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part II

The Importance of the State of Israel in the Writings of Rabbi A.I. Kook

In the previous part, we asked Why did G-d create an Jewish nation in its own land and not just a religion? We brought two reasons from Rav Kook's writings: an established nation can influence the rest of the nations and So that all should know, that not only outstanding individual can live in the light of G-d, but even entire nations can. In this part, we will see three more ideas to answer our question.
Click to dedicate this lesson
3. The National Framework of Altruism and Unity
Expanding the G-dly Ideals Even to the Most Difficult Fields
G-d Appears to the World through the Nation (=State) of Israel
Israel as the Concentrate of World Cultures After Globalization
A Light to the Nations

3. The National Framework of Altruism and Unity
Rav Y.M. Charlap, famed rabbi of Sha'arei Chessed and one of the chief disciples of Rav Kook, deals with the interesting historical question, why does the redemption begin with nationalism? Although we usually associate the mashiach with topics of spirituality and religious awakening, 1 we are told by chazal, and we see in practice, that the renaissance of Zionism- to answer the physical and national needs of the Jews- precedes the spiritual revival. That Mashiach Ben-Yosef 2 comes before Mashiach Ben-David. Why?
"Indeed, when the time of the advent of mashiach begins to be revealed, the beginning of t'shuva is to return and reawaken the ideas of the nation (klal) which had disappeared from Israel and to slowly shake off the individualism (egoism). Thus, all of the mistakes will stop, all of the sins, both accidental and purposely, will cease to exist." 3
The issue of egoism and self-centeredness is one of the most basic problems tackled by the mussar movement. Man has a natural tendency to be fixated on his own needs, at the expense of other people and more lofty ideals. Although we are instructed: "If I am not for myself, than who will be for me?", almost all of us overstress this and forget about the continuation, "And if I am (only) for myself, what am I (worth)?" 4 Today, this perennial problem is compounded even more by the "Me Generation", and the aftermath of feminism, which has weakened even the basic and natural allegiance and self-sacrifice for one's family. 5 In contrast, Rav Kook writes:
"One must constantly break out of his private frameworks, which consume his entirety, even revolving all of his thoughts around his own personal fortune, thus lowering him to the depths of pettiness, bringing upon himself endless physical and spiritual suffering. Contrarily, ones thoughts and desires, and the root of his ideas must revolve around the greater (ideas), the world at –large, mankind, the nation of Israel, the entire universe. Consequently, even his private interests will be more properly based." 6

