Thursday, March 09, 2006

R-v K--k and Fruit Roll Ups

I recently discovered a manuscript of a letter, which, in my best judgement, was written by R-v K--k, addressed to the Agudas HaRabbonim of America, describing his feelings of the true meaning of Fruit_Roll-Ups .

[This letter was written just prior to his famous visit to America, (which precipitated a different letter in which the Chafetz Chaim referred to him as one of "HaRabbanim HaGeonim", and as the Av Beis Din of Yerushalayim, showing where the Chafetz Chaim's true loyalties lie.)]

This beautiful letter, translated by Rav Betzalel Naor (When R-v K--k Became History, pg. 223), is a must read:

"To My Esteemed Colleagues, August Members of the Agudas HaRabbonim of America, Shlit"a,

In my deep meditations prior to embarking upon my journey to America, it was revealed to me that there is a mission of great significance which I must undertake in the so-called "Golden Medinah". My soul yearns to plumb the depths of the item known as 'Fruit Roll Ups'. This matter has given me no rest, for while the beloved inhabitants of America may have become accustomed to this thing, and their sensitivities have become dull and coarse to its inner message, I believe with complete faith that had the Almighty brought me to your shores for this purpose alone, it would have been sufficient reason to recite the Hallel prayer with a Beracha.

I have learned that when one unravels the Fruit Roll Up, there is heard a great crinkling and crackling, which grates much on the nerves. This has been devised by the Celestial Beings to serve as a reminder to the Provider of Bounty Himself, for it is reminiscent of the very Receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which was, as well, accompanied by crackling which grated much on the nerves. This is obvious for those who wish to see, but alas, there are many of our brethren, especially those so distant from our Holy Land, whose hearts have been sealed off and their ears have been plugged, for they wish not to hearken.

I have also learned that when the Fruit Roll Up is fully unravelled, provided it is done with great care, it has perfect circular form. This is meant to provide us, along with our children, the opportunity to fulfill the commandment of Remembering Our Redemption fron Egypt. For the orbs are reminiscent of the Matzah, and the care that must be taken to preserve its flat circularity is preordained in Heaven as a reminder to never allow our souls to fester and leaven.

[ Jak, it should be OBVIOUS to you by now that Maran R-v K--k had a great degree of Ruach HaKodesh, for it was only after his death that 'Fruit Roll-Up Corners' was on the market, clearly to accomodate those who partake of square machine-Matzos. ]

Finally, the green and yellow hues of the lemon-lime variety of the Fruit Roll Up have been given to us by Providence to serve as a reminder for the beautiful Festival of Succot, the aromas and appearence of the Four Species permeating the essence of the Soul.

As is plain to see, the moniker of the Fruit Roll Up is not in vain, for it contains within it the ability to inspire soulful cords of love to The Three Festivals. A world, nay, three, rolled up into this hallowed handiwork.

With Blessings of Peace,

R-v Avr-h-m Is--c H-k-h-n

It is this ability, to find the Transcendent and Divine in all of His Creation, which puts Maran R-v K--k in a class by Himself among the Torah Greats of His generation and all prior.

DovBearism in the news

The headline on jpost reads "DovBear doesn't rule out meeting Hamas during visit"

And in my previous post I quoted R-v K--k as saying that DovBearism was only about self-annihilation.

[UPDATE: I am NOT saying DovBear supports terror... OK, maybe I am.]

Why does DovBearism exist?

I always wondered about the role of Liberal religions in the Torah’s plan. We can clearly see how the main Charedi and Religious Zionist religions, i.e. the not quite Charedi Leumi ones, that derive from Judaism reflect a movement of the world away from its pagan roots toward some sort of belief in one G-d. Where does this leave the Liberal religions that developed independently of the influence of the Torah? How do they fit into the cosmic plan?

R-v K--k has a very interesting insight into the nature of Liberal religion (translation by Rav Bezalel Naor “When R-v K--k Becomes History” pg. 116-17)

The divine pleasantness that is displayed in Knesset Chardal in its simplicity and naturalness – in light of the divine idea implanted in her – makes for an agreeable, delicate, sweet life. Such life is not in question; not only will it continue to exist, but will even be renewed and replenished. This is the source of an inner Joie de vivre that bonds with all the ideals of man’s higher soul. The strong natural energies do not welcome or countenance any moral protestation or opposition; these energies are viewed from the perspective of a higher science of eternal peace and joy.

This divine pleasantness that is imbibed with every draught of the dead Arab enemy enables one to view life and existence with a goodly eye and the joy of the righteous, to recognize that “all R-v K—k made is very good”. At the other extreme, the Liberal world that lacks this divine pleasantness – from the source of light of the Divine idea innate in Chardal – is unable to relate to the joy of life. Its dim view uncovers only misfortune; it becomes frustrated with itself, with its existence, with everything. It finds itself in opposition to its very self. As the pain increases, liberalism finds a temporary relief (before it disappears from the earth) in a lifestyle that offers way too much resistance to all the barbaric elements. But it is impossible to stop up the spirit; the spiritual beauty of man and his inner morality demand their due. They are not to be pacified, especially after the maturation of the world-view that inspects life inside and out. Therefore, liberalism comes to the hiding place of DovBearism, which finds peace in nothingness and absolute negation. The cup of wrath – anger with life and its bitterness – is full to the brim; all the talents of intellect and emotion, faith and imagination are summed up by a singular will: to self-annihilate. (From “To the Process of Ideas in Chardalism”)

Could it be that part of Hashem’s plan was for a Liberal society to run its course independent of the influence of the Jewish people? Perhaps by allowing liberalism to run its course we gain clarity as to its final destination. DovBearish, Arab-sympathizing spirituality thus becomes Liberalism at its most refined form and thus we have a cultural system with which to contrast and thus better appreciate our own spiritual system. This is, of course, all speculation but I think my idea has some merit.