siddur Tefilah L’Moshe, Sha’ar 5, sec. 11, on blessing of ingathering of exiles.

[14]  “G-d looked into the Torah and created the world,” Breishit Rabbah 1. The Torah is the plan, the ideal, from which all of reality stems and towards which it progresses. Torah is also its constant source of existence (P’sachim 68b; Nefesh HaChaim, 1:2, 4:10end, 4:11,25), and this is dependent on the Jewish people as its receptacle (Shabbat 88a; Nefesh HaChaim 4:11, 1:16note.) “Without Israel there would be no Torah in the world” Kuzari 2:56. Also Ohr HaChaim, Vayikra 26:46. Rav Sa’adyah Gaon, (Emunot V’Dayot 3:7) proves the eternity of Torah from the eternity of the nation of Israel.

[15]  Torah as “Neshama,” soul, of Am Yisrael—Zohar 3:73a; Nefesh HaChaim 4:11; Sichot Rav Tzvi Yehuda [Kook], ed. Rav Shlomo Aviner, #12 “Talmud Torah,” pars. 6-8. Rav T.Y. Kook, Lintivot Yisrael Vol. I pp. 33, 187-8. The spiritual source of the historical Am Yisrael, Knesset Yisrael (Nefesh HaChaim 1:17), is one with the Torah. (Shechina as Knesset Yisrael—Orot, p. 140:8, and sources of the above on p. 182; Rav Tzaddok HaKohen of Lublin, Resisei Lilah p. 145.) Tur Shulchan Aruch 139; Dvarim 32:47. “They are our lives and the length of our days” (Ma’ariv prayer ‘Ahavat Olam’), because Torah is literally the source of our life. Rav A. Y. Kook, Orot HaTorah, 1:2, 2:1, 3:9; Olat Riyah I:54

[16]  Orot p. 17 ch. 9; Olat Riyah I:60-61.

[17]  Orot HaKodesh II:427; Olat Riyah I:289; Rav Ya’acov Moshe Harlap, May Marom Vol. III “Lechem Abirim,” p. 52.

[18]  Orot HaTorah 1:3, 6:4; Orot HaKodesh II, Article 5, pp. 513-574, especially p. 573; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I Letter 301.

[19]  Horayot 3a. The Halachic definition of ‘kahal,’ the nation of Israel, is those that dwell in Eretz Yisrael. Rambam, Laws of Shgagot 13:2. “Those in Eretz Yisrael are called kahal (community) and G-d called them the whole community, even if they are only ten Jews, and you do not take into account those in chutz la’aretz (outside the Land of Israel).” Rambam, Commentary to the Mishna, B’chorot 4:3. In the Book of Mitzvot (Positive Commandment #153), the Rambam equates the absence of Jews from Eretz Yisrael to the destruction of the nation, even though there are Jews in chutz la’aretz, as emphasized by the Chatam Sofer (Responsa, Yoreh Deah 234). Rambam, Laws of Brachot 10:11, and the Rogachover, Tzafnat Pa’aneach on the above, and Tzafnat Pa’aneach, Responsa 114:2. Only in the Land are they one and do they express G-d’s Oneness—Zohar 3:93. “The Divine connection with them depends on their being in Eretz Yisrael” (Malbim, Vayikra 28:38), and there they receive the Neshama (as it says in Yishayahu 42:5: “He gives a Neshama to the nation upon it”), and Shechina dwells with them (Sfat Emmet, Parshat B’Har 5653). Lintivot Yisrael, I:51, 192; Mitoch HaTorah HaGoelet, Lectures delivered by Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, ed. Rav Chaim Avihu Schwartz, Vol. IV pp. 19-20.

[20]  Tosefta, Sanhedrin 4:6; “Israel was commanded 3 Mitzvot upon entering Eretz Yisrael: 1) To appoint a king…” Sanhedrin 20b, and Rambam, Laws of Kings 1:1; Malbim, Yehezkel 37:11.

  1. Significance and importance of return of Jewish kingdom: Rambam, Laws of Hanuka 3:1, Laws of Ta’anit 5:2-3, 2:3; Beit Yosef, Bach, Be’er Heitev, and Mishna Brura on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 561:1; Sfat Emmet, Novellae on Rosh HaShannah, p. 18a; Rashi, Yishayahu 11:11, that the Second Temple is not counted as redemption because the Jews were not independent, but were still subordinate to Koresh (Megillah 14a—Hallel is not said on Purim because we were still subordinate to Achashverosh); Magid Mesharim of Rav Yosef Karo, Parshat Vayikra 56 (Tehillim on higher level than Megillat Esther since was written when Jewish sovereignty existed and therefore David had a higher level of Divine Inspiration); Lintivot Yisrael, I:181-4; Rav Chaim Drukman, “Atzmaut,” Zra’im, Adar 2-Nissan 5744, p. 16.
  2. Obligation to have Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel: Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars 1:1; Ramban, Notes to the Book of Mitzvot, Mitzvah 4 (Not to leave Eretz Yisrael in the hands (under the control) of any other nation). Lintivot Yisrael I:67-70, 87.
  3. Return of Jewish government designates days of the Mashiach: Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars 11:1, Laws of Teshuva 8:7, 9:2.

[21] Moed Katan 25a; Mechilta to Shmot 12:1; Tanchuma, Bo 5; Sifrei to Dvarim 18:15; Rashi and Radak on Yonah 1:3; Kuzari 2:8-14; Moreh Nevuchim 2:36; Resisei Lilah p. 6 para. 8.

[22] Megillah 10a; Rambam, Laws of the Temple 1:3, Laws of Kings 1:1.

[23] Sanhedrin 14a; Rambam, Laws of Sanhedrin 4:7; Makkot 1:10 (7a)

[24] Zohar 3:93,7b. Rav Chaim Palaggi, Artzot HaChaim, Sha’ar 2 para. 5. The Divine Ideal is revealed through Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael. See note 26 below.

[25] Verse 20.

[26] The first meaning is that since G-d’s Name is called upon us (Dvarim 28:10, Yirmiyahu 14:9), the exile and suffering of the Jewish people is attributed by the nations to His inability to save us or keep us in His land. They attribute their success over us to their strength (or the strength of their god) and to the weakness of G-d, and do not see themselves as agents of G-d to mete out punishment to His people, as in Dvarim 32:26-7 and Yishayahu 10:5-15 (See note 41).

