Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook

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Harav Avraham Yitzchak   HaCohen Kook

Hebrew: Harav Avraham Yitzchak   HaCohen Kook, הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק
Also Known As: "הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק", "HaRaAYaH", "HaRav."
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Griva, Vabole, Daugavpils, Latvia
Death: Died in Jerusalem, Israel
Place of Burial: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Rav Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook and Perl Zlata HaCohen Kook
Husband of Bat-Sheva Alta HaCohen Kook and Reizel Rivka Kook
Father of Freida Chana Rabinowitz; Harav Zvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook; Bittya Miriam Ha-Cohen Kook and Ester Yael Kook
Brother of Rav Dov-Ber Hacohen Kook; שאול חנא Shaul Chana קוק; Shmuel HaCohen Kook; Chaim HaCohen Kook; Freda Batya HaCohen Mirkin and 2 others

Occupation: Chief Rabbi of Palestine, רב
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook

Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar. He is known in Hebrew as הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק ---- HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, and by the acronym HaRaAYaH or simply as "HaRav." He was one of the most celebrated and influential Rabbis of the 20th century.

Rav Kook saw Zionism as a part of a divine scheme finally to result in the resettlement of the Jewish people in its homeland, bringing salvation ("Geula") to the Jewish people, and the entire world.

In Rav Kook’s thought Kodesh and Chol (sacred and profane) play an important role: Kodesh is the inner taam (reason / meaning) of reality, while Chol is that which is detached from Kodesh and is without any meaning; Judaism, then, is the vehicle "whereby we sanctify our lives, and attach all the practical, secular elements of life to spiritual goals which reflect the absolute meaning of existence - G-d Himself".

Rare video clip R' Y.Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rav Kook, R'Yakov Meir, R'Yitzchok Shlomo Blau - scroll down.

http://pinchas.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

http://www.ravkooktorah.org/timeline.htm

Illustrated timeline of Rav Kook's life

Kook was born in Grīva, Latvia (now part of Daugavpils, then a town in Courland Governorate of Imperial Russia) in 1865, the oldest of eight children. His father, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook, was a student of the Volozhin Yeshiva, the "mother of the Lithuanian yeshivas", whereas his maternal grandfather was a member of the Kapust dynasty of the Hassidic movement.

As a child he gained a reputation of being an ilui (prodigy). 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). Although he stayed at the yeshiva for only a year and a half, the Netziv has been quoted as saying that if the Volozhin Yeshiva had been founded just to educate Rav Kook, it would have been worthwhile. During his time in the yeshiva, he studied about 18 hours a day.

In 1886, Kook married Batsheva, the daughter of 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 1887, at the age of 23, Kook entered his first rabbinical position as rabbi of Zaumel, Lithuania. 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. In 1895 Kook became the rabbi of Bausk (now Bauska). Between 1901 and 1904, he published three articles which anticipate the fully-developed philosophy which he developed in the Land of Israel. During these years he wrote a number of works, most published posthumously, most notably a lengthy commentary on the Aggadot of Tractates Berakhot and Shabbat, titled 'Eyn Ayah' and a brief but powerful book on morality and spirituality, titled 'Mussar Avikhah'.

In 1904, Kook moved to Ottoman Palestine to assume the rabbinical post in Jaffa, which also included responsibility for the new mostly secular Zionist agricultural settlements nearby. His 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.

The outbreak of the First World War caught Kook in Europe, and he was forced to remain in London and Switzerland for the remainder of the war. Rav Kook spent two years in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

During this time, a famous episode occurred: “When I lived in London I used to visit the National Gallery, and my favourite pictures were those of Rembrandt. I really think that Rembrandt was a Tzadik. Do you know that when I first saw Rembrandt’s works, they reminded me of the legend about the creation of light? We are told that when G-d created light, it was so strong and pellucid, that one could see from one end of the world to the other, but G-d was afraid that the wicked might abuse it. What did He do? He reserved that light for the righteous when the Messiah should come. But now and then there are great men who are blessed and privileged to see it. I think that Rembrandt was one of them, and the light in his pictures is the very light that was originally created by G-d Almighty” (The Jewish Chronicle; London, 13 September 1935, p. 21). In 1916, he became rabbi of the Spitalfields Great Synagogue (Machzike Hadath, "upholders of the law"), an immigrant Orthodox community located in Brick Lane, Whitechapel. Upon returning, he was appointed the Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem, and soon after, as first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine in 1921. Kook founded a yeshiva, Mercaz HaRav Kook (popularly known as "Mercaz haRav"), in Jerusalem in 1924. He was a master of Halakha in the strictest sense, while at the same time possessing an unusual openness to new ideas. This drew many religious and non religious people to him, but also led to widespread misunderstanding of his ideas. He wrote prolifically on both Halakha and Jewish thought, and his books and personality continued to influence many even after his death in Jerusalem in 1935.

