Loading...
Menu

RELIGIOUS ZIONIZM OF RAV KOOK


RELIGIOUS ZIONIZM OF RAV KOOK

This book is an abridged version of the book Rav Kook, the Man and his Teaching by Pinchas Polonsky, published by Machanaim in 2006. It was the first publication in Russian on the fundamental tenets of Religious Zionism, and about Rav Kook. The English translation was first published in 2009. This is the second edition of the English translation. Rabbi Abraham‐Yitzhak ha‐Cohen Kook (1865‐1935) is, without doubt, one of the most celebrated rabbis of the twentieth century. He is known to most people simply as Rav Kook, the founder of Religious Zionism. We frequently overlook the fact that the foundations of his teachings reflect a deep modernization of the Jewish faith itself and of its approach to an array of contemporary problems.   Both Rav Kook’s parents descended from generations of Torah scholars, of both the Lithuanian and Chassidic schools. His father, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman haCohen Kook, was from the Litvaks, and studied in the famous Volozhin Yeshiva; his mother, Pearl Zlata, was from a Chabad Chassidic family. Some of their relatives were also devotees of the Haskala. Rav Kook synthesized these three approaches in his life and teachings.   Rav Kook studied at the famous Volozhin Yeshiva (1884‐1887), and in 1904, after working as a rabbi in several places in Lithuania and Latvia, moved to Eretz Yisrael to assume the rabbinical post in Yaffa and agricultural settlements nearby. In 1921 he was appointed the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and soon after that he became the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine. In 1924 Rav Kook founded the Zionist “world‐wide Yeshiva” that became known as Yeshiva Merkaz haRav in honor of its founder. After his death his students, and especially his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, brought up a new generation of rabbis and religious activists. Today, the yeshiva has about 500 students, including 200 students in the kollel (post‐graduate division). A kabbalist who united in his teachings the ideas of the Vilna Gaon and the legacy of Chassidism, Rav Kook created the philosophy of Religious Zionism, a movement virtually unheard of in the Diaspora, yet which plays an enormous role in Israeli life today. It now claims as its adherents more than half of Israel’s Orthodox Jews, and is symbolized by the knitted kippa. Rav Kook’s teachings have attracted great attention from the entire Jewish intellectual world, and his approach is widely seen as a turning point in the development of Judaism. But not everybody, even among Rav Kook’s supporters and followers, understands the true essence and philosophical underpinnings of his religious revolution.   In discussing the religious approach to assessing the role of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in today’s world, we must turn to the ideas of Rav Kook, who was able to see Zionism in a religious light. At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, Zionism was not seen as an aspect of Judaism. In fact, it contradicted Judaism in many ways, occasionally even coming into sharp conflict with it. Despite this, Rav Kook not only “supported” Zionism, as did many rabbis, he also formulated a religious conception of it. Furthermore, he demonstrated Zionism’s importance for the development and deepening of Judaism. This is the aspect that we will examine first and foremost. Rav Kook was a poet by nature. This makes a systematic study of his philosophy difficult. We will attempt to outline Rav Kook’s philosophy in more simple and concrete terms.  

  • ISBN: 9781370540754
  • Author: Pinchas Polonsky
  • Published: 2017-11-30 06:35:06
  • Words: 29494
RELIGIOUS ZIONIZM OF RAV KOOK RELIGIOUS ZIONIZM OF RAV KOOK