But if we understand even more deeply, that His Name is the absolute Divine Ideal for creation, then when the vehicle for its expression, Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael, is fractured or demeaned, so His ideal is unable to come to full expression in the world. This is a desecration (חילול—linguistically connected to void /empty—חלל) of His Name, as if separating or cutting off the world from the Divine influence-the ramifications of which are profound and far-reaching. No longer is this simply a subjective question of what the nations will say, rather an objective description of the Divine link to the world. This also explains what the Rabbis tell us that the Galut is the greatest nullification, cancellation, of His Torah (Chagiga 5b, and see note 42), since Torah is His Name/Ideal (Brachot 21a and Maharsha; Ohr HaChaim, Parshat Ha’azinu; Zohar 2:87a, 90b, 3:13a; Ramban, Introduction to his Commentary on the Torah (Shevell edition, p. 6), “Torat HaShem Temimah,” in Kitvei HaRamban 1:167 (Shevell ed.); Nefesh HaChaim 4:19; Orot HaTorah 4:1-2; Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim (Magid of Sudylkov), Degel Machane Ehpraim, Terumah 37a), and His ideal is withheld from realization when we are in Galut.

[27] Zohar 3:276a; Torat Kohanim (Sifra) and Malbim to Vayikra 28:38; Resisei Lilah, p. 12 para. 11; Orot p. 160:7, p. 26 ch. 10; Orot HaKodesh II:562, III:117; May Marom VI:84; Rav Yischar Teichtal, Em HaBanim Semaicha (English translation, Kol Mevaser Publications, 2000, below: EHS) p. 459*. Chessed L’Avraham, Mayan 3, Nahar 7

[28] Shmot 19:6.

[29] Ibid. 20:1-14. Rav Kook, Ein Aya, Shabbat II:171. Also, according to the Vilna Gaon, the commandment to live in Eretz Yisrael was given before Mattan Torah to Avraham and his descendants. Sefer HaGra, I:141.

[30] Orot p. 104 ch. 2. Also Eder HaYakar p. 124; Orot p. 50; Iggrot HaRiyah I top of p. 109, p. 178; Olat Riyah I:211 s.v. Baruch.

[31] Ibid., pp. 22-34; Orot HaKodesh III:180-1, II:488; Rav Shlomo Aviner, Tal Chermon, p. 91.

[32] “We shall sanctify Your name in this world as they [the angels] sanctify in the Heavenly abode” – Kedusha of the Amidah. “Hashem desires a dwelling place [to reveal His name, ideals] in the lower worlds” – Tanchuma, Naso 16. The nation of Israel is the dwelling place, vehicle of expression, of the Divine content – Shemot 29:45, Melachim I 6:13 and many more.

[33] Orot, p. 104 ch. 2, p. 133. The codification of the Divine Ideal in Torah laws that encompass all areas of life is seen in the great work of the Rambam, The Yad HaChazaka (Mishneh Torah), which begins with the Foundations of Torah, in the spiritual/philosophical realm, through the laws of agriculture, continuing to the Laws of Kings and Their Wars. Rav Shaul Yisraeli, Eretz Chemda, Introduction, p. 1; Rav Moshe Tzvi Neryah, Mo’aday HaRiyah, pp. 180-2; Lintivot Yisrael, pp. 118-127. See note 19B above. Chatam Sofer, Novellae, Succah 36a s.v. “Domeh l’kushi.”

[34] Dvarim 4:39; Aleynu prayer; Targum Yonatan, Yishayahu 6:3. This oneness is expressed only when Am Yisrael is in Eretz Yisrael. “Since Knesset Yisrael is now in Galut, it is as if He is not called One. [And] when is He called One? When Israel leaves the exile and Knesset Yisrael returns to its place to be with G-d, as it says, ‘In that day will He be One and His Name One’… ‘Who is like Your nation one in the land’ (Divrei HaYamim I 17:21). And when is Israel called one? When they are in the Land, and not when they are outside it.” Zohar 3:93. Writings of Rav Yehuda Chai Alkalai, Vol. I p. 278. Sfat Emmet, Parshat B’Har 5653; Mo’aday HaRiyah, pp. 160-161; Orot p. 170:9; Orot HaKodesh I:144-145. On the relationship between ‘Kodesh V’Chol’ (holy and profane) see Ma’amray HaRiyah, “Ne’edar BaKodesh” pp. 399-417, Orot HaKodesh I:145-6, II:307-324.

[35] Orot, p. 24 ch. 8. See note 37. See Netzach Yisrael, ch. 10.

[36] Ibid., p. 64 ch. 10.

[37] Maharal, Netzach Yisrael ch. 11; Sfat Emmet on the Torah, Vol. V Succot 5634 (s.v. “Mitzvat Arava”); Rav Tzadok of Lublin, Resisei Lilah pp. 9-10 para. 10, pp. 50-1 para. 33 and Likutei Amarim para. 16; Iggrot HaRiyah Vol. II p. 186; Shabbat Ha’Aretz, Introduction p. 7. See Breishit Rabba 65:22; Middot HaRiyah, Emunah, para. 10.

[38] Iggrot HaRiyah Vol. II p. 186; Mitoch HaTorah HaGoelet, Vol. I 1:2.

[39] Orot, pp. 10-11 chs.3-5; May Marom VI:17.

[40] 2:36. Zohar 3:221b. See also Orot p. 138:2, 170:9. Also called “Brain of the world” – Zohar2:108b; Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 24. Also as the lofty neshama that gives life and elevates all to the level of the supreme life Shemoneh Kevatzim 7, para. 169.

[41] Mesillat Yesharim, end of ch. 19 (pages 259-263 in Feldheim edition). See note 26. Hence the line of defense taken by our leaders throughout Biblical history when they came to defend the Jewish people. They did not claim innocence on the part of their defendants. They admitted to the guilt of the people and to their being worthy of punishment and destruction. Yet they claimed to G-d, ‘You cannot do so! For Your Name is linked to theirs. You must save them for Your Name’s sake, because if they are destroyed the nations will say that You were unable to save them. It will seem that You are weak and Your honor will be diminished,’ or as explained in note 26, ‘for the sake of the ideal that You want to be revealed in the world and which depends on the existence of its bearers and their redemption.’ So Moshe Rabeinu pleads for the nation after the sin of the spies (who did not want to go to Eretz Yisrael) in Bamidbar 14:13-16 (and G-d accepts this line of defense—verse 20, & Rashi there). Also Yehoshua, in Yehoshua 7:9, Shmuel, in Shmuel I 12:22. See M’lachim II 19:34; Yishayahu 43:25, 48:9-11, 63:9; Yirmiyahu 14:7-9; Yehezkel 20:8-9,13-14,21-22, 36:20-23, 39:7 & Rashi, 39:23-29; Yoel 2:17; T’hillim 25:11, 31:4, 79:9-10, 106:8, 109:21, 115:1-2, 143:11; Daniel 9:15—19, and the list goes on and on. See Or HaRa’ayon, ch. 14.

This is also our line of defense,’ the basis of our prayers for redemption and salvation (See Nefesh HaChaim 2:11). The theme of ‘Save us for Your Name’s sake is found throughout our prayers, but can be seen especially concentrated in the Tachanun prayer after the Amidah. Also in the Amidah itself 3 times – in the beginning, middle and end!

