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    God & Rav Kook – Va’era

    The name of the sidra literally means “And I appeared”. Since God has no corporeality or physicality it cannot mean that human beings are able to see God’s appearance. But many things on earth, many aspects of earthly culture, are perceptible refractions of God.

    Rav Kook, the poet-philosopher and chief rabbi of the Holy Land, said that special people can perceive spiritual things wherever they look. The great artists, musicians and writers are spiritually sensitive.

    Rav Kook himself saw spiritual light in great works of art like the Rembrandts at the National Gallery in London, which he visited when he was in England during the First World War.

    No wonder there is criticism of people who do not want Israeli children to learn “secular” subjects; Rav Kook would have said that you can often find the holy in the supposedly unholy.

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