Because of their poetic and mystical nature, Rav Kook’s writings are difficult even for readers who are fluent in Hebrew and rabbinic texts. Silver from the Land of Israel uses a clear, succinct style to provide the reader with a window into Rav Kook’s original and creative insights.
A companion volume to Gold from the Land of Israel on the Torah, this book presents Rav Kook’s thoughts on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. It elucidates his views on many topics, including:
What is the inner meaning of the shofar blasts?
Why are we instructed to drink on Purim?
What were Rav Kook’s views on secular Zionism?
What is the role of art and literature?
Why do we need both an oral and written Torah?
Why must the Jewish calendar be set in the land of Israel?
Why does a Jewish king need his own sefer Torah?
In what way is the Shabbat like a bride?
Why do we not celebrate Chanukah with a festive meal?
Why is the Temple so important to us?
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935), the celebrated first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel, is recognized as being among the most important Jewish thinkers. Just as his writings reflect the mystic’s search for underlying unity in all aspects of life and the world, his unique personality united a rare combination of talents and gifts. A prominent rabbinical authority and active public leader, Rav Kook was, at the same time, a deeply religious mystic. He was both Talmudic scholar and poet, original thinker and tzaddik. – For a brief biography of Rav Kook, see the reviewer’s Shepherd of Jerusalem –
After graduating with a B.A. in mathematics from Yeshiva University (New York), Rabbi Chanan Morrison studied for several years at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, the Jerusalem yeshiva founded by Rav Kook in 1924. He was ordained after completing rabbinical studies in the Ohr Torah Stone (Efrat) and Midrash Sephardi (Jerusalem) rabbinical seminaries.
Rabbi Morrison taught Jewish studies for several years in Harrisburg, PA, before returning to Israel. He and his family subsequently settled in Mitzpe Yericho, an Israeli community in the Judean Desert.
In an effort to maintain contact with former students, Rabbi Morrison began emailing articles on the weekly Torah portion based on Rav Kook’s writings. Over the years, this email list grew quickly and now reaches thousands of readers from all over the world. Rabbi Morrison is frequently featured in the Torah section of the Arutz Sheva website, and his work can be read on his own website at http://ravkooktorah.org. His first book of essays of Rav Kook’s writings, Gold from the Land of Israel, was published by Urim Publications in 2006.
From Jewish Media Review