Our sages emphasize this topic and point out many verses in the Tanach that identify the redemption of Israel with the ‘redemption of G-d.’ See Nefesh HaChaim 2:11 for a partial list.

[42] Chatam Sofer, Responsa, Yoreh Deah 234. On Torat Eretz Yisrael see also Breishit Rabbah 16:4; “…From here that the Torah is in Eretz Yisrael,” Sifrei Dvarim 30, Parshat Ekev 1; Tanna D’Bay Eliyahu Rabbah 2; Orot HaTorah, ch. 13; Ma’amray HaRiyah p.78; Iggrot HaRiyah Vol. I pp. 112-3,123-4; EHS, 80-81.

The ramifications extend beyond the national ideal and reach down to the individual level—Avot D’Rabbi Natan 28:2; K’tuvot 75a; Midrash T’hillim 105; Bava Batra 158b; P’sachim 34b; Shabbat 145b; Sanhedrin 24a; Bava Metzia 85a; Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer, ch. 8; Lintivot Yisrael I:160; Mitoch HaTorah Hagoelet, IV:21-25.

On the centrality of Torah from Eretz Yisrael see Brachot 63a-b and Talmud Yerushalmi Nedarim 6:8 (p.23).

[43] See note 33 above.

[44] Orot pp. 108-110.

[45] The minimum domain of each private individual-Evuvin 48a.

[46] Goal therefore is to retain holiness against nature – Orot pp. 77-78, ch. 28. Judaism in a “tactical retreat,” the physical constituting a threat to holiness, as in Hovot HaLevavot (Shaar HaPrishut ch. 2). But that is not the ideal, but the temporary guidance when in exile and the national spirit is too weak to direct and uplift the material – Heivesh Pe’er p. 22a, Chatam Sofer, Succah 36a s.v. Domeh.

[47] Also Rashi, Ramban, Rabeinu Bachye on Dvarim 11:18; Rabeinu Bachye on Breishit 15:11; Rashba, Responsa Vol. I no. 134; Vilna Gaon, Aderet Eliyahu, Parshat Ekev; Rav Moshe Bula, Chaiyay Olam, Drush 2 on Parshat Lech Lecha, p. 28b; Kli Yakar, Shmot 20:2; Approbation of the Netziv to Ahavat Chessed of the Chafetz Chaim; Artzot HaChaim, Sha’ar 10:36; Lintivot Yisrael I:160 in the name of the Chafetz Chaim, that a Mitzva done in Eretz Yisrael is worth 20 times a Mitzvah done in chutz la’aretz.

“The dwelling in Eretz Yisrael ‘weighs’ the same as all the Mitzvot in the Torah” Sifrei to Dvarim 12:29 Section 28; Tosefta Avoda Zara ch. 5 sec. 2.

[48] Vayikra 26:44; Kuzari 2:33; Rambam, Iggeret Taiman, Rambam L’Am edition (Mossad HaRav Kook), 126-129; Meshech Chochma, Vayikra 26:44; Lintivot Yisrael I:74.

“…The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He whom neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword nor inquisition was able to wipe off from the face of the earth… he who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, and who transmitted it to the rest of the world—such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is everlasting as is eternity itself.” Leo Tolstoy, “What Is A Jew?” cited in Rabbi Hertz, A Book of Jewish Thoughts (1932), 135-6; “…All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” Mark Twain, end of article “Concerning the Jews”; Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, 161-2. Also Giovanni Batista Vico, Sartre and others cited in Oreot with commentary6 by Rav Aviner, Yisreal U’Tchiyato, Ch. 5, note 266.

[49] Likutay HaGra, p. 38. See Malbim on Yehezkel 37:11-12. See also Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I p. 177.

[50] “There’s nothing that an Orthodox Jew needs that isn’t here [in Los Angeles!-M.K.]” Los Angeles Times, May 1, 1988, part 2 p. 1; Lintivot Yisrael, I:73-74; May Marom VI:26; Orot, p. 9 ch. 2.

[51] Maharal, Netzach Yisrael, ch. 1; Orot, p. 77 ch. 28.

[52] “Habit—second nature” Rav Yitzchak Lamperanti, Pachad Yitzchak, Letter ‘Hay,’ p. 44, s.v. “Hergel”; Shvilei Emunah, 4:2; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 32:8. In regards to exile becoming the comfortable new home, see Kuzari 2:24; Kli Yakar, Breishit 47:27, Vayikra 18:3; Meshech Chochma, Vayikra 26:44; Rav Mordechai Attiah, preface to The Pardess of Rav Moshe Kordevero, p. 1; and at length in Tzvi Glatt, Me’afar Kumi, 1-31.

[53] Protocols of the 11th Knesset of Israel, Second Session, 12th of Tevet, 5746, p. 14.

[54] Besides all the sources mentioned above and below that tell us that Galut and lack of Jewish sovereignty are a Chillul HaShem, a graveyard, a nullification of Torah, etc., they also say that “All those who live in chutz la’aretz are as if they worship idols!” K’tuvot 110b; Tosefta Avoda Zara 5:2; Avot D’Rabbi Natan 26:2,4; Rashi, Breishit, 17:8; Ramban, Vayikra 18:25; Drashot HaRan, Drush 4; Rambam, Laws of Kings 5:12; Rashba, Responsa I:134. As G-d proclaims to the righteous in the future: “Although the words of Torah are dear to you, you have not done well! For you waited for My Torah and did not await [expect, work for]. My kingdom!” Psikta Rabti 34. See also Rav Ya’akov Emden, Siddur, Introduction “Sulam Beit El,” pp. 13-14.

[55] Rav Chaim David HaLevy, Aseh Lecha Rav, I:18-19; Publishers’ preface to EHS p. xiv.

[56]And then, even when it became possible to act to facilitate the return of the nation back to the Land of Israel, few did so, after becoming so accustomed to the previous impossibility – see M. Seligman on concept of “Learned Helplessness” and note 59.

[57] See note 55 above, note 64 below.

The concept of Emunah became distorted to the point that it was felt that the more one has faith in G-d the less action one takes to alleviate his suffering or end the Exile. Human action is seen as heresy and lack of trust in G-d – at least on the national level (‘if G-d wanted us.back in Israel HE would bring us back and He does need our help.’ Who indeed is bringing us back? – see Radak below.). The Rambam attacked this distortion in his Commentary to the Mishna, P’sachim, end of ch. 4. So too Rav Yosef Albo, in his Ikkarim 4:6 (“Diligence and effort are useful and necessary in all human acts… The Rabbis also say [Sifre on Devarim 15:18,para. 123]: ‘In order that the L-rd your G-d may bless you’ [Devarim 14:29] – Will He do so even if a man sits in idleness? No, [for the verse continues] ‘in all the work of your hands which you do’, thus explaining that G-d’s blessing comes with effort.”); Rashba, Responsa I:413; Chovot haLevavot, Shaar haBitachon ch. 4; Rav A. Y. Kook, Orot HaEmunah, pp. 43-44. See also Radak, T’hillim 146:3, that indeed G-d is the One that brings salvation-but He does so through US and OUR efforts! Drashot HaRan, Drush 10 and Abarbanel commentary to Dvarim 8:17-18. Rav A. Y. Kook, Ein Ayah, Brachot Vol. I Introduction, 13 and p. 57 para. 143; Ginzei HaRiyah Vol. II:20-21. This misconception is most devastating when the time comes that G-d wants us to rebuild the nation – Orot p. 87 ch. 51.

