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Abraham Isaac Kook

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Abraham Isaac Kook
אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק
Abraham Isaac Kook in 1924
TitleFirst Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine
Born(1865-09-07)7 September 1865
Died1 September 1935(1935-09-01) (aged 69)
BuriedMount of Olives Jewish Cemetery, Israel

Abraham Isaac Kook (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק הַכֹּהֵן קוּק; 7 September 1865 – 1 September 1935), known as HaRav Kook,[1] and also known by the Hebrew-language acronym Hara'ayah[2] (הראי״ה‎),[3] was an Orthodox rabbi, and the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine. He is considered to be one of the fathers of religious Zionism and is known for founding the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva.[4]



Kook was born in Griva (also spelled Geriva)[5] in the Courland Governorate of the Russian Empire in 1865, today a part of Daugavpils, Latvia, the eldest of eight children. His father, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook, was a student of the Volozhin yeshiva, the "mother of the Lithuanian yeshivas",[6] whereas his maternal grandfather was a follower of the Kapust branch of the Hasidic movement, founded by the son of the third rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn.[7] His mother's name was Zlata Perl.[5]: p.56 

He entered the Volozhin Yeshiva in 1884 at the age of 18, where he became close to the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (the Netziv). During his time in the yeshiva, he studied under Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim (also known as the Aderet), the rabbi of Ponevezh (today's Panevėžys, Lithuania) and later Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. In 1886 Kook married Rabinowitz-Teomim's daughter, Batsheva.[8][9][10]

Early career[edit]

In 1887, at the age of 23,[11] Kook entered his first rabbinical position as rabbi of Zaumel, Lithuania.[5]: 18 [12] 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. Kook's only son, Zvi Yehuda Kook, was born in 1891 to Kook and his second wife.[13] In 1895, Kook became the rabbi of Bauska.[5]: 22 [14][15]

Between 1901 and 1904, he published three articles which anticipate the philosophy that he later more fully developed in the Land of Israel. Kook personally refrained from eating meat except on the Sabbath and Festivals, and a compilation of extracts from his writing, compiled by his disciple David Cohen, known as "Rav HaNazir" (or "the Nazir of Jerusalem")[16] and titled by him "A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace," depicts a progression, guided by Torah law, towards a vegetarian society.[17][18]


In 1904,[19] Kook was invited to become Rabbi in Jaffa, Ottoman Palestine, and he arrived there in 1905. During these years he wrote a number of works, mostly published posthumously, notably a lengthy commentary on the Aggadot of Tractates Berakhot and Shabbat, titled Eyn Ayah, and a brief book on morality and spirituality, titled Mussar Avicha.

It was in 1911 that Kook also maintained a correspondence with the Jews of Yemen, addressing some twenty-six questions to "the honorable shepherds of God's congregation" (Heb. כבוד רועי עדת ד‎) and sending his letter via the known Zionist emissary, Shemuel Yavneʼeli. Their reply was later printed in a book published by Yavneʼeli.[20][21] Kook's 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 and Halakha in the life of the city and the nearby settlements. In 1913 Kook led a delegation of rabbis, including several leading rabbinic figures such as Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, to the many newly established secular "moshavot" (settlements) in Samaria and Galilee. Known as the "Journey of the Rabbis" the rabbis' goal was to strengthen Shabbat observance, Torah education, and other religious observances, with an emphasis on the giving of 'terumot and ma'asrot' (agricultural tithes) as these were farming settlements.[22]

London and World War I[edit]

When the First World War began, Kook was in Germany, where he was interned as an alien.[23] He escaped to London via Switzerland, but the ongoing conflict forced him to stay in the UK for the remainder of the war. In 1916, he became rabbi of the Spitalfields Great Synagogue (Machzike Hadath, "upholders of the law"), an immigrant Orthodox community located in Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London, and Kook lived at 9 Princelet Street, Spitalfields.[24][25]

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem[edit]

Proclamation by 80 rabbis in support of Kook after the printing of Kol Ha-Shofar in 1921
Kook with Mayor of New York John F. Hylan (1924)

Upon returning from Europe in 1919,[5]: 44  he was appointed the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and soon after, as first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine in 1921.[26]

In March 1924, in an effort to raise funds for Torah institutions in Palestine and Europe, Kook travelled to America with Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein of the Slabodka Yeshiva and the Rabbi of Kaunas, Avraham Dov Baer Kahana Shapiro. In the same year, Kook founded the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Kook died in Jerusalem in 1935 and his funeral was attended by an estimated 20,000 mourners.[27]


Proclamation against Kook by rabbis Rosin, Brach and Greenwald (1926)

Kook wrote prolifically on both Halakha and Jewish thought.