Similarly, in describing Moshe, the most complete of all people of all-time, 7 the attribute chosen is that of humility. "And Moshe, the man, was extremely humble, more than any other person on the face of the earth". 8
In addition, in his introduction to his Sefer haMitzvot, the S'mag (R. Moshe of Coucy, one of the ba'alei haTosafot) recounts two dreams he had. The first, in which he was asked to write a book listing the mitzvot, despite the fact that the Rambam already did so, because he apparently omitted some important ones. In the second dream, as his work was coming to a finish, he was told from Heaven: "You (also) forgot to list the main (ideal): "… and you will become arrogant, and forget Hashem your G-d". 9
The Rambam himself, although he doesn't list humility as a mitzvah (possibly because it is so difficult, it cannot be obligatory), writes that it one of the few exceptions to the "golden rule" of usually taking the middle road.
"The upright way is the median of every character trait, equidistant from both extremes… (but) there are a few topics which (this) is forbidden… rather one should go to the extreme, like arrogance…". 10
Apparently, modesty is considered a very central precept.
"All of the negative ideas, and all of their offshoots, all forms of idolatry, all stem from the corrupting source of arrogance". 11
At first glance, the importance of becoming altruistic and less self-centered is in that it serves as the basic premise to observing the massive network of mitzvot bein adam l'chavero, which comprise a significant portion of the mitzvot.
On the other hand, we are taught: "'Love your neighbor as yourself'- this is ( the ) important encompassing rule of the Torah." 12 Apparently, this selflessness is considered all-encompassing, not only regarding the mitzvot between men, but also those between man and Hashem?
The simplest explanation is that one who is arrogant and self-centered will have difficulty accepting subordination and commandments from anyone- even G-d Almighty Himself. "Hashem says regarding the arrogant, there is not enough room in the world for he and I". 13 Yet we will see that the idea of altruism goes much deeper, even to the very essence of creation.
Many deal with the question: can we understand why G-d created the world? Seemingly, any possible solution is automatically disqualified. For if you suggest, for example, that He created the world in order to give us Torah, that would infer that beforehand, He was lacking something. This is impossible for the perfect G-d was always perfect and never lacked anything.
The only possible answer to that question is as follows: If the minimal kindness is to return a favor that someone has already done for you, conversely, the epitome of kindness is chessed shel emet, to give altruistically, without receiving anything in return. The example usually cited is when one gives to the dead, for he will never even thank you, much less return the favor. 14 R. Moshe Chaim Luzzato explains that this type of giving, without reciprocity, is the only possible answer to the question of creation, for by definition, altruism is giving without inferring that the Giver was lacking anything beforehand. He was and always will be perfect, yet altruism is such an ideal, that even He wishes to participate. 15
Now once Hashem wants to give, He obviously is going to give the ultimate gift, for He can give anything. What is the greatest thing in the world that He wants to give us? By definition, the answer is G-d Himself is the most perfect "good", but how can He give "a piece" of Himself to us? The answer is the soul which is, by definition, exactly that, "a spark of G-d ". "And He breathed into man the nishmat (breath/soul) of life". "Whoever blows into something, blows that (air) which he has inside himself". 16 The n'shama Hashem gave us is the ultimate gift.
The question is, what are we supposed to do with that spark of G-d, that soul which He gave us? The answer is found explicitly in the Torah, which refers to that soul by another name, "tzelem Elokim", 17 literally, the "image", "shadow" or "photocopy" of G-d. Just as a shadow imitates and copies everything done by the "original", we realize our potential and the very purpose of creation by emulating Hashem. L'havdil, this concept of "imitateo dei", impersonating G-d, is something found in all religions, but how much more so is it fundamental to Judaism, 18 after we are told that this is the very purpose of creation. "Imitate Him, just as He is "merciful and gracious", 19 so you too, be merciful and gracious." 20
If in fact, the world was created for altruism, and consequently, G-d gave us the greatest good, i.e. Himself, through the soul which can copy Him, the final question is: What does G-d do all day, so that we can know how to be like Him?
The answer closes the cycle from where we began: Hashem constantly gives altruistically, without receiving anything in return (the world, air, sun, life, love, etc.). Susequently, that is how we are meant to emulate him, to also strive to be altruistic!
This is alluded to in the verse: "For I said: I will build a world of kindness". 21
Consequently, we now understand the importance of any framework which elevates us from our petty self-centeredness, to become more altruistic. Any student of Judaism knows the centrality of family life and shalom bayit, yet Rav Kook and Rav Charlap point out that we shouldn't stop there. The framework of nationalism broadens the scope of altruism from the small family unit, to the all-encompassing public domain.
The child raised in Israel knows that the day will come when he will be obligated to give the best years of his life, and if necessary, even sacrificing life itself, in the army for the sake of the people of Israel. He is obligated to "volunteer" an entire month every year to do milu'im (reserve duty), and in many yishuvim, an additional two nights each month for shmira (guard duty).
We all know that while driving on a highway in a foreign country, if we see a Jew stopped by the side in need of help, we obviously feel that camaraderie, willingly stopping to offer assistance. When living in the national framework of the Jewish State, as dictated by the Torah, every broken car, every homeless person or burnt house, demands our moral intervention. True, it's not easy to live one's life on a constant "high flame", nevertheless, it's beautiful, and undoubtedly makes us into better, more G-dly (altruistic) people.
Altruism is not just a commendable deed, but rather the norm necessitated by having a country. 22 That essential national life was missing from Judaism for 2,000 years. Now we understand why, as we approach ge'ula, the process begins with the return to Zionism=nationalism=altruism=G-dliness.
Accordingly, Rav Kook answers the age-old question, why the world-to-come is seldom mentioned in the Tanach? On the contrary, when mentioning reward and punishment for our deeds, we are told of national, military, and economic success or failure, not heaven or hell. But now we understand, that we should not be preoccupied with our petty personal fortune or misfortune. Even our individual spirituality religiosity can be selfish, when contrasted with nationalism. On the other hand, the Torah directs us that what should pre-occupy our thoughts and actions are the altruistic national, military and even economic good of Israel. 23 Thus, even the physical aspects of life can be idealistic and G-dly, which brings us to the following point…