Our Sages tell us we are not to rely on miracles (Yerushalmi Yuma 1:4, Shekalim 6:3; Bavli Pesachim 64b; Encyclopedia Talmudit Vol. I. s.v. Ein somchin al haness; Ramban on the Torah in many places, as in Breishit 6:19, Vayikra 26:11, Bamidbar 1:45, 13:2, Dvarim 20:9; Gvurot Hashem ch. 9; Sefer haChinuch 546; EHS, 76, 196-197, 267-272; Letter of the Gaon Rav Eliyahu Guttmacher in Shivat Tzion II:41 (cited also in HaTekufah HaGedolah, p. 159); Responsa Tzitz Eliezer, Vol. 17 Siman 2).

Trust in G-d is not in place of human efforts but rather after all our efforts, we must know that if they succeed or not is in the hands of Hashem (Ikkarim 4:6; Responsa Mishpat Kohen, Siman 144:6). Therefore, we must do all we can (in honest ways that Hashem wants) and only then G-d’s help will be forthcoming. When man cannot do, then Hashem will perform miracles – Ein Ayah Brachot Ch. 9 para. 14.

This is the main theme of Em HaBanim Semaicha (and the reason Rav Teichtal gives for writing the book – p. 36) which he applies to the need for us to take the initiative and come to the Land of Israel and build it. He cites (p. 158) Tractate Nidda 70b which states that in order to succeed both action and prayer are needed (as seen in the sources above, as the Sifre etc.), and “one without the other is insufficient.” Rav Teichtal elaborates “we must first do our share and then Hashem will do His” (p. 161); “Hashem will not initiate [the redemption]. Rather, after Israel returns to the Land, Hashem will complete [the process]… with ‘natural processes'” (p. 138). This he repeats throughout the work (see for example pp. 128, 147, 252, 196-7, 267-272, 364). He also cites (p. 47) the holy Rav Eliyahu Guttmacher of Greiditz who wrote (in letter printed in the beginning of Responsa Nefesh Chaya): “We initiate the process of redeeming the Land, and then Hashem will complete it.”

Regarding those awaiting the Mashiach in Galut, see Lech Lecha V’Sod HaShevua, Rav Mordechai Attiah, pp. 30-31.

[58] Beitza 16a.

[59] Kol HaTor ch. 1 sections 2, 3, 6[1end], 8[3], 15[3], 20, 24, ch. 2 sec. 1:Intro., 40, 60, 101, 106, 138, 147, 156, sec. 2:1, ch. 3:12, ch. 4:1, end, ch. 5:3, and section on rectifying the sin of the spies. Also Metzudot commentary to Zecharya 10:8; EHS, 174, 521, 258, 262; Orot p. 79 ch. 32, p. 61, ch. 7; Writings of Rav Alkalai, II:617; Yehezkel 37:14.

This spiritual force awakens us to get up and do, in a natural fashion (as opposed to the learned helplessness of the galut – Moreh Nevuchim III:32; Ibn Ezra on Shmot 14:13). This is the spirit of G-d mentioned in Yehezkel 37 that breathes new life into the dormant nation. This force is called a “minor miracle” (Tosafot, Bava Metzia 106) and the first level of prophecy (Moreh Nevuchim II:45). This is the main “miracle,” the foundation, of all the amazing events and developments of the redemption period – Lintivot Yisrael I:178. From the inner depths of the collective soul come new energies which demand their expression, in stages, even though the participants themselves are not always aware of this Divine source – Orot p. 79 ch. 32. G-d reveals new souls and energies; enhanced life forces emerge as we get closer to the coming of Mashiach – Yoel 3:1, Malbim. This is the hand of G-d that pushes redemption (and not that we are pushing His hand).

The functions of Mashiach ben Yosef, the mashiach before Mashiach ben David, include the ingathering of the exiles, the conquering of Eretz Yisrael, and the building of Yerushalayim (ibid., 1:2). See Emunot V’Dayot, Article 8; Rav Menachem M. Kasher, HaTekufah HaGedolah, 421-431; EHS, 269-272.

[60] Ohr HaChaim, Vayikra 25:25; Lintivot Yisrael I:13-15, 41-2, 79-80; May Marom III:43, VI:329, 150.

[61] Sanhedrin 98a; Megillah 17b. When the Land of Israel begins to show signs of life again by giving its fruits, that is a clear indication of redemption because when Am Yisrael is not there she will not give her fruits to others—Torat Kohanim, Vayikra 26:32; Ramban on same verse; Rabeinu Bachye Breishit 17:8; the Netziv in Shivat Tzion, ed. Avraham Ya’akov Slotzki (Warsaw: 5660; repr. Jerusalem: 5738), part 1 p. 17; the Rebbe of Pilov, Admor Chaim Yisrael (grandson of R. Menachem Mendel of Kotsk), Shlom Yerushalayim, 2 p. 7b.

[62] Chazon Torah V’Tzion, ed. Shimon Federbush, p. 81; Shivat Tzion 1:52-3. See note 71 below.

So too, the return to Eretz Yisrael is considered teshuva – Rav Yonatan Eibshitz, Ahavat Yonatan, Haftarat Balak, cited EHS, p. 165.

[63] Meshech Chochma, Dvarim 30:2. See also Orot p. 96 ch. 67. Zionism did not take people away from religion. The opposite. Many that went after Reform or Haskalah and left religious observance now found the beginning of the way back through Zionism. See “The Writings of the Hafetz Chaim” Vol. III, biography by his son, p. 75. [There are many indications of the trend of advance over the past generation, but one point: In the first Knesset 12 out of the 120 were religious – 10%. In 5774, 40% of the Jews in the Knesset are religious.]

[64] Rav Chaim Elazar Shapira, the Munkatz Rebbe, Minchat Elazar, Vol. V no. 12; Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, VaYoel Moshe. See Yitzchak Alfasi, HaChassidut V’Shivat Tzion, 86-9, 95-6, 113. Pinkasei HaRiyah II:143-4.