In line with many orthodox interpreters of the Jewish religion, Kook believed that there was a fundamental difference between Jews and Gentiles. The difference between a Jewish and a Gentile soul was greater than the difference between the soul of a Gentile and an animal.

“The difference between the Israelite neshama [spiritual soul]...and the neshama of all the nations, in their various grades, is greater and deeper than the difference between the nefesh [biological soul]... of man and the nefesh of animals. For between the latter there is only a quantitative difference, while between the former there exists a qualitative, essential difference.”[28]

Kook maintained communication and political alliances with various Jewish sectors, including the secular Jewish Zionist leadership, the Religious Zionists, and more traditional non-Zionist Orthodox Jews.

Inauguration of Hebrew University[edit]

Students of Mercaz Harav Yeshiva

In 1928, Kook wrote a letter to Rabbi Joseph Messas (Chief Rabbi in Algeria), addressing certain misquotes which were erroneously being repeated in his name regarding a speech he gave at the inauguration of Hebrew University. The following are translated excerpts from the letter Kook wrote to Messas:

...from the time that I came to the Holy Land, it has been my goal to the best of my ability to draw also those who are estranged and speak to their heart, so that they will come close to Torah and mitzvot – including even those young people who want to develop their physical health so that they will have the strength to protect our holy nation in times of violence, Heaven forbid, at a time when vicious enemies rise up against us...in regard to Hebrew University, Heaven forbid that I should say regarding secular studies that 'From Zion will come forth Torah.'

To the contrary, I told them explicitly that I am afraid lest there come forth, Heaven forbid, a stumbling block from their hands if they reject the Torah and the fear of G-d and 'please themselves in the brood of aliens' [i.e., studies antithetical to Torah such as Biblical Criticism]. I brought them examples of this from the past, from the incidents that took place due to people's sins [during the Berlin Enlightenment], from which came forth groups that turned away from G-d and abandoned the source of living waters. But they must guard the holiness of Israel, teachers and students alike, and not follow foreign ideas nor turn aside from the Torah and the mitzvos. And even then, it is not from secular subjects that Torah will come forth, but rather when we support the holy yeshivas, which are dedicated solely to the holiness of the Torah.

Together with this, [I told them that] they should elevate the power of the tzaddikim and Torah giants who fear G-d. And the Central Yeshiva [Mercaz HaRav] in our holy and beautiful city, which we are toiling to establish and expand with G-d's help, will stand in its great glory. Then, upon the foundation of the holy yeshivas, I said that the verse 'From Zion will come forth Torah' will be fulfilled.

These words are explicit in my speech that I spoke at that time before the people, before all of the important officials who came to the celebration, and to the entire great crowd of thousands who came from the far ends of the Holy Land and from the lands of the Diaspora. So how can malicious people come to distort the words of the living G-d in a way that is so filled with wickedness and folly?...

Theodor Herzl eulogy[edit]

In 1904, Kook wrote a letter to his father-in-law, addressing certain misquotes which were erroneously being repeated in his name regarding a speech he gave after Theodor Herzl's passing:

...Now, two gentlemen came to me… and requested me … since they were planning to gather in the bank building here to honor the memory of Dr. Herzl and it was their finding that even those opposed to Zionism would not deny that there were in his heart thoughts concerning the betterment of Israel. Although unfortunately [Herzl] did not find the straight path, nevertheless, 'The Holy One does not withhold credit for even good talk.' It would be poor manners not to arrange a memorial in his honor in a public meeting place, such as the Anglo-Palestine Bank here. Therefore I promised them I would attend.

