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    The sanctity of silence

    Not everything in Rav Kook’s poetic philosophy is easy to understand. But some ideas immediately grip you.

    German sukkah from the 19th century on display at the Israel Museum

    An example is his phrase, “the sanctity of silence”, in his Arpilei Tohar. He says that this is the highest degree of sanctity.

    We might borrow the phrase and suggest that though being in company is a moment of sanctity, as is speaking to each other, the supreme sanctity is just being there and looking around physically or metaphorically and grasping the greatness of everything in Creation.

    The festival of Sukkot is an example. It takes us away from the noise and bustle of ordinary civilisation into the quietness of Nature in which every tree, every flower, every plant and every branch is unspoken testimony to the existence of the Eternal.

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