“It is wrong to believe that Redemption will come as a sudden revelation of G-d from Heaven, calling upon His people to leave the exile, or that He will suddenly send His Mashiach from Heaven to blast the shofar and summon the scattered back to Yerushalayim… Not so, my dear friend!” Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kalisher, Drishat Tzion, pp. 88, 211. “To our great misfortune, there are yet many who mistakenly believe that they will sit in the comfort of their homes when suddenly the Gates of Mercy will fly open and wonders will take place in Heaven and on earth… and a voice will call them from their places. But it will not be so!” Rav Eliyahu Guttmacher, in Shivat Tzion II:41. EHS [Rav Teichtal was a follower of the Munkatz Rebbe!], 24, 147, 196-197, 252, 267-272; Rav Attiah, preface to Rav Moshe Kordevero ‘s Pardess, 4; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I p. 142.

Regarding the severe consequences of this “sit and do nothing” approach and lack of participation in building the Land of Israel, see EHS 23-4, 243-6, 312 (letter of the Gerrer Rebbe), 349. Rav Kasher, HaTekufah HaGedolah, 162-3.

[65] Sanhedrin 98a. The deadline date, past which G-d will no longer withhold the redemption, His goal for all creation, and wait for our being worthy. Rather, for the sake of His Divine ideal He brings it even though we are not deserving.

[66] Verse 22.

[67] “If they are unworthy—in its time” Sanhedrin 98a. Also Rabeinu Bachye, Shmot 12:40; Radak, T’hillim 105:5; Emunot V’Dayot 8:5; Ramchal, Da’at Tvunot, para. 36; Chafetz Chaim, Shem Olam, “Sha’ar HaHitchazkut” ch. 13; Ohr HaChaim, Vayikra 25:28.

Regarding the related question of the Redemption’s dependence on Teshuva, see Sanhedrin 97b and the Yad Rama there; Yerushalmi, Ta’anit 1:1 and Korban HaEdah commentary; Netzach Yisrael, ch. 31; Vilna Gaon, Even Shlema, 11:9; HaTekufah HaGedolah, 78-95; Lintivot Yisrael I:191ff. and citation there of the Leshem (Rav Elyashiv); Rav Yisachar Teichtal, EHS, 131-133, 167ff., 184ff.; Rav Filber, Ayellet HaShachar, 117-126.

[68] Talmud Yerushalmi, Yuma 3:2; Shir HaShirim Rabbah 6:10; Midrash T’hillim 18:36; Tanchuma, beginning of Parshat Dvarim; Zohar I:170a; Kol HaTor, ch. 1:15, ch. 2:12; Malbim in Shivat Tzion, 2:3; EHS, 135-138, 175-176; HaTekufah HaGedolah, pp. 67-70, and Gerrer Rebbe cited there (p. 70), when asked his opinion about the U.N. decision in 1947 dividing the Land of Israel: “Our Sages already said in the Yerushalmi that the Redemption comes little by little. ” See Iggrot HaRiyah Vol. III no. 753 p. 20 regarding advantage of this way of redemption.

[69] Ohr HaChaim, Bamidbar 24:16; Ramban, Shir HaShirim 8:13; Radak, T’hillim 146:3; Kol HaTor, ch. 1:2, ch. 2 sec. 1:101, 138, sec. 2:1, ch. 4:3, ch. 5 Tikun 7 secs. 3, 6; EHS, 134-140, 146-148, 196-197, 252, 264-266, 268, 363-364, 367, 404; Rav Kalisher in Shivat Tzion, 2:45; HaTekufah HaGedolah, 96-117. The sources use the sunrise (see note 68) and birth with its labor pains (Yishayahu 66:7-9, Even Shlema 11:5) as metaphors for the Redemption process. Also in our prayers the process is likened to a blossoming—“matzmiach yeshua,” “tzemach David” – see EHS, 139, 167. See also Zecharya 6:12 and Targum Yonatan; Writings of Rav Alkalai, II:387.

[70] See note 59 above. Also note 57 regarding obligation of human initiative and efforts and not to rely on miracles. Kol HaTor, ch. 1:7[2], ch. 2:40, 42, 106, ch. 5 Tikun 7 secs. 3, 6; Rav Guttmacher in Shivat Tzion 2:41; EHS 271-272, 158-164, 4-5, 36, 364, 475 [see Index, p. 538, s.v. Redemption depends on Israel’s initiative]; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I p. 142.

[71] Writings of Rav Alkalai, I:200, 237, 283, II:326, 384-5, 538; May Marom VI:329; Orot HaTeshuva 17:1. The stages are already clearly seen in the chapter on the redemption process in the Tanach—Yehezkel ch. 36. So too, there is a clear delineation of two phases in Yehezkel ch. 37 (the ‘dry bones’ prophecy) — first the physical (national) rebirth (up to verse 9) and then the spiritual. See also HaTekufah HaGedolah, 72, 75, 217-218. So too the creation of Adam began from the dust of the ground and then breathed into him the Neshama-soul of life (Breishit 2:7). Each and every one of us as well goes through stages, first of physical, motor development and later intellectual and spiritual. Also in the order of the holidays, Pesach, which commemorates our nation’s physical birth (attained by the freedom from slavery), precedes Shavuot, the revelation of our spiritual essence. See also Brachot 17a s.v. “Ribon HaOlamim.” See note 80. See Malbim to Micha 4:8.

[72] Orot HaTeshuva 15:10, 12:18*, “Tosfot Teshuva,” ch. 6 p. 149.

[73] See note 71.

[74] Writings of Rav Alkalai, I:237, 278, 317, II:324, 384-5, 538-9, 594, 625, 632-3; Orot HaTeshuva 17:2; May Marom VI:150; Kol HaTor, ch. 5; EHS 5, 165, 262; Rav Mordechai Attiah, Lech Lecha, p. 78. The return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael returns the Shechina to Tzion—ibid., 19, 23-4, 60, 77, 80. HaTekufah HaGedolah, 105-106.

[75] Shir HaShirim Rabbah, 1:4 and Eitz Yosef commentary there; May Marom VI:79, 150; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I p. 348, p. 253 no. 200. The return to the Land and the return to Torah are not separate phenomena that happen to come one after the other, but are causally connected. Only a strong nation living in the Land can fully receive and reveal the total framework of the Divine Ideal (see notes 19 and 26). Since the inner essence (‘personality’) of Am Yisrael is the Divine ideal of Torah (see note 17), when the organic unity of the nation is destroyed the Torah also is adversely affected (see Chagiga quote in text with note 42), unable to be expressed through fragmented limbs.

Conversely, the rebuilding of the national body causes the inner content of the nation to come back to its full expression (Ma’amray HaRiyah, 247). Therefore it is this personality, the ֹspiritual ideal itself, that is ‘pushing’ the Jews back to Eretz Yisrael, sending out its ‘messengers’ to prepare the vehicle necessary for its expression (see note 80). The ideal is so lofty, all-encompassing, that includes and uplifts even the physical, the body and nature. The first stages focus on the material in order to prepare a strong foundation for the strong, lofty souls (prophet must be powerful and rich – see Rav Kook, Essay “haPachad” in Ikvei HaTzon). Thus when see development of strong physical forces understand that they are not a threat rather an indication of what great spirituality is forthcoming that requires such a strong body to house and reveal it (see Orot 132).

