kosher bookworm: alan jay gerber

Rav Kook’s legacy upon his 80th yahrtzeit


Perhaps no one said it better than Rabbi Berel Wein: “Rabbi Bezalel Naor has done a masterful job in bringing Rav Kook’s thoughts and philosophy to the English speaking public. Rabbi Naor’s introduction, notes and comments are themselves works of genius. Anyone wishing to understand the complexities of the current Jewish scene with its crosscurrents, and contradictions, must read this book, Orot, to gain perspective and understanding.”

In this week’s last tribute to the memory of Rav Kook, we have the honor to present the following specially written essay-tribute by Rabbi Naor entitled, “Thoughts on Rav Kook’s Yahrtzeit.”

I ask myself: How would Rav Kook want to be remembered today?

Certainly he would not want us to dredge up old animosities surrounding his person. It was he who taught that the tikkun, or remedy for the abominable sin of sinat chinam, senseless hatred, is ahavat chinam, senseless love.”

Rather, I imagine that the Rav would want us to learn and practice the most salient features of his teachings. He was a man who in the course of a lifetime grew spiritually by quantum leaps, and he would demand of us our own spiritual growth and development.

By nature, he was drawn inexorably to mysteries of the Torah. His core learning was obtained in the bastion of Lithuanian scholarship, the famed Volozhin Yeshiva. To his dying day, he would remain faithful to the legacy of the Vilna Gaon as embodied in that great Torah institution. But as time went on, this Litvak broadened his being.

Page 1 / 2