Abraham Isaac Kook

Abraham Isaac Kook

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Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

 chief rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist
Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith...

 Yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

, Halachist, Kabbalist
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 and a renowned Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 scholar. He is known in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 as הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 Kook, and by the acronym הראיה (HaRaAYaH) which in English means "evidence", or simply as "HaRav." He was one of the most celebrated and influential rabbis of the 20th century.

Biography



Rav Kook was born in Grīva
Griva
Griva was a Serbian and former Yugoslav hard rock band from Novi Sad.-1982—1992:The band was formed in 1982 by former Ibn Tup members, Zlatko Karavla and Josip Sabo . The first lineup also featured Zoran Gogić , Laslo Novak , and Đorđe Jovanović...

, at the time a town in Courland Governorate
Courland Governorate
Courland Governorate, also known as the Province of Courland, Governorate of Kurland , and Government of Courland , was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire, that is now part of the Republic of Latvia....

 of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 (now a part of Daugavpils
Daugavpils
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

) in 1865, the oldest of eight children. His father, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook, was a student of the Volozhin Yeshiva
Volozhin yeshiva
The Volozhin Yeshiva, also known as Etz Chaim Yeshiva, was a prestigious Lithuanian yeshiva located in the town of Volozhin, Russia, . It was founded by Rabbi Chaim Itzkovitz, a student of the famed Vilna Gaon, and trained several generations of scholars, rabbis, and leaders...

, the "mother of the Lithuanian
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

 yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

s", whereas his maternal grandfather was a member of the Kapust
Kapust
The Kopuster Hasidic dynasty was based on the Chabad school of thought.The first three Rebbes of Chabad were Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Dovber Schneuri, and Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, also known as the "Tzemach Tzedek". When the Tzemach Tzedek died, he did not leave a clear successor...

 dynasty of the Hassidic movement
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

.

As a child he gained a reputation of being an ilui (prodigy
Child prodigy
A child prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding...

). He entered the Volozhin Yeshiva in 1884 at the age of 18, where he became close to the rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva, , , is the title given to the dean of a Talmudical academy . It is made up of the Hebrew words rosh — meaning head, and yeshiva — a school of religious Jewish education...

, Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin
Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin
Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, , also known as Reb Hirsch Leib Berlin, and commonly known by the acronym Netziv, was an Orthodox rabbi, dean of the Volozhin Yeshiva and author of several works of rabbinic literature in Lithuania.- Family :Berlin was born in Mir, Russia in 1816 into a family of Jewish...

 (the Netziv). Although he stayed at the yeshiva for only a year and a half, the Netziv has been quoted as saying that if the Volozhin Yeshiva had been founded just to educate Rav Kook, it would have been worthwhile. During his time in the yeshiva, he studied about 18 hours a day.

In 1886, Kook married Batsheva, the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim
Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim
Elijah David Rabinowitz-Teomim , also known by his acronym ADeReT, was a Lithuanian rabbi in the 19th century who served as the leader of the Jewish community of Panevėžys, as the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir, led the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem, and published many brilliant original arguments in Torah...

, (also known as the Aderet), the rabbi of Ponevezh (today's Panevėžys
Panevežys
Panevėžys see also other names, is the fifth largest city in Lithuania. As of 2008, it occupied 50 square kilometers with 113,653 inhabitants. The largest multifunctional arena in Panevėžys is the Cido Arena...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

) and later Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. In 1887, at the age of 23, Kook entered his first rabbinical position as rabbi of Zaumel
Žeimelis
Žeimelis is a town in northern Lithuania, 40 km to the north from Pakruojis, near the border with Latvia. It is a centre of an elderate. A school first mentioned in 1596 . Field Marshal Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly was baptized in the Lutheran church on December 27, 1761. High school was...

, Lithuania. In 1888, his wife died, and his father-in-law convinced him to marry her cousin, Raize-Rivka, the daughter of the Aderet's twin brother. In 1895 Kook became the rabbi of Bausk (now Bauska
Bauska
Bauska is a town in Bauska municipality, in the Zemgale region of southern Latvia. The town is situated at the confluence of the rivers Mūsa and Mēmele where they form the Lielupe River...

