Shalom, I am trying to find the source for the following quote by Rav Kook:

"Atheism comes like a painful cry to redeem mankind from this narrow, alien pit, and to raise it from the darkness of text and speech to the light of thoughts and emotions, and eventually, to place its main focus on morality. Therefore, atheism has a temporary function and worth. It comes to purify the dirt that has stuck to a faith that lacks any comprehension. A person who recognizes the good within atheism and tastes its sweetness can draw it back to its holy source… When a person understands the profound criticism of faith that atheism offers, one is able to transform its destructive force into a drive for return to the true God."


1 Answer 1


I'm almost positive that is a quote from HaRav Kook's essay in Orot (Seeds - Suffering Cleanses), translated as "The Pangs of Suffering". I've linked to where the relevant section starts in Hebrew.

Here is a pdf of a translation of the essay (According to this page, the translation is from a publication called Response: A Contemporary Jewish Review, Volume 8, Issue 4. Published in 1975. I know nothing about it, nor can I vouch for the accuracy of the translation)

Your quote starts on the bottom of page 100.

Page 100 and 101 of translations of HaRav Kook's esssay, The Pangs of Suffering

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