Silver from the Land of Israel in AJL Reviews

by Daniel J. Rettberg

Morrison, Chanan
Silver from the Land Of Israel: A New Light on the Sabbath and Holidays from the writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
Jerusalem: Urim Publications, 2010
269 pp. $25.00 (9789655240429)

Silver from the Land of Israel is a companion volume to the author’s Gold from the Land of Israel. In Gold from the Land of Israel, Morrison, an Orthodox Israeli rabbi and former student at the yeshiva founded by Rav Kook, offered his readers essays on the weekly parashah based on Rav Kook’s writings. In Silver from the Land of Israel Rabbi Morrison offers us the same format, but focusing on the holidays. Rabbi Morrison has produced a volume that presents a picture of Rav Kook in depth, one that should be welcomed by all lovers of Jewish tradition. Rav Kook was the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel. He spoke from a background that was both Orthodox and kabbalistic/Hasidic. As I read Rabbi Morrison’s work I was especially impressed with the nuances of Rav Kook’s thought. Breadth not only describes Rav Kook’s knowledge, but also his openness and love for all Jews. I was for example especially impressed by Rabbi Morrison’s discussion of Rav Kook’s views on Orthodox and non-Orthodox. In the essay on “Unity and Repentance” he brings out Rav Kook’s love for all Jews and his emphasis on the idea that rather than point the finger at others we should all follow the classic definition of the righteous person as someone who judges himself strictly while judging others leniently.

I wish to commend Urim for having produced not only a quality text but a quality book as well. The page layout is well done and the book itself lies flat when open, facilitating easy reading. I highly recommend this book for inclusion in all Jewish libraries and all libraries with general collections in Jewish studies and comparative religious studies.

For the original review in AJL Reviews, click here (page 27).

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