). Between 1901 and 1904, he published three articles which anticipate the fully developed philosophy which he developed in the Land of Israel. During these years he wrote a number of works, most published posthumously, most notably a lengthy commentary on the Aggadot of Tractates Berakhot and Shabbat, titled 'Eyn Ayah' and a brief but powerful book on morality and spirituality, titled 'Mussar Avikhah'. Another book on Aggadot published in 1911 incorporated the acronym of his name, אגרות הראיה.

In 1904, Rav Kook moved to Ottoman Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 to assume the rabbinical post in Jaffa
Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...

, which also included responsibility for the new mostly secular Zionist agricultural settlements nearby. His influence on people in different walks of life was already noticeable, as he engaged in kiruv ("Jewish outreach"), thereby creating a greater role for Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 and Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 in the life of the city and the nearby settlements.

The outbreak of the First World War caught Rav Kook in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and he was forced to remain in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 for the remainder of the war. In 1916, he became rabbi of the Spitalfields Great Synagogue (Machzike Hadath
Machzike Hadath
The Machzike Hadath community synagogue is a Lithuanian, Ashkenazi synagogue founded in 1891.The synagogue, also known as the Spitalfields Great Synagogue, was founded in 1891 in the East End of London, England. In 1893, it merged with the Machzike Shomrei Shabbat Synagogue of Booth Street...

, "upholders of the law"), an immigrant Orthodox community located in Brick Lane
Brick Lane
Brick Lane is a street in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. It runs from Swanfield Street in the northern part of Bethnal Green, crosses Bethnal Green Road, passes through Spitalfields and is linked to Whitechapel High Street to the south by the short stretch of...

, Whitechapel
Whitechapel
Whitechapel is a built-up inner city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England. It is located east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by the Bishopsgate thoroughfare on the west, Fashion Street on the north, Brady Street and Cavell Street on the east and The Highway on the...

.http://www.ravkooktorah.org/PSALM43.htm Upon returning, he was appointed the Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem, and soon after, as first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of Palestine in 1921. Kook founded a yeshiva, Mercaz HaRav Kook (popularly known as "Mercaz haRav
Mercaz haRav
Mercaz HaRav , more properly, Mercaz HaRav Kook ), is a national-religious yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel, founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. It has become synonymous with his teachings....

"), in Jerusalem in 1924. He was a master of Halakha in the strictest sense, while at the same time possessing an unusual openness to new ideas. This drew many religious and nonreligious people to him, but also led to widespread misunderstanding of his ideas. He wrote prolifically on both Halakha and Jewish thought, and his books and personality continued to influence many even after his death in Jerusalem in 1935, reflected in attendance of his funeral by an estimated 20,000 mourners.

Kook tried to build and maintain channels of communication and political alliances between the various Jewish sectors, including the secular Jewish Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 leadership, the Religious Zionists, and more traditional non-Zionist Orthodox Jews
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

. He believed that the modern movement to re-establish a Jewish state in the land of Israel had profound theological significance and that the Zionists were agents in a heavenly plan to bring about the messianic era. Per this ideology, the youthful, secular and even anti-religious
Antireligion
Antireligion is opposition to religion. Antireligion is distinct from atheism and antitheism , although antireligionists may be atheists or antitheists...

 Labor Zionist
Labor Zionism
Labor Zionism can be described as the major stream of the left wing of the Zionist movement. It was, for many years, the most significant tendency among Zionists and Zionist organizational structure...

 pioneers, halutzim, were a part of a grand Divine process whereby the land and people of Israel were finally being redeemed from the 2,000-year exile (galut
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

) by all manner of Jews who sacrificed themselves for the cause of building up the physical land, as laying the groundwork for the ultimate spiritual messianic
Jewish Messiah
Messiah, ; mashiah, moshiah, mashiach, or moshiach, is a term used in the Hebrew Bible to describe priests and kings, who were traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-25...

 redemption of world Jewry. He once commented that the establishment of the Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

nate was the first step towards the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

.

