Universal values

 

Rabbi Rosen quoted this beautiful meditation of  Abraham isaac Kook who was the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine.It is a hymn of praise to universal values. This of course is the great struggle in the lives of the adherents of the Abrahamic religions.

Now the great wandering preacher,rabbi Jesus who Christians call Lord had a powerful warning to fellow Jews in his brief ministry. Bible scholars attest to the historicity of this message—as it is so radical, distinctive for its time that it was remembered. In other words,no one would dare excise it,so authentic and germane to the ministry of Jesus.

It is contained in the most important gospel (the earliest) of all, Mark.

A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mk.3:32-35

Jesus  was shocking at the time of a tribal society, inviting people into the kingdom of universal values.Who are my brothers and sisters—everybody! And while we are at it, even the winged and finned propellor trinitarian focus avers that our God is radically relational, no holds barred, nobody or no thing excepted.

Now Judaism suffers as any religion from the tension of the particular and the universal.It is no secret than many Jews (like market Catholics) have succumbed to cultural and societal values.The market Catholics have allowed economics and privilege to undermine evangelical values; many Jews have lost their way and substituted the state of Israel for the living God which Rabbi Kook hints at.

Rabbi Kook:

There is a person who sings the song of his soul. He finds everything, his complete spiritual satisfaction, within his soul.

There is a person who sings the song of the nation. He steps forward from his private soul, which he finds narrow and uncivilized. He yearns for the heights. He clings with a sensitive love to the entirety of the Jewish nation and sings its song. He shares in its pains, is joyful in its hopes, speaks with exalted and pure thoughts regarding its past and its future, investigates its inner spiritual nature with love and a wise heart.

There is a person whose soul is so broad that it expands beyond the border of Israel. It sings the song of humanity. This soul constantly grows broader with the exalted totality of humanity and its glorious image. He yearns for humanity’s general enlightenment. He looks forward to its supernal perfection. From this source of life, he draws all of his thoughts and insights, his ideals and visions.

And there is a person who rises even higher until he unites with all existence, with all creatures, and with all worlds. And with all of them, he sings. This is the person who, engaged in the Chapter of Song every day, is assured that he is a child of the World-to-Come.

And there is a person who rises with all these songs together in one ensemble so that they all give forth their voices, they all sing their songs sweetly, each supplies its fellow with fullness and life: the voice of happiness and joy, the voice of rejoicing and tunefulness, the voice of merriment and the voice of holiness.

The song of the soul, the song of the nation, the song of humanity, the song of the world—they all mix together with this person at every moment and at all times.

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