Understandably, once I agreed to come, I did not want to refuse to speak some words. I assessed that, God willing, benefit would derive from my words, inasmuch as the other speakers would not have the audacity to belittle God, His Torah, and the sages of Israel.

Thank God, this assessment proved correct. Of course, I spoke pleasantly and politely, but I did reveal the fundamental failure of their [the Zionists'] entire enterprise, namely the fact that they do not place at the top of their list of priorities the sanctity of God and His great name, which is the power that enables Israel to survive ... In my remarks, I offered no homage to Dr. Herzl per se.

What I did say was that such a thought of improving the situation of Israel in Eretz Israel would be worthwhile if we would rise to the occasion. It would require a return to God by observing and honoring the Torah, and a consensus that the foundation of all must be the power of Torah. Repenting of baseless hatred, and wholehearted peace-seeking as obligated [by Torah] would result in success because it would be close to God's will. We must make amends toward the future that the power of the sanctity of Torah be at the top of our list of priorities, that "the son of Yishai lead." If the will to improve materially will rest on Torah – then God will shine His face upon us and crown our every deed with success. At first, the salvation will be gradual, as our holy Rabbis remarked upon witnessing daybreak over the valley of Arbel, but after it will gain momentum, appearing as a great and wondrous light, as in the days of our Exodus from Egypt.

After [the address], others came to me and reported that some people read into my words ideas that I never intended ...

His empathy towards the non-religious elements aroused the suspicions of many opponents,[29] particularly that of the traditional rabbinical establishment that had functioned from the time of Turkey's control of greater Palestine, whose paramount leader was Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. However, Sonnenfeld and Kook deeply revered each other, evidenced by their respectful way of addressing each other in correspondence.

Kook 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 violated Halacha (Jewish law), for instance, by not observing the Sabbath or kosher laws, or ascending the Temple Mount.

Kook wrote rulings presenting his strong opposition to people ascending the Temple Mount, due to the Jewish Laws of impurity. He felt that Jews should wait until the coming of the Messiah when it will be encouraged to enter the Temple Mount. However, he was very careful to express the fact that the Kotel and the Temple Mount were holy sites that belong to the Jewish people.

Kook also opposed the secular spirit of the Hatikvah anthem and penned another anthem with a more religious theme entitled haEmunah.

Rav Kook handwriting
Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein writing in support and defense of Rav Kook
Rav Kook with Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein and Rav Avraham Dov Ber Kahana

Attitude toward Zionism[edit]

While Kook is considered one of the most important thinkers in modern Religious Zionism, his attitude towards the "Zionism" of his time was complex.

Kook enthusiastically supported the settlement of the land which Zionists of his time were carrying out. In addition, his philosophy "la[id] a theological foundation for marrying Torah study to Zionism, and for an ethos of traditional Judaism engaged with Zionism and with modernity".[30]: 234  And unlike many of his religious peers, he showed respect towards secular Zionists, and willingly engaged in joint projects with them (for instance, his participation in the Chief Rabbinate).

At the same time, he was critical of the religious-Zionist Mizrachi movement of his time for "tamping down religious fervor and willingly accepting secondary status within the Zionist movement".[30]: 150  In 1917 he issued a proclamation entitled Degel Yerushalayim, where he distinguished between "Zion" (representing political sovereignty) and "Jerusalem" (representing holiness), and arguing that Zion (i.e. Zionism) must take a cooperative but eventually subservient role in relation to Jerusalem.[30]: 150  He then went on to found a "Degel Yerushalayim" movement separate from the Zionist movement, though this initiative had little success.[30]: 149–152 


The Israeli moshav Kfar Haroeh, a settlement founded in 1933, was named after Kook, "Haroah" being a Hebrew acronym for "HaRav Avraham HaCohen". His son Zvi Yehuda Kook, 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 writings. Many students of Kook's writings and philosophy eventually formed Hardal Religious Zionist movement which is today led by rabbis who studied under Kook's son at Mercaz HaRav.