4. Expanding the G-dly Ideals Even to the Most Difficult Fields
It is common knowledge that one of the goals of Torah is to reveal Hashem and His ideals in every aspect of life. A Jew is directed to examine the food he eats, the clothing he wears, and the words he speaks in order to elevate even the most menial of topics in the life of the individual. Non-Jews find it hard to believe that not only do we bless before everything we eat, we also thank and bless Hashem for every fragrance, thunder, good or bad news, and even every trip to the lavatory.
Upon closer examination, we find that the Torah directs us to do the same regarding our national and communal life, as well. The many laws of M'lachim uMilchamoteihem as detailed in the Rambam, the intricate details of choshen mishpat, and most of the incidents in the books of Dvarim (preceding our entering Israel), Y'hoshua, Judges, Shmuel, and Kings show us that not only all individuals, but even our army, government and economy are supposed to be moral and G-dly. In the words of Rav Kook:
"The mature recognition, which is special to the Jewish people... is the developing of the G-dly ideals, to process them, perfect them and to exalt them, to strengthen them within the nation, the individual and the entire world." 24
"The aspiration to save everything, abandoning nothing… saving the body as well as the soul, the external world just like the internal… to uplift the entire world… the world of the individual with all of its physical values, as well as the social world and all of its systems, upholding all upon the basis of good. This is the aspiration of Israel, as expressed in the depths of Torah… in all of her national and spiritual battles, all of her hopes… for the throne of David and his kingdom, to prepare and support her with justice and law… not abandoning anything, even a drop, for the evil of men or the evil of the world (to ruin)… 'and Hashem will rise alone on that day', 25 the heavens (spiritual) will be happy and the land (physical) will rejoice, and (even) the nations (nationalism) will proclaim: "Hashem rules". 26
In other words, the G-dly ideals are meant to appear in the public, national and even international domain, no less, than in our individual lives.
"the revealed unity (=the revelation of G-dliness) of the moral, physical and intellectual world with the physical, practical, technical and social world, is expressed in the world through the nation of Israel. And the special characteristic of the land of Israel is to prepare the revelation of this unity in the world, which gives a new face to all of the aspects of human culture". 27
"The morality of the nation of Israel is not just the morality of individuals, and not just familial or national, and even not just morality to all mankind- even though these are all included- but in essence, it is no less than G-dly..." 28
In short, the State of Israel makes possible the revelation of the ways of Hashem and the G-dly ideals in all of the facets of life.
Although this national morality seems to be a logical imperative, anyone who thinks about the issue in practical terms, immediately realizes that if ethics are difficult on an individual level, they are much more complicated on a national level. Consequently, Rav Kook feels the need to stress it in particular:
"Indeed, it is especially difficult to observe the national, governmental Torah, much harder than observing the mitzvot of the individual. For we see that even the basic human morality, regarding issues that we have a natural conscious for justice… have yet to be accepted on a national, or even a political level." 29
For example, even in a society where theft and murder is morally repugnant, imperialism and war are often acceptable, because they are done in the name of the state. National responsibility often supersedes individual accountability, where the person can claim, "I was just following orders", or "Everyone else does it, too". Rav Kook is also probably alluding to the phenomenon of "mass psychology", where often the crowds act differently than they would as individuals, meeting on the lowest common denominator.
"With the intensification in the world of modern nationalism (about a century ago, A.C.), and its emergence into the system of modern philosophy, philosophy is now forced to deal with the question of absolute, objective morality, which in truth, has only been "borrowed" by Europe from Judaism, and as any foreign growth, has not yet been spiritually acculturated."
Although nationalism is relatively altruistic, compared with individualism, 30 it is egocentric compared to universalism. In practice, world history has shown that the more patriotic a Frenchman is, the more he hates the Anglo-Saxons, and vice-versa. The American Nationalist Party (formerly the Knights of Freedom) is known for their racism, and the world has learned that German nationalism is identical with hate for all others. Rav Kook's apprehensiveness from the dangers of nationalism, were especially extraordinary in his time, where the philosophy of nationalism was on the rise. Nevertheless, he differentiates between Jewish, as opposed to all other forms, of nationalism.
On the other hand, regarding Israeli nationalism, if we won't imitate others, if we are to be our real selves, the (apparent) contradiction (between nationalism and universal humanism/morality) is not at all difficult to reconcile. For our entire naton(alism), yearns for the absolute objective good… and to establish a State and conduct politics… for that absolute good is the G-dly objective good which encompasses and appears in all creations (including the gentiles), and we are constantly striving to go in it’s footsteps, both nationally and universally". 31