This is the driving force behind their rebuilding the Land, even when those participating in the process themselves may be unaware of this inner source of inspiration (see notes105-108). Nevertheless, as the ‘secular’ building process progresses, it magnifies the inner voice of Torah. This is so by virtue of the fact that with the restored body returns the inner personality, the Neshama, as well. In other words, the Torah is felt more and more as a necessity of life. Ironically, this ‘secular building itself’ brings about the Teshuva that some of the builders thought they were working against (see Orot, p. 79 ch. 31, p. 145 para. 5, note 83 below).

This can also be learned from the prophecy of the “Dry Bones,” Yehezkel ch. 37. The bones that are so dry, with no spiritual moisture, are similar to dry branches cut off from their roots. At present the branches yield no fruits (Sanhedrin 92b), however, when reconnected to the living organism they are infused with new vitality and they too return to giving their fruits. This prophecy is referring to the whole House of Israel (Yehezkel 37:11) that is severed from its roots and source of life, Eretz Yisrael (Alshich, Torat Moshe, beginning of Lech Lecha). Though they may return dry, by the very reconnection to the Land they return to giving their fruits, that is, Torah and Mitzvot.

[76] As opposed to the Chillul HaShem of our very being in chutz la’aretz (see note 26 above).

[77] Verses 23-4. This is even before the Teshuva to Mitzvot is attained (v. 27).

[78] HaChasidut V’Shivat Tzion, 86-9, 95-100, 113-118; EHS, 408-9, Index on p. 540, motives of spies; HaTekufah HaGedolah, 163.

[79] See note 74. See letters of Gedolim in Shivat Tzion. Em HaBanim Semaicha—entire book written to waken the Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael and rebuild it. So too Rav Kalisher’s Drishat Tzion and Writings of Rav Alkalai. Orot HaKodesh I:155; Lintivot Yisrael I:192-200, 99-105, 41-43, 172-180.

[80] Orot p. 79 ch. 32. The apparent incompleteness of the Teshuva is actually part of a general principle of how G-d brings to fulfillment His ideal. The first manifestation of the spiritual ideal, the Neshama, is through the lower, physical forces (such as in individual human development) which develop in order to enable the moral, spiritual content to express itself fully. (Orot Hakodesh I:97 ch. 80,79; Orot, p. 132, p. 77 ch. 27, p. 79 ch. 31, p. 83 ch. 40; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 234, 400:5; Eitz Hadar, Rosh Amir, pp. 5-6. See notes 71 and 75.)

This phenomenon is expressed in the principle of “סוף מעשה במחשבה תחילה” —‘last in expression, first in thought.’ That means that the final outcome is the fulfillment of the original idea/ideal. Just as when one decides to build something, he begins with a plan in his mind and then sets out to execute it. Only at the conclusion of the process is the original intention revealed—the final product (=סוף מעשה) being what he had in mind in the beginning (=במחשבה תחילה). Such is the case in the world order that surrounds us. (Examples of this include: day after night; Shabbat after 6 days of Creation; Olam HaBah after Olam HaZeh [Bamidbar Rabbah 19:1]; Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the spiritual content, after Pesach, the physical freedom from slavery; Adam receives the Neshama after first being made from the earth (Breishit 2:7), etc.) The first and ultimate Divine goal that transcends our time-space continuum and precedes all in value, comes to expression last—revealing itself slowly in the physical world in order to ensure a firm base for its expression and prepare its physical receptacle (see Orot, pp. 132-34). This goal is ultimately revealed in perceptible reality and not just in idea, thus bringing about the unification of the ideal and the real—ד’ אחד ושמו אחד —G-d is One and His Name (how He is called, how His ideal is perceived—see P’sachim 50a) is One. World history is the slow, continuous, exposure of the ideal of G-d in the borders of space and time (see Orot, p. 27 ch. 12).

This seemingly simple concept poses difficulties when as a result of it we find ourselves in a world replete with suffering and injustices, disasters and darkness. This is the result since only the final product fully expresses the goal, and the primary stages of expression seem far from the ideal, even opposed to it. The inner content as yet is greatly concealed—hence the ‘darkness.’ One who sees the whole picture appreciates the Divine Good in every step of the way, seeing how it is part of and leads to the total fulfillment of “let there be light” (Orot HaKodesh II:454, 456, 356 passim, Ma’amray HaRiyah, 246). Only Rabbi Akiva, with his penetrating vision, laughed when others cried upon witnessing the destruction (end of Tractate Makkot).

However, for one who lives and sees only the momentary, fragmented reality, severed from the whole, the interim stage is an onerous and perplexing period. (As with everything in reality, each detail has its true meaning and beauty only when in context with the organic whole. Orot HaTeshuva 4:10; Orot, p. 66, beginning of ch. 14. See page 1 above, the same idea in reference to the individual’s relation to the klal. In relation to Torah and its details, see Orot HaTorah, 2:2-3, 7, 3:3-9, 4:3-5. In relation to eternity and temporal life, see Arpilay Tohar, 51-2, Orot HaKodesh II:549-50). The difficulty of the concept, therefore, lies in the fact that it is not so simple to rise up beyond the historical moment and see the ‘big picture’ of universal evolution.

So too with the Redemption of Israel, which the universal goal is contingent upon. It reveals itself in the order of תשר”ק, the reverse order of the alphabet, starting from the end (Tur Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 286; Siddur Otzar HaT’fillot, on Musaf prayer of Shabbat “Tikanta,” p. 366; May Marom VI:33; EHS, 521). That means that the process progresses from secular to holy; from (what seems to be) worse to better (Shemot 5:22, Moshe says in wonder to Hashem, since I have gone to Paro, not only have You not redeemed the nation of Israel but things have gotten even worse! Moshe knew there would be stages, but regression!? (העדר קודם להוי’ה Absence precedes [a more advanced] existence). See Maharal, Gevurot HaShem, ch. 18, Netzach Yisrael, chs. 26, 32, 35; EHS, 186-193; Even Shlema, 11:5; Resisei Lilah, p. 15 para. 14, pp. 30-1 para. 24; Ramchal, Derech HaShem, I:2:2-3, Da’at Tvunot, ed. Chaim Friedlander (Bnei Brak: 5743), pars. 14-28, pp. 20, 76-77, 255 ; Orot pp. 132-5, p. 52 bottom, p. 94 ch. 62, p. 77 ch. 26, Essay “Yesurim Memarkim” pp.126-8; Orot HaTeshuva, “Tosfot Teshuva,” ch. 6; Article of Rav Sterlitz at end of Orot HaTeshuva, pp.165-168; Orot HaKodesh I:148-9, II:421; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 399:1.