In 1937, Yehuda Leib Maimon established Mossad Harav Kook, a religious research foundation and notable publishing house, based in Jerusalem. It is named after Kook.[31]


Criticism from rabbinic scholars[edit]

In formulating religious Zionism, Kook broke with most other Orthodox rabbis. Most Orthodox rabbis saw nothing but evil in the early Zionist pioneers who were hostile to religion, and in their belief that their labor rather than God would save the Jewish people.[32] Kook on the other hand, defended their behaviour in theological terms, and even hailed them as playing a role, by their labors, in hastening the messianic deliverance. His stance was deemed heretical by the traditional religious establishment.[33]

Although Kook was a very learned man, he was never accepted by the Haredi leadership.[34] In 1921 his detractors bought up the whole edition of his newly published Orot to prevent its circulation, plastering the offending passages on the walls of Meah Shearim.[35] Later, an anonymous pamphlet entitled Kol Ha-Shofar appeared containing a declaration signed by rabbis Sonnenfeld, Diskin and others saying: "We were astonished to see and hear gross things, foreign to the entire Torah, and we see that which we feared before his coming here, that he will introduce new forms of deviance that our rabbis and ancestors could not have imagined …. It is to be deemed a sorcerer's book? If so, let it be known that it is forbidden to study [let alone] rely on all his nonsense and dreams."[36] It also quoted Aharon Rokeach of Belz who stated "And know that the rabbi from Jerusalem, Kook - may his name be blotted out - is completely wicked and has already ruined many of our youth, entrapping them with his guileful tongue and impure books."[37] Returning to Poland after a visit to Palestine in 1921, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter of Ger wrote that he endeavoured to calm the situation by getting Kook to renounce any expressions which may have unwittingly resulted in a profanation of God's name. He then approached the elder rabbis of the Yishuv asking them to withdraw their denunciation. The rabbis claimed that their intention had been to reach a consensus on whether Kook's writings were acceptable, but their letter had been surreptitiously inserted by Kook's critics in to their inflammatory booklet without their knowledge.[citation needed]

In 1926 a harsh proclamation was issued against Kook that contained letters from three European rabbis in which Yosef Rosin referred to him as an "ignorant bore", Shaul Brach intimated that his Hebrew initials spelt the word "vomit" and likened him to King Jeroboam known for seducing the masses to idolatry, and Eliezer David Greenwald declared him an untrustworthy authority on Jewish law adding that his books were full of heresy and should be burnt.[38]

When Jewish prayers at the Western Wall were broken up by the British in 1928, Kook called for a fast day, but the ultra-Orthodox community ignored his calls.[39]

In response to a letter from Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky of Eidah Hachareidit on whether they could partner with the Chief Rabbinate led by Kook, Rabbi Elchonon Bunim Wasserman wrote: "I have heard that there was a suggestion that there should be a partnership between the Eidah Hachareidis and the Chief Rabinate . . . It is well known that the monies from that fund go to raise deliberate heretics, and therefore someone who encourages people to support such a fund is a machti es harabim (causes the public to sin) on the most frightful level . . . thus, besides the prohibition of befriending a wicked person, since we see that he praises resha'im (evil doers), there would also be an issue of an enormous chillum Hashem (desecration of G-ds name) throughout the world..."[40]

Rabbi Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern, the Rebbe of Sokolov also wrote against Kook, saying, "Rav Kook, although he is a full and robust talmid chacham as well as an excellent orator, cannot be considered among the successors and perpetuators of the geonim (genius rabbinic scholars) and tzaddikim (righteous leaders) of the past generations. Rav Kook is already connected with the spirit of the time, and speaks greatly about the techiyas umaseinu (our national rebirth). And despite the moral and religious decline of our generation, he sees in his mind's eye the techiyas hale'um (nationalistic rebirth) and the like, and he assigns to the Chief Rabbinate an important role in that process."[41]

It was claimed that Rabbi Solomon Eliezer Alfandari attributed the Chofetz Chaim's failed move to the land due to the disputes surrounding Rabbi Kook.[42]

Support from rabbinic scholars[edit]

Although it seems that a majority of Orthodox rabbis opposed Kook,[32][33][34] there were some who spoke out in his support. In a letter to Kook, Isser Zalman Meltzer and Moshe Mordechai Epstein greeted Kook with "Our honored friend, the great gaon and glory of the generation, our master and teacher, Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen, shlita". Meltzer was also quoted as saying "Let them, any of us, pray on Yom Kippur the way Rav Kook prays on an average weekday."[43]

There are also some rabbis who spoke very highly of Kook in greetings of the letters they sent to him.