In other words, the reconciliation between the egocentrism of nationalism, and the universalism of morality, must be based upon the objective (=universal) G-dly morality, as revealed in the Tanach, which knew that the way to educate the world to morality is through having one chosen super-moral nation, who will eternally (objectively) stand as an example for all to emulate.
Our nationalism is unique in that, from the very outset, in the first appearance to Avraham, Hashem tells him to leave his land, and go to Eretz Yisrael, where "I will make you into a great nation, and bless you… and through you will come blessing to all of the nations of the world." Nationalism which is based upon universalism .
Rav Kook foresaw, but didn't live to see, the demise of nationalism and the rise of global universalism. He did not see World War II, yet knew that the world would eventually realize the immorality that patriotism can cause. Accordingly, even Rav Kook, the nationalist, saw in retrospect, that there is a positive aspect of our exile and long-lost of independence,
"… for 2,000 years we had no materialistic issues, we were a nation floating in space, dreaming only of the Kingdom of G-d (not of a national kingdom). This unnatural status served us well, aiding us to internalize our natural desire for the universal good". 32 "We left world politics...until the fortunate time will arrive when it will be possible to run a kingdom without wickedness and barbarism... and indeed the time has arrived..." 33
Although the world is far from ideal, the United Nations charter proves that it already realizes theoretically that nations and international politics could and should be run according to morals. True, they are far from achieving that philosophical declaration, but that's where we, Israel, come in. With the help of the G-dly wisdom in His eternal Torah directing us, we will be able to show how to maneuver a state between the aforementioned difficulties.
"The thirst to be totally immersed in the spirit of Israel, must
overcome (the inclination of self-centeredness). To think Israeli, feel Israeli, to live an Israeli life, to rejoice with the happiness of Israel, this is a deep and wide, lofty and holy goal… much different from the parallel feeling of patriotism of the other nations, which is accompanied with racism and evil, without any holy essential ideal. The thirst for Israel is a thirst for Hashem, for the light of Torah, honesty, wisdom, and all that is good and exalted." 34
In fact, other states serve the purpose of helping the individual and caring for his physical, economical, and security needs. They are not an ends but a means. The State of Israel is significantly different.
"a state which is idealistic at it’s very foundations... this state is really the highest level on the ladder of happiness, and this state is our state, the state of Israel, the foundation of Hashem's throne in the world. Whose only desire is that Hashem will be one and His name (this means, the revelations of the ways of Hashem in the world 35 through the State of Israel) will be one (united, so to speak, with Hashem)…"
Rav Kook is not naïve, realizing that it may take a while to realize that ideal Jewish State to which he refers. He therefore continues,
True, this lofty happiness demands lengthy explanation in order to shine during periods of darkness. Nevertheless, that does not prevent this state from being the greatest happiness." 36

5. G-d Appears to the World through the Nation (=State) of Israel
Rav Kook points out that one of the other important role of Jewish nationalism is that G-d chose to reveal Himself to the world not through Jewish individuals but via the Jewish nation. Hashem appears in the world not only through the righteous deeds of the Jew, but even through the very existence of our nation. This can be divided into several different aspects:
a. Eternity
b. Jewish History- ,השגחה, אנטישמיות, שגשוג, Focus
c. Miracles
d. Prophecy
e. Fulfillment of Prophecies
f. The Way He Deals With the Jewish Nation
g. The G-dliness of our National Land and Language

