In honor of Rav Kook‘s passing on this day (3 Elul) some number of years ago, I thought it appropriate to share some of his poetry and remind us what a gangster he is.

The Whispers of Existence

All existence whispers to me a secret:
I have life to offer, take it, take it –
If you have a heart and in the heart red blood courses,
Which despair has not soiled.
But if your heart is dulled
And beauty holds no spell to you – existence whispers – Leave me, leave,
I am forbidden to you.
If every gentle sound,
Every living beauty,
Stir you not to a holy song,
But to some alien thought,
Then leave me, leave, I am forbidden to you.
And a generation will yet arise
And sing to beauty and the life
And draw delight unending
From the dew of heaven.
And people returned to life will hear
The wealth of life’s secrets
From the vistas of the Carmel and the Sharon,
And from the delight of song and life’s beauty
A holy light will abound.
All of existence will whisper,”My beloved, I am permitted to you.”