Chaim Ozer Grodzinski: "Our friend, the gaon, our master and teacher, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, shlita" and "The Glory of Honor, My Dear Friend, Ha-Rav Ha-Gaon, Ha-Gadol, the Famous One... The Prince of Torah, Our Teacher, Ha-Rav Avraham Yitzchak Ha-Cohen Kook Shlita..."[44]

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."

Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn of Lubavitch: "The Gaon who is renowned with splendor among the Geonim of Ya'akov, Amud HaYemini, Patish HaChazak..."[citation needed]

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"[citation needed]

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!"[citation needed]

Additionally, although the Chofetz Chaim never spoke in praise of Kook, he did condemn the pamphlet that was put out against him.[45]



Orot ("Lights") books[edit]

  • Orot – organized and published by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, 1920. English translation by Bezalel Naor (Jason Aronson, 1993). ISBN 1-56821-017-5
  • Orot HaTeshuvah – English translation by Ben-Zion Metzger (Bloch Pub. Co., 1968). ASIN B0006DXU94
  • Orot HaEmuna
  • Orot HaKodesh - four volumes, organized and published by Rabbi David Cohen
  • Orot HaTorah - organized and published by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, 1940.

Jewish thought[edit]

  • Chavosh Pe'er – on the mitzvah of tefillin. First printed in Warsaw, 1890.
  • Eder HaYakar and Ikvei HaTzon - essays about the new generation and a philosophical understanding of God. First printed in Jaffa in 1906.
  • Ein Ayah – commentary on Ein Yaakov the Aggadic sections of the Talmud. Printed in Jerusalem, 1995.
  • Ma'amarei HaRe'iyah (two volumes) – a collection of articles and lectures, many originally published in various periodicals. Printed in Jerusalem, 1984.
  • Midbar Shur – sermons written by Rav Kook while serving as a rabbi in Zaumel and Boisk in 1894–1896.
  • Reish Millin – Kabbalistic discussion of the Hebrew alphabet and punctuation. Printed in London, 1917.[46][47]


  • Be'er Eliyahu – on Hilchos Dayanim
  • Orach Mishpat – Shu"t on Orach Chayim
  • Ezrat Cohen – Shu"t on Even HaEzer
  • Mishpat Kohen – Shu"t on issues relating to Eretz Yisrael
  • Zivchei R'Iyah- Shu"t and Chidushim on Zvachim and Avodat Beit HaBchira
  • Shabbat Haaretz hilchot shevi'it (shemittah)

Unedited and other[edit]

  • Shmoneh Kvatzim – volume 2 of which was republished as Arpilei Tohar[48]
  • Olat Raiyah – Commentary on the Siddur
  • Igrot HaRaiyah – Collected letters of Rav Kook

Translation and commentary[edit]

  • (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.]
  • Samson, David; Tzvi Fishman (1996). Lights Of Orot. Jerusalem: Torat Eretz Yisrael Publications. ISBN 965-90114-0-7.
  • Samson, David; Tzvi Fishman (1997). War and Peace. Jerusalem: Torat Eretz Yisrael Publications. ISBN 965-90114-2-3.
  • Samson, David; Tzvi Fishman (1999). The Art of T'Shuva. Jerusalem: Beit Orot Publications. ISBN 965-90114-3-1. 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 965-524-042-8.
  • Rabbi Chanan Morrison, The Splendor of Tefillin: Insights into the Mitzvah of Tefillin from the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, CreateSpace 2012. ISBN 148-001-997-6.
  • Rabbi Chanan Morrison, Sapphire from the Land of Israel: A New Light on the Weekly Torah Portion From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, CreateSpace 2013. ISBN 149-090-936-2.
  • Rabbi Gideon Weitzman, Sparks of Light: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portions Based on the Philosophy of Rav Kook, Jason Aronson. ISBN 0-7657-6080-0 ISBN 978-0765760807.
  • Rabbi Gideon Weitzman, Light of Redemption: A Passover Haggadah Based on the Writings of Rav Kook, Urim Publications. ISBN 978-965-7108-71-0.

