Friday, August 27, 2010

I waited my whole life for this book

I can't believe I've lived 38 years without reading Rav Kook's Orot haTeshuvah.

I'm presently developing a series of shiurim from Orot haTeshuvah - yes, my initial lishmah read has become a prepare-for-a-shiur read - and I am perpetually stunned by the Torah, beauty, depth, inspiration, confidence and encouragement found in every line.

Here's the sentence I just read (14:36):

כשאדם רוצה להיות דוקא צדיק גמור, קשה לו להיות בעל תשובה
When a person wants to be a complete tzaddik, it is difficult for him to be a person of teshuvah [return].

Is that not a stunningly gorgeous formulation? Or am I just drunk on Rav Kook, and all of you are wondering what's so special about that sentence?


  1. :-)

    Now that you're experiencing his poetry of teshuvah; have you seen his other poetry?

    I sometimes think of him as an embodiment of Shir Hashirim.

  2. Dear Rabbi T,
    Sometimes in life we're fortunate to find a great soul that resonates at the same wave length as our own (albeit we may be -speaking personally- at a much lower amplitude). Just revel in it and expose others to it, some will resonate and some will say you've drunk the Kool-Aid. (my flavor is The Rav as well - but in my case Soloveitchik)
    Joel Rich

  3. Rav Kook is the Gadol HaDor for this epoch...
    This may be of interest to you if you're interested in his poetic nature.

  4. R' Mordechai-
    I definitely hear that.

    The Rav works for me as well, although in a very different way. Interesting.


  5. What do you think he means with this sentence?
    Does he mean you will be depressed by the task in front of you so you can't do teshuva?
    Or do you set your sights too high and become too proud to do a full teshuva?
    Does he he understand tzadik gamur as a chassid hame'uleh (the Yosef) as Rambam discusses in Shmona Prakim Chapter 6?
    Is he saying something else?

  6. That's nothing. I've been zoche to learn (via teleconference) Orot HaTeshuva with R Moshe Weinberger for the past 5 years.
    Looking forward to you posting a link to your own shiurim.

  7. The Talmid -
    I think it's all of the above, and more. ואין כאן מקום להאריך.

    Wow; are those shiurim archived? For my own, you can find the first one on YU Torah now. The next is Motzaei Shabbos before Selichos, and then another one on Sunday evening, Gd-willing.


    Getting your first one in a minute and will listen tonight.