In Kabbala, our world is known as olam ha-tikkun - the world of repair. God could have created a more perfect world, but in such a case there would have been an absolute chasm between the Creator and the created. In creating a world requiring tikkun, God assigned to man not merely the role of created, but also of creator.
God created for man the option of self-creation. A parent can shield a child, never letting him make a decision and, should a dilemma arise, solve the problem on behalf of the child. A good parent, however, allows the child to decide for himself. The wise parent appreciates that, in doing so, he gives rise to the possibility of the child creating and developing himself. The decision-making process is itself beneficial to the child.
Indeed, a child brought up in the guarded fashion will never become a complete person; a human becomes a person by way of the freedom to make his own decisions. God holds back, restricts Himself, limits Himself "tzimtzum" , partially shading man from the Divine light, and thus enables man to make his own decisions. It is man's task to use that freedom for tikkun, construction. God grants to His creation the possibility of generating itself. It must be stated, however, that the Kabbala clearly distinguishes between these two concepts.
We have also seen that the world requires repair, development, and an upwardly directed process of improvement in order to restore it to its pre-creation state. Therefore, we would expect to find some sort of energy which is pushing it upwards, some sort of force, craving, or yearning, aspiring to perfection. In religious and philosophical discourse such a concept is common, established, and accepted. The world is understood to have developed from a barbaric to a civilized stage, and ultimately man aspires to a world of peace, that is devoid of hunger, free of poverty, and ultimately, to reach the Messianic Age.
Rav Kook explains that in olam ha-tikkun, we require cosmic tikkun. Evolutionary biology, as well as evolutionary physics, describe tremendously complex structures the inanimate universe, living creatures as having started off as the most simple structures, developing into the state they have achieved today, billions of years later. Compared with Aristotle's world view - which was widely accepted in the Middle Ages - we have made a tremendous leap, philosophically speaking.
The world has existed since infinity, and will continue to exist for eternity. Everything always was and always will be. This perception directly contradicts Judaism. Had the world existed for ever, there would be nothing that had not been actualized, and hence, the concept of "tikkun" would be meaningless.
We ought to be living in the Messianic age by now. We should all be reaping the fruits of the Garden of Eden. The beliefs of tikkun and statio are totally opposed.
The philosophical concept of evolution penetrated not only the sciences, but also the humanities. In the twentieth century, we apply the concept of development to fields of cosmology, biology, history, religion - indeed, to all facets of life. We perceive everything as starting with a humble beginning, followed by an upward development.
He views repentance as a process of tikkun streaming upwards towards the sublime, always driven by the desire of the soul to reunite with and return to its source. We have certain boundaries; certain red lines may not be crossed.
The strict causative, gradualistic explanation offered by evolution is so rigid and stiff that Rav Kook - who, as we saw last time, is usually at ease with causality - finds it artificial and synthetic. He believes that ultimately we will realize that evolution does not occur through a simplistic, mechanistic upward profrom A to B and B to C, but that there are jumps and punctuations. In the first part of this lecture we saw Rav Kook embrace the theory's implications in their entirety, but in this letter, Rav Kook expresses hesitancy and awaits a change in the theory.
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Their works show us how the Pillar of Cloud is transformed into the smoke of war and shelling, and how nature becomes an absent quality. The exhibition conveys a sense of tension between different worlds: This tension is represented through the theme of clouds. The same clouds that once represented a celestial world symbolize, in contemporary art works, distance from nature and from any form of sublime existence.
The artist Hermann Struck often depicted clouds in his prints and mostly in his oil paintings, particularly in the s, looking out from his home in Haifa towards Haifa Bay and the Galilee. These works convey a passion for a celestial existence and the experience of an open, airy space. They express the artist's understanding of the conception of the sublime, in the spirit of European Romanticism, with regard to the local landscape.