Arise and Shine!
When Rabbi Kook arrives in Jerusalem in 1919, Tevye joins the fanfare at the railway depot to greet him. Rabbi Kook reminds the simple milkman from Anatevka that at this great time in Jewish history, as the Nation of Israel rises to rebirth in its ancient and eternal Homeland, a far greater destiny awaits him. Indeed, when the colony of Tel Hai and its heroic commander, Yosef Trumpeldor, fall under Arab siege, Perchik enlists Tevye to lead a daring rescue mission. When Arab riots break out in Jerusalem, Tevye joins Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s group of Jewish defenders, the Haganah, for which he is imprisoned in the infamous Acco Prison. Meanwhile, the ambitious David Ben Gurion is building a powerful worker’s union and seizing control of the Yishuv in Palestine. One Pesach Night, Tevye’s granddaughter, Hannie, brings a surprise guest to the Seder, a charismatic young man named Avraham Stern, future leader of the “Stern Gang.” Angered by their romance, and by Stern’s unwillingness to marry the innocent girl, Tevye sends his granddaughter off to live in America with her aunt Baylke, whose husband, Pedhotzer, has become the financial advisor of the notorious Jewish gangsters, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. Tevye’s grandson, Ben Zion, rejects the sacred traditions of Judaism and abandons Jerusalem to live in Tel Aviv with his communist father, Perchik, who has become Ben Gurion’s most ardent disciple. Little by little, the British renounce the Balfour Declaration and encourage the Arabs to declare war against further Jewish settlement. While Rabbi Kook battles for the rights of Jews to pray at the Kotel, the bloodthirsty Arab pogroms of 1929 lead to the widespread slaughter of Jews, including Tevye’s daughter, Hava. Grief-struck and exasperated by the official Jewish Agency policy of constraint and appeasement, Tevye decides to strike back singlehandedly, igniting the sparks of a future rebellion which is destined to burst into a towering flame, leading the Jews to Redemption and Independence in their Land. Volume 2 in the "Tevye in the Promised Land" series.
The Art of T'shuva
While psychologists and self-help books offer many theories about man’s existential dilemma and pain, Rabbi Kook reveals that the real cause of humanity’s suffering stems from man’s alienation from God. The solution, he teaches, is t’shuva. While t’shuva is normally translated as penitence or repentance, the root of the Hebrew word t’shuva means “return.” T’shuva is a return to the source, to one’s roots, to one’s deepest inner self. Rabbi Kook writes: “When one forgets the essence of one’s soul; when one distracts his mind from seeing the true nature of his inner life, everything becomes doubtful and confused. The principal t’shuva, which immediately lights up the darkness, is for a person to return to himself, to the root of his soul. Then he will immediately return to God, to the Soul of all souls. This is true for an individual, a nation, for all of mankind, and for the perfection of all existence… All depression stems from transgression, from being distant from God, and t’shuva comes to light up the soul and transform the depression into incredible joy.” THE ART OF T’SHUVA explains Rabbi Kook’s writings on t’shuva in a clear, concise, and illuminating step-by-step fashion. This encounter with Rabbi’s Kook’s vision is certain to lead readers to greater personal happiness, understanding, and spiritual growth.