The Wisdom of Kabbalah and the System of Mussar (Ethics)
You will also find a significant difference regarding the support because following the ethics is supported by the favor of people, which is like a rent that finally pays off. And when man grows accustomed to this work, he will not be able to ascend in degrees of ethics, for he will now be used to such work that is well rewarded by society, which pays for his good deeds.
Yet, by observing Torah and Mitzvot in order to please his Maker, without any reward, he climbs the rungs of ethics precisely to the extent that he pursues it, since there is no payment on his path. And each penny is added to a great account. And finally he acquires a second nature, which is bestowal upon others without any self-gratification, except for the bare necessities of his life.
– Baal HaSulam “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”
Kabbalah was the source of Rav Kook’s teachings. He viewed Kabbalah as the foundation for creating a new state and society in Israel where the prime directive would be the law of “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Basic Concepts of Rav Kook’s Teaching
A nation represents a single organism and has to attain the same state of oneness through its own effort. In doing so, the nation becomes close to the Creator. Each member of society has to know their role and because of their uniqueness, not in spite of it, they become a part of the whole, the nation, and consequently the world. Only then does a person fulfill his purpose: reaches equivalence to the Creator. An individual cannot merge with the Creator unless he unites with the others: “From the love of others to the love of the Creator.”
The nation of Israel can exist only as a single entity that yearns for mutual love and bestowal for the purpose of uniting with the Creator through the equivalence of form. With this in mind, Abraham created this nation from the Babylonians, and mutual love was the foundation of their existence.
While in exile (opposite to the Creator), outside of the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel – the desire to be similar to the Creator), there is no nation of Israel. In order to restore their relationship with the Creator, the people returned to the Land of Israel and formed a state, an opportunity to correct themselves and become one.
Therefore, forming the State of Israel signifies the beginning of the correction of the nation of Israel and consequently all of mankind. Together, they will ascend to the level of the Creator. As to the religious laws, they should remain solely within the social and cultural aspects of our existence.
Forming a state helps to achieve a nation-wide responsibility for correction, first of the nation of Israel, and afterwards of all of humanity. Mankind has evolved and is now ready to absorb Kabbalah, the method of the revelation of the Creator.
It’s time for the nation of Israel to return from their spiritual exile and illuminate the path of revelation of the Creator for the nations of the world. This is the only way to receive support from all of the people of the world for building the state of Israel.
In case the nation of Israel fails to accomplish the mission assigned to them, if they are unable to bring the method of correction to the people of the world, then its state will be destroyed and its people will be exiled again.
Although Zionism doesn’t realize what is at stake, it must eventually acknowledge the need for Kabbalah and employ the method of revelation of the Creator (the Upper governing Force) as the state and world constitution. The unique mission of the nation of Israel lies in serving mankind on its path of correction and being the “light for the nations of the world” (Prophet Isaiah).
More about Rav Kook and his connection with Baal HaSulam is in my book The Two Great Lights (in Hebrew).