Also there is now a musical project that presents 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.[49][50][51]


  • 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, 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, 2009, ISBN 978-965-91446-0-0
  • Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Jewish Spirituality , Lawrence J. Kaplan & David Shatz, NYU Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0814746530
  • Ghila Amati, "Discovering the Depths Within: Kook’s Zionism and the Philosophy of Life of Henri Bergson," Religions 2023, 14(2), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14020261
  • Ephraim Chamiel, The Dual Truth - Studies in Nineteenth-Century Modern Religious Thought and its Influence on Twentiest-Century Jewish Philosophy, Academic Studies Press, Boston 2019, Vol II, pp. 449–499.
  • Ephraim Chamiel, Between Religion and Reason - The Dialectic Position in Contemporary Jewish Thought, Academic Studies Press, Boston 2020, part I, pp. 7–15.



  • 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.[52]
  • 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 himself – 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.[53]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Singer, David (1996). "Rav Kook's Contested Legacy". Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. 30 (3): 6–20. JSTOR 23261279.
  2. ^ And by his followers, simply as HaRav.
  3. ^ from הַרַב אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק הַכֹּהֵן haRav ʾAvrāhām Yīṣḥāq haKōhēn
  4. ^ Rozenaḳ, Avinoʻam (1 January 2007). "Hidden Diaries and New Discoveries: The Life and Thought of Rabbi A. I. Kook". Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. 25 (3): 111–147. doi:10.1353/sho.2007.0085. ISSN 1534-5165. S2CID 170098496.
  5. ^ a b c d e Friedman, Masha (1988). Stories From the Life of Rav Kook. Beit Shamai Publications. ISBN 0-944921-00-0.
  6. ^ William B. Helmreich (February 2000). The World of the Yeshiva: An Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. pp. 6–8. ISBN 978-0-88125-641-3. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Chazon Hageulah," p. 11, Jerusalem 1941 (Hebrew)
  8. ^ "Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim • "The Aderet"". www.hevratpinto.org. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. ^ "The Hasidism of Rav Kook | The Lehrhaus". www.thelehrhaus.com. 25 December 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook (1865-1935)". www.ravkooktorah.org. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  11. ^ Fendel, Hillel (25 August 2017). "Rav Kook, From The Pages Of The Jewish Press In 1961". The Jewish Press., citing Feldman, Yaakov Moshe (1961). The Jewish Press. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ also spelled Zoimel, described in the book as a village
  13. ^ Melamed, Avraham Levi (4 July 2005). "Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook: A Biographical Overview". yeshiva.co.
  14. ^ Public Domain Janovsky, S.; Rosenthal, Herman (1902). "BAUSK or BAUSKE". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 601–602.
  15. ^ also spelled Boisk; described as a city
  16. ^ Morrison, Chanan (29 May 2015). "The Nazir of Jerusalem". Israel National News. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  17. ^ Kook, Avraham Yitzhak Hacoben (20 April 1985) [1961]. Cohen, David (ed.). A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace. Translated by Rubenstein, Jonathan L. Translated to English as an appendix to Rubenstein, Jonathan L. (1986). None shall hurt or destroy: a translation of A vision of vegetarianism and peace by Rav Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Cook (Doctoral dissertation). Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati.
  18. ^ Kuk, Avraham Yitzchak. Kohen, David (ed.). "Selections from "A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace"". Translated by Sears, David. Jewish Vegetarians of North America. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  19. ^ "After serving as rabbi in the small town of Zoimel and later in the city of Boisk (Bauska), Latvia, in 1904 Rabbi Kook accepted the invitation of the port city of Jaffa ...""Rav Kook - Orot". orot.com.