His empathy towards the non-religious elements aroused the suspicions of his more traditionalist haredi opponents, particularly that of the traditional rabbinical establishment that had functioned from the time of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

's control of greater Palestine, whose paramount leader was Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld
Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld
Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, also spelled Zonnenfeld, was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. He was originally given the name "Chaim", however, the name "Yosef" was added to him while he...

. He remarked that he was fully capable of rejecting, but since there were enough practicing rejection, he preferred to fill the role of one who embraces. However, Kook was critical of the secularists on certain occasions when they went "too far" in desecrating the Torah, for instance, by not observing the Sabbath
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

 or kosher
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

 laws. Kook also opposed the secular spirit of the Hatikvah
Hatikvah
"Hatikvah" is the national anthem of Israel. The anthem was written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a secular Galician Jew from Zolochiv , who moved to the Land of Israel in the early 1880s....

 anthem, and penned another anthem with a more religious theme entitled haEmunah
HaEmunah
Haemunah is a song written in the late 19th century by Rav Kook. It places the Torah as the central component of the Jewish People's return to its land , and sees this process as a bigger step for the redemption of Israel, and by extension the world.-Words:...

.

Roshei Yeshiva following Rav Kook's passing in 1935 included Rav Yaakov Moshe Charlap, Rav Shlomo Ra'anan, and Rav Kook's son, Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Avraham Shapiro and Rav Yaakov Shapiro.

Legacy


While Rabbi Kook is exalted as one of the most important thinkers in mainstream Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith...

, he was close to what is now called Chardal. Indeed, there are several prominent quotes in which Kook is quite critical of the more modern-orthodox Religious Zionists (Mizrachi
Mizrachi (Religious Zionism)
The Mizrachi is the name of the religious Zionist organization founded in 1902 in Vilnius at a world conference of religious Zionists called by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines. Bnei Akiva, which was founded in 1929, is the youth movement associated with Mizrachi...

), whom he saw as naive and perhaps hypocritical in attempting to synthesize traditional Judaism with a modern and largely secular ideology.
Kook never shied away from criticizing his peers, religious and secular, as well as the increasingly cloistered traditionalists living in the Holy Land, whose way of life he characterized as being similarly affected by the negative and abnormal conditions of the Jewish exile, and therefore just as "inauthentic" as that of their Zionist counterparts. Kook was interested in outreach and cooperation between different groups and types of Jews, and saw both the good and bad in each of them. His sympathy for them as fellow Jews and desire for Jewish unity should not be misinterpreted as any inherent endorsement of all their ideas. That said, Rav Kook's willingness to engage in joint-projects (for instance, his participation in the Chief Rabbinate) with the secular Zionist leadership must be seen as differentiating him from many of his traditionalist peers. In terms of practical results, it would not be incorrect to characterize Kook as being a Zionist, believing in the re-establishment of the Jewish people as a nation in their ancestral homeland. Unlike other Zionist leaders, however, Kook's motivations were purely based on Jewish law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 and Biblical prophecy. His sympathy towards the Zionist movement can be seen as a major stepping-stone to the Religious Zionist movement gaining momentum and legitimacy after his death.

The Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i moshav
Moshav
Moshav is a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms pioneered by the Labour Zionists during the second aliyah...

 Kfar Haroeh
Kfar Haroeh
Kfar Haroeh is a religious moshav in central Israel. Located in the coastal plain between Hadera and Netanya, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hefer Valley Regional Council. In 2007 it had a population of 1,500....

, founded in 1933, was named after Kook, "Haroah" being a Hebrew acronym for "HaRav Avraham HaCohen". His son Zvi Yehuda Kook
Zvi Yehuda Kook
Zvi Yehuda Kook was a rabbi, leader of Religious Zionism and Rosh Yeshiva of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva...

, who was also his most prominent student, took over teaching duties at Mercaz HaRav after his death, and dedicated his life to disseminating his father's philosophy. Rav Kook's writings and philosophy eventually gave birth to the Hardal
Hardal
Chardal ; Hebrew: חרד"ל, acronym for חרדי לאומי, Charedi Le-umi, lit. "Nationalist Charedi", Plural: Chardalim refers to the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who support the ideology of Religious Zionism...

