Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rav Kook's Yartzeit

In honor of the Yartzeit (anniversary of his passing, which is today, 3 Elul) of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook (may his holy remembrance be for a blessing), here is a very special Elul-themed poem he wrote.

By Rav Avraham Yitzchok Kook
(may his holy remembrance be for a blessing)
(as translated by R. Ben Zion Bokser, published in Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook , The Classics of Western Spirituality, Paulist Press)

All existence whispers to me a secret:
I have life to offer, take it, take it -
If you have a heart and in the heart red blood courses,
Which despair has not soiled.
But if your heart is dulled
And beauty holds no spell to you - existence whispers - Leave me, leave,
I am forbidden to you.
If every gentle sound,
Every living beauty,
Stir you not to a holy song,
But to some alien thought,
Then leave me, leave, I am forbidden to you.
And a generation will yet arise
And sing to beauty and the life
And draw delight unending
From the dew of heaven.
And people returned to life will hear
The wealth of life's secrets
From the vistas of the Carmel and the Sharon,
And from the delight of song and life's beauty
A holy light will abound.
All of existence will whisper,"My beloved, I am permitted to you."

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