Therefore, in order to understand the process and to be able to work with it (and not feel threatened by the inroads made by the physical forces and respond with a war of defense to ‘save’ the spiritual ideals—see Orot HaKodesh, II:317ff, III:76, and notes 78, 104), one must develop the vision of Emunah that enables him more and more to comprehend the ‘big picture’ and view the present as a phase of a dynamic historical process of universal development towards the original idea of perfection (see Ein Ayah Shabbat,l Ch. 2 para. 109). See notes 109-111.

[81] In Yehezkel chapter 36 we see a delineation of the stages until ultimately there is also the return to the individual performance of the Mitzvot (v. 28). However, when this final stage is reached, it is a totally different level of fulfillment of Mitzvot—not an external acceptance of the yoke of Heaven, rather Torah as natural, instinctive and intuitive (Yirmiyahu 31:31; Ramban Dvarim 30:6; Or HaChaim Vayikra 18:2; Orot HaKodesh III:106, 129, 138; Shemot Rabba 48:4). So too in Dvarim (ch. 30) there are stages of Teshuva and Redemption (Rav Yitzchak Arama, Akedat Yitzchak, Sha’ar 100), and a distinction between returning עד ד’ and אל ד’, as we find in many places in the Tanach (see Lintivot Yisrael I:193-4).

[82] See note 68.

[83] Olat Riyah I:115; Orot HaKodesh I:155; Lintivot Yisrael, I, article “Al HaPerek,” pp. 12-21.

[84] Emunot V’Dayot, 8:1 end; Rav Tzvi Yisrael Tau, Ituray Kohanim #33 (Jerusalem: Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim), Tevet 5748, pp. 11-12; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I no. 158; Orot, p. 185.

It is detrimental to over burden the child with spiritual demands (Seder Hayom, Rav Moshe Ibn Machir [Venice, 1599], Perush Mishna Ben 5 LeMikra).In the metaphor, the child is not yet obligated by the Torah to fulfill the commandments, only when reaches age of 13. Meanwhile other forces and faculties have to built and developed which will be a healthy, solid foundation for the spiritual. If skip the lower stages, not only will they be lacking but adversely affects the proper development of the advanced, intellectual, spiritual stages.

[85] Yuma 78b.

[86] Orot, p. 64 ch. 9; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I no. 274; Orot HaTeshuva, 5:16*.

[87] See pages 10-11 above.

[88]  See note 78. Chazon Torah V’Tzion, 78, 81.

[89] See quotes in Appendix to Sichot B’Chinuch, lecture of Rav Aviner, “HaDor,” ed. R. Sofer, p. 5; Ma’amray HaRiyah 258. See Orot HaEmunah, p. 46; Orot, p. 87 ch. 51 and note 57 above.

[90] Orot HaTeshuva, “Tosfot Teshuva,” ch. 7 p. 153.

[91] Orot HaTeshuva, 12:2; Orot, p. 77 ch. 27, p. 26 ch. 11, p. 185; Olat Riyah I:214; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 234, 406:6.

[92] Orot, Essay “Mahalach HaIdayot”; Essay “HaMisped B’Yerushalayim,” Ma’amray HaRiyah, 94-99. In another place Rav Kook speaks of 3 parties (Orot, pp. 70-72 ch. 18) which are all encompassed by a greater transcending Divine Ideal of Kedusha, holiness—HaKodesh HaElyon.

[93] Orot, pp. 72-3; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 299; Iggrot HaRiyah I, p. 214.

[94] Orot, p. 45 ch. 31.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Iggrot HaRiyah I p. 17. Divrei Shaul cited in Margliyot Hayam, Sanhedrin 97. Eder HaYakar

[97] Ibid., p. 158:1.

[98] Orot, “Mahalach HaIdayot”; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 94-99, 299; Orot, pp. 72-3, 45-46.

[99] Ma’amray HaRiyah, 400, secs. 3,4; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. III p. 158.

[100] Orot, pp. 63-4 ch. 9; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I p. 311, Vol. II no. 555, Vol. III p. 262; Lintivot Yisrael, I:76-7, II:159-60; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 416:8; Netziv, in Shivat Tzion, 2:7.

[101] Page 36; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 298-9.

[102] Orot, p. 185. See note 99. Many Torah giants saw the inner Divine hand working to arouse the nation over 100 years ago, despite its being defined by the participants as a secular movement. The Netziv of Volzhin (in his letter supporting the Zionist revival in Shivat Tzion II:7) writes that the fact that this movement encompasses the nation, different groups from different places, this in an indication that it does not emanate from a certain leader’s charismatic influence or ideas of a certain group, rather “the voice of the masses is the voice of Hashem.” So too the great possek Rav Yeshua Kotna in his Yeshuot Malka (Yoreh Deah 66) points out that since this awakening includes all types of Jews, secular and religious, it stems from the collective Divine, root source of the Jewish people that transcends the individuals (and their explanations). See Rav Shmuel Mohliver, in Shivat Tzion, 1:13-14; Rav Yitzchak Elchanan (Spector), ibid., 1:16-17; Netziv, ibid., 1:17, 2:6-7; Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “Kol Dodi Dofek,” in Ish HaEmunah, 78; Resisei Lilah, p. 9 para. 9; Orot, p. 79 ch. 32; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I, p. 256, no. 205; Lintivot Yisrael, I:13; EHS, 169, 183.

[103] EHS, 458, 82-83, 291ff., 295; Rav Kalisher, Drishat Tzion, Article 2; Orot, p. 79 ch. 31; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I, p. 254 no. 200, no. 160; May Marom VI:90; HaTekufah HaGedolah, 182ff.

The holiness of Eretz Yisrael is not dependent on the Mitzvot performed in it. The opposite is true. The Mitzvot depend on and stem from the inherent Divine holiness of the Land and get their value from it. The extra commandments are needed to express this inherent holiness. Kaftor V’Ferach, ch. 10; Chatam Sofer, Responsa, Yoreh Deah no. 234; Shabbat Ha’Aretz, Preface ch. 15; Sefer Magen Zvi (Rabbi Zvi Magence), p. 209. Therefore, the more the ‘body’ of Israel is built, the more the Neshama, the spiritual content, can be revealed through it. Ma’amray HaRiyah, 400, sec. 5.

[104] Quoted from an article written about Teshuva from the personal standpoint alone and against the national rebirth. The present article came as a response to that article.

[105] HaChasidut V’Shivat Tzion, 100; Orot, pp. 45-6 ch. 31; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 404:2, 407:10.

[106] Orot, p. 64 ch. 9, p. 46 ch. 31, p. 75 ch. 22, p. 159 para. 4, pp. 148-9 para. 2; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. III p. 262; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 399:1, 257; May Marom VI:333.