All of these factors are seen today through the State of Israel

6. Israel as the Concentrate of World Cultures After Globalization
In addition, that with the positive globalization and unity, may come the negative danger of losing the richness amassed throughout the long history of the various unique cultures. Once again, Israel is the solution:
"It is worthy for mankind to unite into one family, and consequently, all of the wars and bad deeds which result from the division by nation and borders, will cease. But (even then), the world will still need a "refining concentrate", through which mankind will be perfected, to prosper from the array of the (former) various national cultures. This lack, will be filled by Knesset Yisrael, 37 who is a cultural anthology, comprised of all of the talents and all lofty idealistic leanings… and consequently, the division of nations will no longer be a necessary. 38

The people of Israel, during our 2,000 year esile, have experienced and adopted the good from each of the many cultures through which we have passed. The philosophy of the Greeks, the brazenness of the Romans, the preciseness of German society, the warmth and emotion of the mid-Eastern cultures, the manners of the South Africans, the industriousness of the Americans, are all being united through the ingathering of the exiles into Israel.

7. A Light to the Nations
Perhaps the most important facet of the State of Israel in the long term is it’s international role - "that the holy nation, the treasure (chosen) of all the nations, the lion of Yehuda has woken up from it’s long sleep, and is returning to it’s inheritance". 39 It is possible to write an entire article on this, and to expand upon the importance of our national independence to the fulfillment of our exalted role. Here we will try to summarize the main points:
1. We can only influence the other nations from an acknowledged power-base: "then will be the true cultural influence of the jewish people on the whole world, when the influence of an important nation is not just from small parts of it (the nation) but rather from all of it’s essence". 40 Just as, today, the whole world blindly follows the American culture, in the same way, להבדיל בין טומאה לטהרה, in the future they will learn from us. 41
2. The most successful influence is by the concentration of those who are influencing others in "a kingdom of priests" and not by "a nation scattered and spread out amongst the nations" when only a jewish spark appears here and there but does not give light as "a light to the nations".
3. "A light to the nations" means instilling Hasher's way in every area. First of all, in the life of the masses (not just special individuals)
"At the beginning of this nation…their desire to establish a great humanitarian community who "will follow the ways of Hashem to do charity and judgment" 42 and to make the whole of mankind succeed through it, was revealed. In order to fulfill this desire it is necessary for this community to have a political and social state and a national sovereignty, at the height of human culture "a wise and understanding nations and a great nation" 43 where the absolute G-dly ideal rules and revitalizes the nation and the land with the light of life. In order that it will be known that not only extremely wise, saintly holy individuals live according to the light of the G-dly ideals, but rather whole nations, complete, refined and advanced in all of the aspects of culture and politics, whole nations who include all of the different levels of mankind, from the highest levels of artistic intelligence, education and holiness to the wider social, political and economic systems, and to the proletarian with all of its sections, even the most low and physical ones". 44
Secondly, also in the public domain: "the blessed recognition, which is special to the jewish people... this is the processing of the G-dly ideals, to process them, perfect them and to try to make them lofty, to make them great within the nation, the individual and the whole world" 45
Thirdly in the national plane: "all of us, the entire nation, that it is fitting to yearn for the complete good, the good to everything, and that on this foundation it is fitting to establish a kingdom and to conduct politics. And we see that the absolute good is the G-dly good, which is in all of the existence, and we are constantly striving to go out in it’s footsteps, both nationally and generally". 46
"We left world politics...until a happy time will arrive when it will be possible to run a kingdom without wickedness and barbarism...and indeed the time has arrived..." 47