  20. ^ Aharon Gaimani, "Scholars of Yemen Answer Questions of Rabbi A.I. Kook", in: Ascending the Palm Tree – An Anthology of the Yemenite Jewish Heritage, Rachel Yedid & Danny Bar-Maoz (ed.), E'ele BeTamar: Rehovot 2018, pp. 88–125 OCLC 1041776317
  21. ^ "Masa le-Teiman," by Shmuel Yavne'eli, pp. 187–188; 196–199, Tel-Aviv 1952 (Hebrew)
  22. ^ "1913: Rabbi Kook Leads Rabbis' Tour of the Moshavot". Israel National News. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Abraham Isaac Kook | chief rabbi of Palestine | Britannica". January 2024.
  24. ^ "Blog Archive » Rav Kook in London". OzTorah.com. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Rav Kook on Psalm 43: The London Bomb Shelter". Ravkooktorah.org. 19 January 1915. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  26. ^ The following "Public Notice" appeared in the Palestine Gazette on April 1, 1921:
    "The Rabbinical Assembly held in Jerusalem on February 24th, 1921, Adar-Rishon 16th 5681 elected the following Rabbis as the Rabbinical Council for Palestine: Rabbi Jacob Meir and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Cohen Kook as Chief Rabbis, and Rabbis Benjamin Alkosser, Benzion Koenka, and Abraham Pilosoph as Sephardic members, and Rabbis Zevi Pesah Frank, Yonah Raam and Fischel Bernstein as Ashkenazic members of the Council. Doctor M. Eliash, Mr. M. Levanon, and Mr. J. H. Panigel were elected as lay councillors to the Rabbinical Council. The Government of Palestine will recognize the Council and any Beth-Din sanctioned by it as the sole authorities in matters of Jewish Law. It will execute through the Civil Courts judgments given by the Beth-Din of the Council in first instance or on appeal as well as the judgments given by any Beth-Din in Palestine sanctioned by the Council. The appointment of Haham Bashi no longer exists in Palestine; and no person is recognized by the Government as a Chief-Rabbi of Palestine except the Rabbis elected by the Assembly. W. H. DEEDES, Civil Secretary, Government House, March 18th, 1921." [End Quote]
  27. ^ Jewish Affairs, in Report by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan for the year 1935 by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan for the year 1935, The Office of High Commissioner for Palestine and Trans-Jordan, Jerusalem, 1935
  28. ^ Dishon, David (Fall 2008). ""The Beauty of Yefet in the Tents of Shem"- Gentiles and Jews in the Thought of Rav Kook" (PDF). Havruta: A Journal of Jewish Conversation. 1 (2). Shalom Hartman Institute: 80–89. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  29. ^ "אזמרך בלאמים - התיחסות גדולי ישראל לראיה קוק ולספרו אורות". Yoel-ab.com. 19 June 1996. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  30. ^ a b c d Yehudah Mirsky, Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution
  31. ^ "מוסד הרב קוק | בית היוצר הגדול לספר התורני". Mosadharavkook.com. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  32. ^ a b Yudelson, Larry (29 December 2016). "Concentrating on Kook". Jewish Standard. Retrieved 2 May 2023. In formulating religious Zionism, Kook broke with most other Orthodox rabbis, who saw nothing but evil in the early Zionist pioneers, with their atheism, their Sabbath desecration, and their belief that their labor rather than God would save the Jewish people.
  33. ^ a b Ben Zion Bokser (1981). "A letter by the Gerer Rebbe". Conservative Judaism. Vol. 35 (1-3 ed.). Rabbinical Assembly. pp. 26–30. Many of them were not ritually observant; some were openly hostile to religion. Despite this, Rabbi Kook defended them, and even hailed them as playing a role, by their labors, in hastening the messianic deliverance. For the religious establishment of the old yishuv this was a heretical distortion which imperiled everything holy in Judaism, and they denounced Rabbi Kook as a misleader of his people.
  34. ^ a b Shapiro, Rabbi Yaakov (2018). The Empty Wagon. pp. 488–608. ISBN 978-1647647926.
  35. ^ Shalom Carmy (1995). "Dialectic, Doubters, and a Self-Erasing Letter (Notes)". In Lawrence J. Kaplan; David Shatz; Kayann Short; Abouali Farmanfarmaian (eds.). Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Jewish Spirituality. NYU Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-8147-4653-0.