Kook built bridges of communication and political alliances between the various Jewish sectors, including the secular Jewish Zionist leadership, the Religious Zionists, and more traditional non-Zionist Orthodox Jews. He believed that the modern movement to re-establish a Jewish state in the land of Israel had profound theological significance and that the Zionists were pawns in a heavenly plan to bring about the messianic era. Per this ideology, the youthful, secular and even anti-religious Labor Zionist pioneers halutzim were a part of a grand divine scheme whereby the land and people of Israel were finally being redeemed from the 2,000 year exile (galut) by all manner of Jews who sacrificed themselves for the cause of building up the physical land, as laying the groundwork for the ultimate spiritual messianic redemption of world Jewry. He once commented that the establishment of the Chief Rabbinate was the first step towards the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin.

While building bridges with mainly anti-religious elements, he burned bridges with the traditionally original ultra orthodox Jewish litvish and chasidic streams, He is considered by them as an outcast and by many as an apikoros. His books and name are never mentioned in Halachic discussions.

His empathy towards the anti-religious elements aroused the suspicions of his more traditionalist haredi opponents, 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, Kook's greatest rabbinical rival. Kook once quoted a rabbinic axiom that "one should embrace with the right hand and rebuff with the left". He remarked that he was fully capable of rejecting, but since there were enough rejecters, he was fulfilling the role of embracer. However, Kook was critical of the secularists on certain occasions when they went "too far" in desecrating the Torah, for instance, by not observing the Sabbath or kosher laws. Kook also opposed the secular spirit of the Hatikvah anthem, and penned another anthem with a more religious theme entitled haEmunah.

Kook fathered three children through his two wives: two daughters and a son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. His nephew was Hillel Kook.

-------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7iHIRwpU2o

Biographical video about Rav Kook

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Isaac_Kook

-------------------

http://wiki.geni.com/index.php/Jewish_Dynasties

--------------------

1865-1935

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Isaac_Kook

HaRav Kook's Three Principles:

(1)     Before us lie the end of the exile, and the onset of our people and
         our land.
(2)     The Torah can and must solve every problem and answer
          every question, for it is wider and deeper than the ocean.
 (3)     The soul of every Jew possesses rights - full and inalienable rights
           to live in his own way, for he belongs to Klal Yisrael
           (Universal People of Israel).

--------------------

Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar. He is known in Hebrew as הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, and by the acronym HaRaAYaH or simply as "HaRav." He was one of the most celebrated and influential Rabbis of the 20th century.

born in Grīva, Latvia (now part of Daugavpils, then a town in Courland Governorate of Imperial Russia) in 1865, the oldest of eight children. His father, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook, was a student of the Volozhin Yeshiva, the "mother of the Lithuanian yeshivas", whereas his maternal grandfather was a member of the Kapust dynasty of the Hassidic movement.

As a child he gained a reputation of being an ilui (prodigy). 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). Although he stayed at the yeshiva for only a year and a half, the Netziv has been quoted as saying that if the Volozhin Yeshiva had been founded just to educate Rav Kook, it would have been worthwhile. During his time in the yeshiva, he studied about 18 hours a day.

In 1886, Kook married Batsheva, the daughter of 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 1887, at the age of 23, Kook entered his first rabbinical position as rabbi of Zaumel, Lithuania. 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. In 1895 Kook became the rabbi of Bausk (now Bauska). Between 1901 and 1904, he published three articles which anticipate the fully-developed philosophy which he developed in the Land of Israel. During these years he wrote a number of works, most published posthumously, most notably a lengthy commentary on the Aggadot of Tractates Berakhot and Shabbat, titled 'Eyn Ayah' and a brief but powerful book on morality and spirituality, titled 'Mussar Avikhah'.

In 1904, Kook moved to Ottoman Palestine to assume the rabbinical post in Jaffa, which also included responsibility for the new mostly secular Zionist agricultural settlements nearby. His 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.

