Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blogging Elul 5771: Lighting the way to peace

Have you been following the Jewels of Elul this year? Craig Taubman, musician, compiles short daily postings from a wide range of contributors on an annual theme that is woven into the pre-High Holyday month of Elul.  This year the theme is 'light' and postings have come from authors, politicians, musicians, activists and spiritual leaders from all walks of life, Jewish and non-Jewish.

I always find the Jewels of Elul to be insightful, but this year the most powerful posting that I have found so far came not from one of the official contributors, but from the page where anyone can leave a comment.  Craig received a short teaching from the great Jewish teacher and leader of the twentieth century, Rav Kook.  It was sent to him by Don Abramson. He shared it on the comments page.  I'm re-sharing it below.  It speaks for itself.

“There are those who mistakenly think that world peace can only come when there is a unity of opinions and character traits.  Therefore, when scholars and students of Torah disagree, and develop multiple approaches and methods, they think that they are causing strife and opposing shalom.  In truth, it is not so, because true shalom is impossible without appreciating the value of pluralism intrinsic in shalom.  The various pieces of peace come from a variety of approaches and methods which make it clear how much each one has a place and a value that complements one another.  Even those methods which appear superfluous or contradictory possess an element of truth which contributes to the mosaic of shalom.  Indeed, in all the apparent disparate approaches lies the light of truth and justice, knowledge, fear and love, and the true light of Torah.”
Olat HaRe’iah
 Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

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