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What Will David Gripe About Today?

By Tzvi Fishman
1/18/2012, 11:01 AM

In his classic, “Orot,” Rabbi Kook emphasizes the vital role of literature in bringing redemption to the world. “Literature will be sanctified, and writers will also sanctify themselves, and the world will rise up and recognize the great and gentle power of literature that will elevate the spiritual foundation of the world in all of its exaltation” (Orot, Orot HaTechiyah, 37).

Most people are motivated by their feelings, which influence their thinking and beliefs. It is here, in the deep workings of the psyche that literature can illuminate and uplift the spiritual foundation of mankind, transforming darkness to light.

“The spirit of impurity, as with all impurity, will vanish from the world, and literature will become a holy endeavor. Every writer will come to recognize the holiness and spiritual grandeur of his work, and he will not sit down to write  without purifying his soul and sanctifying his thoughts. There will be a preceding thought of t’shuva (returning in penitence to one’s roots), deep reflections of return before each creation. Then the work will come out pure, and the spirit of God will be upon it” (ibid).

All writers will become baale tshuva

  For Israel to return to its true Torah culture, all writers, not only writers from Hollywood, must become masters of penitence. As Rabbi Kook writes:

“Out of the worldly, too, will emerge the holy, and out of the brazen liberalism will also emerge the beloved yoke of the Torah. Golden chains will be woven and will arise out of the poetry of free thinkers, and a luminous penitence will also arise from the secular literature. This will be the great wonder of the vision of redemption" (Orot HaT’shuva, 17:3).

“The feelings of penitence in all of their glory, including the profound upheaval of the spirit which they engender, must become manifest in literature, so that the generation of the revival will understand in the depths of its being, the importance of repentance as a living and vitalizing power, and thus the generation will return and be healed” (Orot HaT’shuva, 17:5).

This, then, is the reason I write my stories. David may be right that my skills are inadequate for the task, but my heart is in the right place, and that, in itself, is a worthy endeavor.