The outbreak of the First World War caught Kook in Europe, and he was forced to remain in London and Switzerland for the remainder of the war. During this time, a famous episode occurred: “When I lived in London I used to visit the National Gallery, and my favourite pictures were those of Rembrandt. I really think that Rembrandt was a Tzadik. Do you know that when I first saw Rembrandt’s works, they reminded me of the legend about the creation of light? We are told that when G-d created light, it was so strong and pellucid, that one could see from one end of the world to the other, but G-d was afraid that the wicked might abuse it. What did He do? He reserved that light for the righteous when the Messiah should come. But now and then there are great men who are blessed and privileged to see it. I think that Rembrandt was one of them, and the light in his pictures is the very light that was originally created by G-d Almighty” (The Jewish Chronicle; London, 13 September 1935, p. 21). In 1916, he became rabbi of the Spitalfields Great Synagogue (Machzike Hadath, "upholders of the law"), an immigrant Orthodox community located in Brick Lane, Whitechapel. Upon returning, he was appointed the Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem, and soon after, as first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine in 1921. Kook founded a yeshiva, Mercaz HaRav Kook (popularly known as "Mercaz haRav"), in Jerusalem in 1924. He was a master of Halakha in the strictest sense, while at the same time possessing an unusual openness to new ideas. This drew many religious and non­religious people to him, but also led to widespread misunderstanding of his ideas. He wrote prolifically on both Halakha and Jewish thought, and his books and personality continued to influence many even after his death in Jerusalem in 1935.

Kook built bridges of communication and political alliances between the various Jewish sectors, including the secular Jewish Zionist leadership, the Religious Zionists, and more traditional non-Zionist Orthodox Jews. He believed that the modern movement to re-establish a Jewish state in the land of Israel had profound theological significance and that the Zionists were pawns in a heavenly plan to bring about the messianic era. Per this ideology, the youthful, secular and even anti-religious Labor Zionist pioneers halutzim were a part of a grand divine scheme whereby the land and people of Israel were finally being redeemed from the 2,000 year exile (galut) by all manner of Jews who sacrificed themselves for the cause of building up the physical land, as laying the groundwork for the ultimate spiritual messianic redemption of world Jewry. He once commented that the establishment of the Chief Rabbinate was the first step towards the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin.

While building bridges with mainly anti-religious elements, he burned bridges with the traditionally original ultra orthodox Jewish litvish and chasidic streams, He is considered by them as an outcast and by many as an apikoros. His books and name are never mentioned in Halachic discussions.

His empathy towards the anti-religious elements aroused the suspicions of his more traditionalist haredi opponents, 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, Kook's greatest rabbinical rival. Kook once quoted a rabbinic axiom that "one should embrace with the right hand and rebuff with the left". He remarked that he was fully capable of rejecting, but since there were enough rejecters, he was fulfilling the role of embracer. However, Kook was critical of the secularists on certain occasions when they went "too far" in desecrating the Torah, for instance, by not observing the Sabbath or kosher laws. Kook also opposed the secular spirit of the Hatikvah anthem, and penned another anthem with a more religious theme entitled haEmunah.

Kook fathered three children through his two wives: two daughters and a son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. His nephew was Hillel Kook.

[edit] Legacy

While Rabbi Kook is exalted as one of the most important thinkers in mainstream Religious Zionism, he was close to what is now called Hardal. Indeed, there are several prominent quotes in which Kook is quite critical of the more modern-orthodox Religious Zionists (Mizrachi), whom he saw as naive and perhaps hypocritical in attempting to synthesize traditional Judaism with a modern and largely secular ideology. Kook never shied away from criticizing his peers, religious and secular, as well as the increasingly cloistered traditionalists living in the Holy Land, whose way of life he characterized as being similarly affected by the negative and abnormal conditions of the Jewish exile, and therefore just as "inauthentic" as that of their Zionist counterparts. Kook was interested in outreach and cooperation between different groups and types of Jews, and saw both the good and bad in each of them. His sympathy for them as fellow Jews and desire for Jewish unity should not be misinterpreted as any inherent endorsement of all their ideas. That said, Kook's willingness to engage in joint-projects (for instance, his participation in the Chief Rabbinate) with the secular Zionist leadership must be seen as differentiating him from many of his traditionalist peers. In terms of practical results, it would not be incorrect to characterize Kook as being a Zionist, believing in the re-establishment of the Jewish people as a nation in their ancestral homeland. Unlike other Zionist leaders, however, Kook's motivations were purely based on Jewish law and Biblical prophecy. His sympathy towards the Zionist movement can be seen as a major stepping-stone to the Religious Zionist movement gaining momentum and legitimacy after his death.

The Israeli moshav Kfar Haroeh, 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 philosophy. Kook's writings and philosophy eventually gave birth to the Hardal Religious Zionist movement which is today led by rabbis who studied under Kook's son at Mercaz HaRav -------------------- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Isaac_Kook.

About Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (עברית)

הרב הראשי האשכנזי הראשון של ארץ ישראל

נולד בט"ז אלול תרכ"ה (1865) ונפטר ביום ג' באלול תרצ"ה (1935).

בשנת 1884 נשא לאישה את בתו של הרב אליהו דוד רבינוביץ' תאומים (האדר"ת) ועבר ללמוד שנה וחצי בישיבת וולוז'ין.

בשנת 1888 נתמנה לרבה של העיירה זיימל שבליטא, ובשנת 1894 נבחר כרבה של בויסק.