The purpose of the torah is to establish "a state which is idealistic at it’s foundations... this state is really the highest level on the ladder of happiness, and this state is our state, the state of Israel, the foundation of Hasher's chair in the world. Whose only desire is that Hashem will be one and His name (this means, the revelations of the ways of Hashem in the world 48 through the State of Israel) will be one (united, so to speak, with Hashem)." 49
And, fourthly, also in the physical aspects of life: "the revealed unity (=the revelation of G-dliness) of the moral, physical and intellectual world with the physical, practical, technical and social world, is expressed in the world of the jewish people. And the special characteristic of the land of Israel is to prepare the revelation of this unity in the world, which gives a new face to all of human culture, to all of it’s jobs". 50
"the penetration of the light of knowledge, straightness and holiness in all practical fields" 51
In short, the State of Israel makes possible the revelation of the ways of Hashem and the G-dly ideals in all of the facets of life.
4. There can only be influence by the revelation of the light of torah and mitzvot in it’s entirety:
"the faith lights up only when the people of Israel are healthy, complete in their power, monarchy, temple and land, and in all of their physical and spiritual possessions". 52
"Just as the divine presence does not rest on any individual, but only on one who is brave, rich and too the collective divine presence rests only on a nation full of bravery, wealth and uprightness. But all of these things will only find their worth when they are made foundations for the spiritual, G-dly light...". 53
For this reason, many mitzvot and the light that is within them are only revealed when the majority of the jewish people are in the land of Israel, in other words, when there is jewish sovereignty 54 in our holy land. There is a powerful idea here which connects the spiritual level of the mitzvot to the physical level of the jewish people - the agricultural mitzvot which only apply in the land of Israel do not apply from the torah until the jewish people returns to it’s strength.
5. Influence through the sanctification of Hasher's name: "here us your G-d". Throughout history the Christians have claimed that we were exiled due to the fact that we did not accept their messiah. But when we declared our independence in 5708, and when Yerushalayim was freed in 5729, they no longer had anything to say. For as long as we were disgraced in exile "my tears were my sustenance day and night when they say to me all day long: ’where is your G-d?"; 55 "why should the other nations say: ‘where is your G-d?’ Let Him be acknowledged throughout the nations before our eyes by revenging the spilt blood of His servant". 56 When the non-Jews ask "where is your G-d" this is clearly a desecration of Hasher's name. On the other hand, when a strong state of Israel, is able, with Hasher's help, to avenge the spilt jewish blood, this is their answer - "say to the cities of Yehuda, here is your G-d". 57
One who hits the Jewish people in the mouth, it is as if he hit the divine presence in the mouth", 58 and on the other hand, "give praise to the name of Hashem for His name alone is exalted, His glory is on the earth (via the jewish people) and in the heavens, and He will lift up the glory of His nation...etc.". 59
Therefore it is understood why the job of the first mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef, is to redeem the people from a national perspective - "Ephrayim my righteous mashiach is his name, and he will lift up himself and all of his generation, and he will light up the eyes of the jewish people and save his people, and no other nation will be able to stand up against him". 60 There is an obligation to stop the desecration of Hasher's name and to sanctify
Hasher's name with the glory of the jewish people, His holy nation. "And I will have pity on My holy name...and I will sanctify my great name which was desecrated amongst the nations amongst whom you were desecrated (Rashi: "and what was the desecration? That your enemies said to you: ‘these are Hashem's people and they went out of His land, He was unable to save His people and His land’") and I will take you out from amongst the nations...and I will bring you back to your land...". 61 This is a sanctification of Hashem's name. "The G-d of armies is the G-d of Israel and the armies of Israel are the armies of Hashem". 62