 Religious Zionist movement which is today led by rabbis who studied under Rav Kook's son at Mercaz HaRav.

Support From Rabbinic Scholars


With the sudden public display of rare letters from the greatest Jewish scholars to Rav Kook, many questions have emerged. Mainly, it is clear that Rav Kook was apolitical. Rav Kook wrote that he was not part of any party – he simply viewed himself as follower of G-d and the laws of the Torah. His relationship with many different types of leaders and laymen, was a part of his general worldview – that all Jews must work together in serving G-d and bringing the redemption. Also, one could see from the published letters, that the "Chareidi" leadership was firm in its support of Rav Kook, and in fact had an apparent fond relationship with him. The vast majority of the "Chareidi" leaders publicized handwritten letters in support of Rav Kook, when a few individuals were publicly disrespectful towards him. Rav Kook embraced the support, but made clear that any insults were accepted by him without anger, for he viewed himself "as a servant of G-d," without interest in his personal honor.

Some examples of greetings in letters written by Jewish leaders to Rav Kook:

Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski : "Our friend, the gaon, our master and teacher, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, shlita"

Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz: "The true gaon, the beauty and glory of the generation, the tzaddik, his holiness, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak, may his light shine, may he live for length of good days and years amen, the righteous cohen, head of the beis din [court] in Jerusalem, the holy city, may it soon be built and established"

Rav Chatzkel Abramsky: "The honored man, beloved of Hashem and his nation, the rabbi, the gaon, great and well-known, with breadth of knowledge, the glory of the generation, etc., etc., our master Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook, shlita, Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel and the head of the Beis Din in the holy city of Jerusalem"

Rav Yitzchak Hutner: "The glorious honor of our master, our teacher and rabbi, the great gaon, the crown and sanctity of Israel, Maran [our master] Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook, shlita!"

Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein: "Our honored friend, the great gaon and glory of the generation, our master and teacher, Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen, shlita"

Orot ("Lights") books

  • Orot – translation Bezalel Naor, Jason Aronson 1993. ISBN 1-56821-017-5
  • Orot HaTeshuvah – translation Ben-Zion Metzger, Bloch Pub. Co., 1968. ASIN B0006DXU94
  • Orot HaEmuna
  • Orot HaKodesh I,II,III
  • Orot HaTorah

Jewish thought

  • Ain Aiyah – Commentary on Ein Yaakov the Aggadic sections of the Talmud.
  • Reish Millin – discussion of the Hebrew alphabet, grammar and punctuation
  • Ma'amarei HaR'Iyah I,II – essays and lectures
  • Midbar Shur – lectures given outside the Land of Israel
  • Chavosh Pe'er – on tefillin
    Tefillin
    Tefillin also called phylacteries are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, which are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. Although "tefillin" is technically the plural form , it is loosely used as a singular as...

  • Eder HaYakar and Ikvei HaTzon

Halacha

  • Be'er Eliyahu – on Hilchos Dayanim
  • Orach Mishpat – Shu"t on Orach Chayim
    Orach Chayim
    Orach Chayim "manner of life" is a section of Rabbi Jacob ben Asher's compilation of Halakha , Arba'ah Turim. This section treats all aspects of Jewish law primarily pertinent to the Hebrew calendar...

  • Ezrat Cohen – Shu"t on Even HaEzer
  • Zivchei R'Iyah- Shu"t and Chidushim on Zvachim and Avodat Beit HaBchira

Unedited and other

  • Shmoneh Kvatzim – volume 2 of which was republished as Arpilei Tohar
  • Olat Raiyah – Commentary on the Siddur
    Siddur
    A siddur is a Jewish prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. This article discusses how some of these prayers evolved, and how the siddur, as it is known today has developed...

