When Rav Kook Was the Kana’i (Zealot) & His Opponent the Melits Yosher (Advocate)

When Rav Kook Was the Kana’i (Zealot) and His Opponent the Melits Yosher(Advocate)[1] By Bezalel Naor In 1891, there appeared in Warsaw an anonymous work[2] entitled Hevesh Pe’er,[3] whose sole objective was to clarify for the masses the proper place on the head to don the tefillah shel rosh or head-phylactery. According to halakhah, the tefillah must be placed no lower than the hairline and no higher […]

Rav Kook’s Space Odyssey

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the appearance of the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a collaborative work by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. The film traces the evolution of mankind “from ape to angel,” starting with prehistoric hominids and ending with the Star Child, with much attention lavished […]

Pereq Shirah – King, Prophet and Priest

King, Prophet and Priest (Based on the Exegesis of Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra to Song of Songs 7:5) For the Third of Ellul, Yahrzeit of Rav Kook zt”l פרק שירה מאת בצלאל נאור לשלושה באלול–יום השנה של רבינו הראי”ה קוק זצ”ל צוארך כמגדל השן,[1] עיניך בריכות בחשבון על שער בת רבים, אפך כמגדל הלבנון צופה […]

The Hasidism of Rav Kook

We usually associate the term “Neo-Hasidism” with thinkers such as Martin Buber, Hillel Zeitlin and Abraham Joshua Heschel. It may come to many of us as a surprise that Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook also proposed a new Hasidism, but it should not.[1] During Rav Kook’s lifetime, there were those who perceived him as the founder […]

Rav Kook’s Hakafot

Rabbi Yitzchok Sternhell of Baltimore, the Rav of Shearis Hapleita in Baltimore (author Kokhvei Yitzchok), was a talmid muvhak of the Rebbe of Munkatch, Rabbi Chaim El‘azar Spira (author responsa Minhat El‘azar). The Munkatcher was famous for his anti-Zionism in general and especially his extreme opposition to Rav Kook. Recently, there appeared a biography of […]