[107] May Marom VI:329; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 400:5; Orot, p. 79, ch. 31, p. 185.

[108] Ma’amray HaRiyah, 404:1; May Marom VI:27, 329.

[109] Ma’amray HaRiyah, 76-77, 399:1; Orot p. 73, ch. 19, p. 85 ch. 46; Rav Kook, “Emunat Yisrael, Lectures on the Kuzari,” in Nitzanay Aretz, Vol. 7 p. 53. Ein Aya, Brachot Ch.9, para. 225.

[110] Tikkunei Zohar, Tikun 60. See also note 80; Sotah 49b; Gevurot HaShem, ch. 18; EHS, 186-193; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I pp. 369-70, Vol. II no. 555; Ikvei HaTzon, Essay “HaDor”; Ma’amray HaRiyah, 412-3 para. 3, 415:8. See Sota 49b (“In the footsteps of the Mashiach chutzpah will increase…”); Sifri, Dvarim para. 318 regarding the three generations before Mashiach; Rav Kook, Responsa Orach Mishpat, p. 248; Mitoch HaTorah HaGoelet 4:67.

How and why the good can be revealed through an initial “evil” phenomenon is an important topic, the understanding of which enables us to comprehend the difficult, paradoxical phases of the manifestation of the redemption that will raise all mankind and existence to their ultimate elevation, and recognize and identify its true inner source [and thus able to guide to completion]. This study, however, is beyond the scope of this article. It touches upon the function of evil in the world in general. Nevertheless, for some sources regarding why and how redemption comes through secular, sinning Jews, see EHS, Index, p. 539 s.v. “Redemption, sinners and”; also Index, p. 533 s.v. “Eretz Yisrael, sinners and”; also pp. 131-133., 167ff., 215-6, 220-1, 282ff.; HaTekufah HaGedolah, 22-27, 78-95, 182-187, 190ff.

[111] Like the eyes of Rabbi Akiva that see the building of the 3rd Temple through the destruction of the 2nd—Makkot 24. Sfat Emmet on the Torah, Vol. III Pesach 5655-56, pp.97-8 para. starting “B’Mechilta”; The Kotzker Rebbe, Amud HaEmmet, 61; Tanya (Likutei Amarim), ch. 32; Rav Hillel Zeitlin, Sifran Shel Yechidim, 238-40; Pinkasei HaRiyah I:397; Orot HaKodesh, I:151; Orot, p. 65 ch. 12, p. 96 ch. 67, p. 170 ch. 9:2; Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. I pp. 45, 171, Vol. II letter no. 555, Vol. IV p. 62, no. 1040; Ikvei HaTzon, 109, 111; Lintivot Yisrael, I:13-4.

How we see redemption process and judge it affects how it develops – HaTekufah HaGedolah, p. 551 cites Rav Harlap.

[112] Orot, p. 96 ch. 67, p. 94 ch. 62, p. 44 ch. 28, p. 27 ch. 12; Orot HaKodesh I:155; Lintivot Yisrael, II:180 top.

[113]Chafetz Chaim, quoted in Rabbi Shwab, Beit Hashoeva, p. 12, HaTekufah HaGedolah, p. 20. The Hafetz Chaim wrote a treatise “Tzipita LeYeshua” to show that now we are close to redemption (and encouraged studying tractates and laws of the Temple), and writes that the signs of redemption (even the negative ones) have been fulfilled. He saw “the awakening of hundreds and thousands to return to our Land and work its soil, and the fact that the nations of the world were discussing our return to Zion, as the hand of G-d” “The Writings of the Hafetz Chaim” Vol. III, biography by his son, p. 69.

Many Torah giants saw the Balfour declaration, San Remo and League of Nations ratification and other events as the “Etchalta DeGeula—Beginning of Redemption.” Rav Kasher has chapters on “Etchalta DeGeula” in his HaTekufah HaGedolah (he establishes [based on a myriad of sources in his encyclopedic method – he is the author of the Torah Shlemah encyclopedia] his opinion that we are definitely in the era of Etchalta DeGeula), and a chapter called “The Opinion of Gedolei Yisrael and Their Support of the Settlement of Eretz Yisrael,” pp. 153-210. When the elder Rebbe of Hosiatin was asked his opinion upon the declaration of the State of Israel, he replied:”Etchalta DeGeula” -ibid., p. 209. On pages 374-381 he brings the lists of the Rabbis who called to vote for the “United Religious Front,” one of which (Tevet 5709-January 1949) begins: “We thank Hashem that we have merited through His great mercy and kindness to see the first sprouts of Etchalta DeGeula in the establishment of the State of Israel” – p. 374. He has a later volume (“The Four Shepherds – HaTekufah HaGedolah, Part 2) published in 5745 (1985) after the Yom Kippur War and following events which he wrote upon being asked if he still is certain that we are in Etchalta DeGeula. His response is unequivocal: “A clear light illuminates the significance of our era: the time of Etchalta DeGeula” – p. 4 (He elaborates on the opinions of four ‘shepherds’ – the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh, the Ba’al Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon and the Chatam Sofer – on the ways of redemption.). More recently, Rav Y. Dadon published two volumes (“It Is Etchalta” 5766, 5768) in which he collected the opinions of over 100 Torah giants on the significance of our times and the State of Israel.

[114] Yishayahu 11:9.

[115] Kol HaTor 2:39, EHS, 268.

[116] Kol HaTor, ch. 2 part 2:1,2, ch. 3:12. Also ch. 5, section ‘Tachlit HaGeulah.’

[117] Even Shlema 11:3; Rav Attiah, preface to Pardess. See also May Marom VI:187; Orot p. 95 ch. 64; Orot HaKodesh I:141; Ikvei HaTzon 142-3, 145; Orot HaTeshuva, 14:1; Orot HaEmunah, p. 46. The call for broadening our Torah concepts fills the volumes of Rav Kook’s letters and other works. A few examples from volume I of his letters (Iggrot HaRiyah) include pages: 26, 37, 52, 54, 57 (no. 46), 81-82, 92 (no. 87), 93, 101 (no. 90), 110-111, 160 (no. 132), 187, 192-5, 213, 244, 311, 339-40 passim.

In order to guide Am Yisrael to the fulfillment of its inner essence, one must be well versed in that essence. This requires a deep study in the broad field of Torah that reveals the true meaning of Yisrael. See Mitoch HaTorah HaGoelet, I:4-6.

[118] Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. II p. 37.  “The majesty or lowness of the redemption depends on the depth of the holy thought of the nation which is revealed through its unique giants of spirit… those that see the redemption… are the ones who bring the redemption.” Iggrot HaRiyah, Vol. III p. 19. HaTekufah HaGedolah, p. 551. See Likkutey Maharan, para. 282.

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