כאשר פנו אליו אנשי יפו בהשתדלותו של הרב יואל משה סלומון לכהן שם כרב, מיהר להגשים את חלומו ולעלות ארצה.

בכ"ח אייר תרס"ד (1904) ירד לחופי הארץ ומיד נתמנה גם לרב של יפו והמושבות החדשות. תקופת יפו הייתה התקופה הפוריה ביותר בכתיבתו, למרות שזו פורסמה רק לאחר מכן, ובה נכתב החומר לכמה מהיצירות החשובות שלו- אורות, אורות הקדש, עולת ראי"ה ועוד.

בשנת 1914 יצא לכנס העולמי של אגודת ישראל בשוויץ ונתקע שם בשל פריצת מלחמת העולם הראשונה.

לאחר תקופה קצרה בלונדון חזר הראי"ה לישראל ונתמנה לרבה של ירושלים (1919). בהמשך כונן את מוסד הרבנות הראשית, והיה הרב הראשי האשכנזי הראשון של ארץ ישראל (1921). באותה שנה, ייסד ישיבה בירושלים ששמה הוא "הישיבה המרכזית העולמית" או בקיצור "מרכז הרב".

ייסד את מכון "הלכה ברורה", העוסק בכתיבת וחיבור הפסיקה ההלכתית של התלמוד, עבודה שעסק בה רבות, ושראה בה בנין התורה לדורות. נודע בעמידתו האיתנה למול ממשלת המנדט הבריטי בארץ ישראל כמו למשל בשאלת זכותו של עם ישראל על הכותל המערבי.

לאחר רצח חיים ארלוזורוב, ראש המחלקה המדינית של הסוכנות היהודית, שניהל ב1933, משא ומתן עם הנאצים להצלת יהודים, יצא הרב קוק להגנת הנאשמים, ובראשם אבא אחימאיר ראש תנועת ברית הבריונים, וטען שאין ראיות ממשיות לכך שהם ביצעו את הרצח, ואסור להוציאם להורג רק בגלל שהם נחשדו. התנגדותו לאוירת הלינץ' הציבורי עלתה לו בפופולריות שלו, והיו אף שכתבו כתובות נאצה על חומת ביתו בסגנון "אוי לדור שכהניו מגינים על רוצחיו". יש טוענים שפרשיה זו וההתנגדות הגדולה שלה זכה, בציבור שכה אהד, קיצרה את ימיו.

הרב קוק נפטר ממחלת הסרטן בגיל שבעים ביום ג' באלול תרצ"ה (1935), והובא למנוחת עולמים בהר הזיתים בירושלים. השאיר אחריו שתי בנות ובן: הרב צבי יהודה קוק יורשו הרוחני וממשיך דרכו.

היה האידיאולוג הדתי והתיאולוג של הציונות, שראה בה פעמי משיח וקץ הגאולה, ועודד את מפעליה. אף שהיה חרד מנטייתם של צעירי הציונות לחילוניות ולעזיבת הדת, אהבם ותמך בהם רבות, ואף ביקש ל"חטוא" באהבת חינם כלפיהם. בתקופה שהיה רב ראשי בירושלים, יזם מספר של מסעות למושבות ולקיבוצים בעמק יזרעאל ובשפלת החוף במטרה להקשיב ולחזקם מוראלית ורוחנית. ראשי היישוב ואנשי רוח והגות כברל כצנלסון, ברנר, ביאליק ובמיוחד אז"ר ועגנון כיבדוהו ושמרו על ערוצים פתוחים אתו.

החרדים התנגדו לו בשל דעותיו החדשניות והלאומיות, ואף שהעריכוהו כחכם גדול בתורה, הכריזו עליו מלחמה רוחנית גדולה, וטענו שהוא טועה בדעותיו, מלחמה שסבל ממנה עד ימיו האחרונים. עם זאת, עיון קצר בחליפת האגרות והמכתבים בינו לבין רבנים גדולי ישראל מאפשר לראות את הכבוד הרב והאהבה העצומה שרחשו כל גדולי ישראל כלפי הרב קוק, גם כשפעמים רבות לא הסכימו עם דרכו ושיטתו.

מגילות יחש של משפחת יפה- צבי יפה 1996/ גניגר ישראל

עמוד 4א

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Harav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook's Timeline

1865
September 7, 1865
Vabole, Daugavpils, Latvia
1884
1884
Age 18
1888
1888
Age 22
Poneveyzs, Lithuania
1889
1889
Age 23
Lithuania
1891
April 23, 1891
Age 25
Žeimelis, Kaunas, Lithuania
1899
1899
Age 33
1904
May 10, 1904
Age 38
Palestine
1904
Age 38
Rabbi in Jaffa, following his father-in-law
1907
1907
Age 41
1921
1921
- 1935
Age 55