  • Igrot HaRaiyah – Collected letters of Rav Kook

Translation and commentary

  • (translation), Abraham Isaac Kook: The Lights of Penitence, The Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems, Ben Zion Bokser, Paulist Press 1978. ISBN 0-8091-2159-X [Includes complete English translations of Orot ha-Teshuva ("The Lights of Penitence"), Musar Avicha ("The Moral Principles"), as well as selected translations from Orot ha-Kodesh ("The Lights of Holiness") and miscellaneous essays, letters, and poems.] Online edition.
  • (translation), The Essential Writings of Abraham Isaac Kook, Ben Yehuda Press 2006 (reprint). ISBN 0-9769862-3-X
  • Rabbi Chanan Morrison, Gold from the Land of Israel: A New Light on the Weekly Torah Portion From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, Urim Publications 2006. ISBN 965-7108-92-6
  • Rabbi Chanan Morrison, Silver from the Land of Israel: A New Light on the Sabbath and Holidays From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, Urim Publications 2010. ISBN 965-5240-42-8
  • Rabbi Gideon Weitzman "Sparks of Light: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portions Based on the Philosophy of Rav Kook" Jason Aronson ISBN-10: 0765760800 ISBN-13: 978-0765760807
  • Rabbi Gideon Weitzman "Light of Redemption: A Passover Haggadah Based on the Writings of Rav Kook" Urim Publications ISBN-13: 978-9657108710


Also there is now a musical project that presents Rav Kook's poetry with musical accompaniment.
HA'OROT-THE LIGHTS OF RAV KOOK by Greg Wall's Later Prophets Featuring Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein – released on Tzadik Records, April 2009 Myspace; Haorot.org; Youtube.com

Analysis

  • The Philosophy of Rabbi Kook, Zvi Yaron, Eliner Library, 1992.
  • Essays on the Thought and Philosophy of Rabbi Kook, ed. Ezra Gellman, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8386-3452-4
  • The World of Rav Kook's Thought, Shalom Carmy
    Shalom Carmy
    Shalom Carmy is an Orthodox rabbi teaching Jewish Studies and philosophy at Yeshiva University, where he is currently Chair of Bible and Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva College. He is an affiliated scholar at Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University...

    , Avi-Chai Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-9623723-2-3
  • Rav Avraham Itzhak HaCohen Kook: Between Rationalism and Mysticism, Benjamin Ish-Shalom, translation Ora Wiskind Elper, SUNY Press, 1993. ISBN 0-7914-1369-1
  • Religious Zionism of Rav Kook Pinchas Polonsky, Machanaim
    Machanaim
    Machanaim is a word from book of Book of Genesis meaning "two camps".It is also a name of organization dealing with spiritual absorption of Jewish people from the former USSR in Israel. The organization produced many books, classes, especially for conversion...

    , 2009, ISBN 978-965-91446-0-0

Biography

  • Simcha Raz, Angel Among Men: Impressions from the Life of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook Zt""L, translated (from Hebrew) Moshe D. Lichtman, Urim Publications 2003. ISBN 9657108535 ISBN 978-9657108536
  • Yehudah Mirsky, "An Intellectual and Spiritual Biography of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhaq Ha-Cohen Kook from 1865 to 1904," Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, 2007.

Quotes


על-כן הצדיקים הטהורים אינם קובלים על החושך, אלא מוסיפים אור; אינם קובלים על הרשעה, אלא מוסיפים צדק; אינם קובלים על הכפירה, אלא מוסיפים אמונה; אינם קובלים על הבערות, אלא מוסיפים חכמה.

Therefore, the pure righteous do not complain of the dark, but increase the light; they do not complain of evil, but increase justice; they do not complain of heresy, but increase faith; they do not complain of ignorance, but increase wisdom. (From "Arpilei Tohar", p. 27–28)

יש בן חורין שרוחו רוח של עבד, ויש עבד שרוחו מלאה חירות; הנאמן לעצמיותו – בן חורין הוא, ומי שכל חייו הם רק במה שטוב ויפה בעיני אחרים – הוא עבד.

There could be a freeman with the spirit of the slave, and there could be a slave with a spirit full of freedom; whoever is faithful to his self – he is a freeman, and whoever fills his life only with what is good and beautiful in the eyes of others – he is a slave.

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