Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, The Lights of Holiness, Vol II, pp. 458-459
A Fourfold Song- There is one who sings the song of his own life, and in himself he finds everything, his full spiritual satisfaction. There is another who sings the song of her people. She leaves the circle of her own individual self, because she finds it without sufficient breadth, without an idealistic basis. She aspires towards the heights, and she attaches herself with a gentle love to the whole community of Israel. Together with Israel she sings her songs. She feels grieved over her afflictions and delights in her hopes. She contemplates noble and pure thoughts about her past and her future, and probes with love and wisdom her inner spiritual essence. There is another who reaches toward more distant realms, and he goes beyond the boundary of Israel to sing the song of humanity. His spirit extends to the wider vistas of the majesty of humankind, and their noble essence. He aspires toward humanity's general goal and looks forward toward their higher perfection. From the source of life he draws the subjects of his meditation and study, his aspiration and his visions. Then there is one who rises toward wider horizons, until she links herself with all existence, with all God's creatures, with all worlds, and she sings her song with all of them. It is of such a one as this that tradition has said that whoever sings a portion of song each day is assured of having a share in the world to come. And then there is one who rises with all these songs in one ensemble, and they all join their voices. Together they sing their songs with beauty, each one lends vitality and life to the other. They are sounds of joy and gladness, sounds of jubilation and celebration, sounds of ecstacy and holiness.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What do you think Rav Kook means by “song?” How does one progress from singing one song to singing another?

2. How does each kind of singer contribute to the world?

3. What type of singer are you? Which songs do you sing? How can others know which song you are singing?

Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)