^ 1. In the chapter "HaDor- The Generation", we have already dealt with Rav Kook's explanation as to why there is not only a delay in the religious awakening but contrarily, there is a universal rebellion against religions.
^ 2.See my article, "Mashiach ben-Yosef and the Ephratim", Tzohar 26, Summer, 5766.
^ 3.R. Y.M. Charlap, Mima'ayanei HaY'shua, p. 12.
^ 4.Avot 1, 14.
^ 5.As Rav Kook writes in Orot HaT'shuva 5, 3, the world is constantly evolving towards improvement. Even the occasional relapses and retreats will eventually be seen to be for the betterment. It is possible, that one of the positive outcomes of feminism is the re-evaluation of the importance of motherhood, thus strengthening the family and parental role of men, which until recently, used to be negligible.
^ 6.Orot HaKodesh iii, p. 147.
^ 7.Rosh Hashana 21b; Rambam Hil. Tshuva 5, 2.
^ 8.Bamidbar 12, 3.
^ 9.Sefer Mitzvot G'dolot, intro. p. 2 and lav 64, based upon Dvarim 8, 11-14.
^ 10.Rambam, Hil. De'ot 1, 4 and 2, 3.
^ 11.Orot HaKodesh, iv, p. 476.
^ 12.Yerushalmi Nedarim 9, 4.
^ 13.Sotah 14a.
^ 14.Our loving Father loves us so much, that He always wants us to have pleasure. Consequently, Hashem created us with a conscious which usually brings us pleasure when we do good in this world, not to mention the reward in the world-to-come. Accordingly, unlike G-d, we can never really achieve the level of being totally altruistic.
^ 15.R. M. Ch. Luzzatto, Derech Hashem i, ch. 2; Da'at T'vunot 18.
^ 16.Zohar, cited by R. S. Z. MiLiadi, Tanya 1, 2.
^ 17.Breishit 1, 27.
^ 18.Sofrim 3, 13; Vayikra Raba 32. See Shvuot 35b and Kidushin 32b, where chazal draw this beautifully in their explanation how Avraham interrupts (!) his conversation with G-d, in order to host some Beduin strangers. "Hosting guests is greater than greeting G-d Himself". Or in other words, as opposed to most religions, the goal and stress is not so much to speak to G-d, but rather to be like Him.
^ 19. Shmot 34, 6.
^ 20.Shabbat 133b.
^ 21.T'hilim 89, 3.
^ 22.Although there is room to see volunteerism or self-initiated giving as greater than mandatory chessed, the g'mara arrives at the opposite conclusion, Kidushin 31a, "גדול המצווה ועושה ממי שאינו מצווה , ועושה", "Greater is one who is obligated and fulfils, rather than one who is not obligated and fulfills", for he constantly carries the burden of obligation, knowing that he can shirk the issue whenever he wants. In addition, and even more important on a national level, the only way to bring an ideal to the masses is through making it the norm and obligatory, for otherwise, inevitably only individuals will volunteer, leaving the masses to their passive laziness.
^ 23.Orot p. 110; Igrot HaR'iya I, p. 134.
^ 24.Ikvei HaTzon, "Avodat Elokim" p.145.
^ 25.Y'shayahu 2, 11.
^ 26.Divrei HaYamim I, 16, 31. Orot HaKodesh II, pp. 488-489.
^ 27.Orot Yisrael 8,9, p.170.
^ 28.Orot Yisrael 9,3 p.170.
^ 29.Ma'amarei HaRe'iya, p. 174.
^ 30.See the following chapter.
^ 31.Orot HaTechiya 3, p.52.
^ 32.Orot, p. 52.
^ 33.Orot, p.14.
^ 34.Orot, p. 147.
^ 35.See Pesachim 50a and the Kuzari, 2, 2.
^ 36.Orot Yisrael 6, 7, p.160.
^ 37.This term is used often by Rav Kook to stress pluralism and variety found within the People of Israel. See Olat Re'iya 2, p. 305; Orot HaT'shuva, add. 7; Milon HaRe'iya, "Knesset Yisrael".
^ 38.Orot, p. 156.
^ 39.Igrot HaRe’iyah, ii, p. 209.
^ 40.Ikvei HaTzon, "Da’at Elokim" p.238.
^ 41.Kohelet 9,16.
^ 42.Bereishit 18,19.
^ 43.Devarim 4,6.
^ 44.rot, p. 104.
^ 45.Ikvei HaTzon, "Avodat Elokim" p.245.
^ 46.Orot HaTechiya 3, p.52.
^ 47.Orot HaMilchema 3, p.14.
^ 48.See Pesachim 50a and the Kuzari, 2, 2.
^ 49.Orot Yisrael 6, 7, p.160.
^ 50.Orot Yisrael 8, 9, p.170.
^ 51.Orot Yisrael 9, 3 p.170.
^ 52.Orot Yisrael 7, 6 p.163.
^ 53.Introduction to Shabbat Ha’Aretz, p.13.
^ 54.See Chiddushei Chatam Sofer on Succah 36, who uses the expression "most of the Jews are in her" alternately for inheriting the Land. We have already seen that "inheriting" means sovereignty.
^ 55.Tehillim 42, 4.
^ 56.Tehillim 79, 10.
^ 57.Yeshayahu 40, 9.
^ 58.Sanhedrin 58b.
^ 59.Tehillim 148, 13-14.
^ 60.Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayahu 60.
^ 61.Yechezkel 36.
^ 62.Orot, Yisrael Vi'Techiyato 8, p. 24. See Bamidbar 31, 2-3, "Avenge the revenge of Israel… the revenge of G-d". Tehilim 83, 3-4, ""Those who hate You lift up their head. They plot against Your Nation". Shmuel 1, 17,26 "for who is this uncircumcised philistine (Goliath) that he mocks the army of the living G-d".

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