According to Judaism, we each possess the wings of eagles. Have you discovered yours? Are you using them to soar to great heights?

Every week, in addition to reading a section from the Torah on Shabbat, we read a section from the Prophets. This section is known as the Haftarah. This week’s Haftarah is from the Book of Isaiah. In this section, Isaiah speaks to our ancestors who are feeling hopeless, urging them not to give up. With hope, Isaiah teaches, we have the ability to discover our eagle wings and rise up.

Clearly inspired by this Haftarah, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), who served as the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, wrote this beautiful poem:

Know yourself and your world.
Know the thoughts of your heart, and of all who speak and think.
Find the source of life inside you, higher than you, around you.

[Find] the beautiful ones alive in this generation in whose midst you are immersed.
The love within you: lift it up to its mighty root, to its beauty of Eden.
Send it spreading out to the entire flood of the soul of the Life of worlds, whose light is

reduced only by incapable human expression.
Gaze at the lights, at what they contain.
Do not let the Names, phrases and letters swallow up your soul.
They have been given over to you.
You have not been given over to them.
Rise up.
Rise up, for you have the power. 

You have wings of the spirit, wings of powerful eagles.
Do not deny them, or they will deny you.
Seek them, and you will find them instantly.

          -Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 83-84

These days, it is too easy to lose hope. But, as a participant in my study group (Tuesdays at Noon) reminded me as we read the words of Isaiah earlier this week, the words of the prophet still speak to us today. So do the words of Rabbi Kook: find your wings for they will restore your hope. Rise up. Lift yourself higher than the chaos, even higher than the amazing heights William Shatner reached this week. You can do it.

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