  36. ^ Yehudah Mirsky (11 February 2014). Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution. Yale University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-300-16424-4. There quickly followed a pamphlet banning Orot, which included frontal attacks on Kook and Charlap, and a declaration signed by Zonnenfeld, Diskin, and others: "We were astonished to see and hear gross things, foreign to the entire Torah, and we see that which we feared before his coming here, that he will introduce new forms of deviance that our rabbis and ancestors could not have imagined… He turns light to darkness, and darkness to light... It is to be deemed a sorcerer's book, and let it be known that it is forbidden to study [let alone] rely on all his nonsense and dreams.
  37. ^ Rivka Schatz Uffenheimer (2005). הרעיון המשיחי מאז גירוש ספרד (in Hebrew). Magnes Press. p. 234. ISBN 9789654931830. בקונטרס זה מופיע בפעם הראשונה דימויו של הרב קוק לשבתי צבי "וקאי באיסורא כיחידאי דאיהו נמי שיטתיה כיחידאי הש״ץ״. ולפני שהוא מביא ממאמרי הרב באות ׳תעודות׳ כגון מכתב בנו של הרבי מבלז, המזכיר את דברי הרבי: "וידוע דהרב דשם מירושלים ושמו קוק ימ"ש הוא רשע גמור וכבר טימא כמה צעירי עמנו ע"י מצודתו של חלקות לשונו ובספרים הטמאים, וד' יזכנו ויעביר רוח הטומאה מכל נפוצות עמו, ונזכה לעלות לציון ברנה, וכשנזכה שיהי' עת רצון מהש"י ולא עתה על ידיהם
  38. ^ פסק דין של גאוני ארץ על אותו האיש
  39. ^ Yehudah Mirsky (11 February 2014). Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution. Yale University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-300-16555-5. When Rav Kook called for public fasts on October 22, 1928, to protest the indignities at the Kotel, the ultra-Orthodox ignored him, as they studiously ignored every prayer meeting and fast day that he called.
  40. ^ Wasserman, Rabbi Elchonon. Kovetz Maamrim vol. 1 (in Hebrew). p. 153.
  41. ^ Sonnenfeld, Shlomo Zalman. B'Dor Tahafuchos (in Hebrew). p. 358.
  42. ^ Testimony of R Asher Zelig Margolis, quoted in Hamodia Inyan xxxiv no 1177, p.67. "The Saba explained that in Heaven it had been decreed that the Chafetz Chaim's seforim would be accepted by the entire Jewish people. If he was to come to Eretz Yisrael, he would visit R. Kook, which would cause R. Kooks rivals to reject him. He would also visit R. Sonnenfeld, which would cause R. Sonnenfelds rivals to reject him."
  43. ^ Yehudah Mirsky (11 February 2014). Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution. Yale University Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-300-16555-5. A major scholar of impeccable ultra-Orthodox credentials, Meltzer resolutely defended Kook against attackers on the right. He was wont to say, "Let them, any of us, pray on Yom Kippur the way Rav Kook prays on an average weekday."
  44. ^ Bisdeh Ha-Re'eiyah p. 236, Chayei Ha-Re'eiyah pp. 388-389, Igrot Le-Re'eiyah #316 and Melachim Kivnei Adam pp. 106-107. Maran Ha-Rav's response is found in Shut Da'at Cohain #223
  45. ^ Anna Szalai; Rita Horváth; Gábor Balázs (2007). Previously unexplored sources on the Holocaust in Hungary: a selection from Jewish periodicals, 1930-1944. International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem. p. 32. ISBN 978-965-308-300-4. According to the report, Chofetz-Chaim condemned the pamphlet against Kook as well.
  46. ^ he:כתבי הראי"ה
  47. ^ Morrison, Chanan (2006). 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. pp. 353–356. ISBN 965-7108-92-6.
  48. ^ [1][dead link]
  49. ^ "HA'OROT - Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.
  50. ^ "美肌になるために". www.haorot.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  51. ^ "HAOROTRAVKOOK". YouTube.
  52. ^ From "Arpilei Tohar", p. 27–28. Hebrew: 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.
  53. ^ From "Olat Reiyah". Hebrew: 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.

External links[edit]

Jewish titles
New title Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Mandatory Palestine
Succeeded by
Rosh Yeshiva of
Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook

Succeeded by