Book «Religious Zionism of Rav Kook» by Pinchas Polonsky

Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935) is, without doubt, one of the most celebrated rabbis of the twentieth century. He is known to most people, however, only as the founder of Religious Zionism. We frequently overlook the fact that the foundations of his teachings reflect a deep modernization of the Jewish faith itself and of its approach to an array of contemporary problems. The legacy of Rav Kook is not only Religious Zionism, that is, a religious understanding of the State of Israel, but a general modernization of Judaism. Specifically, Rav Kook dealt with Judaism’s development in history, its integration with the modern world, and its understanding of scientific and societal advancements as a continual Divine Revelation. Rav Kook’s teachings are relevant to all sectors of society, including the religious and the secular, Torah scholars and academics, and to people of all professions. Recommendations

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«Religious zionizm of Rav Kook» / eng



«Arphilei Tohar with comments» / eng


To order the hard copy please write ppolonsky@gmail.com

Contents

Preface
Part 1. A Religious Understanding of Modern History
Chapter 1:
Rabbi Kook’s Religious Revolution 
1. Religious Zionism and the Global Renaissance of Judaism
2. The National Dialogue with God
3. The Concept of Continuing Revelation and the Changed Religious Paradigm
Chapter 2:
Religious Significance of the State of Israel 
1. The Vilna Gaon’s Concept of the Death and Resurrection of the Jewish People
2. Rabbi Kook’s Analysis of the Potential for Chochma and Bina in the Diaspora and in the Land of Israel .
3. The Connections between the Approaches of the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Kook
Chapter 3
Advancing our Understanding of Jewish Life through the Concept of a National Dialogue with God 
1. The Establishment of Religious Holidays to Commemorate Key Events in National History
2. The Implications for Freedom of Choice
3. The Dialogue with God at the Jewish National Level and at the Level of Humankind as a Whole
4. The Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible: an Example of the View of History as Divine Revelation
5. Even Today Jewish History is Seen by Humankind as Sacred
6. Interpreting Jewish History in Light of the Idea of the National Dialogue with God
Chapter 4
Applying the Concept of the National Dialogue with God to Current Problems Facing Judaism 
1.The Story of Elisha ben-Abuya
2. A Turning Point in Jewish History
Chapter 5
Contemporary Problems in Judaism 
1. Running off the Road in our Century – the Religious Inadequacy of the Judaism of Galut for Life in Israel
2. The Problem of Applying Halakha to National Questions
3. The Four-Millennia Scope of this Historical/Philosophical Concept, and the Historical Process Today
Part 2. Rabbi Kook and the Modernization of Judaism
Chapter 6 
Rabbi Kook’s Vision of the Modernization of Judaism 
1. A Step in the Development of Judaism
2. The Teaching of Rabbi Kook as Torat haKelal, Teaching for the Entire Nation
3. Flaws in Judaism and the Process of their Correction
4. Example 1: The Integration of Sparks from Zionism
5. Example 2: The Integration of Sparks from Atheism
6. Example 3: The Integration of Sparks from Reform Judaism
7. The Essential Difference between Reform Judaism and Modern Orthodoxy
8. Religious Anti-Fundamentalism and the Concept of Continuing Revelation
9. The Embedded Implication that Judaism Must Lag Behind Culture in Its Development
Chapter 7
The Conflict between Halakha and the Ethical Instinct 
1. General Principles and Examples of the Conflict Between Halakha and the Ethical Feeling
2. Opposing Approaches to the Conflict between Halakha and Ethics
3. Rabbi Kook’s Approach: Synthesis, Rather than Compromise
4. Modern Orthodoxy as a Synthesis of the Two Opposing Approaches
5. Example 1: The Conversion of non-Jews Marrying Jews: a Revision of Halakcha
6. Example 2: The Status of “Jewish by Father” in Jewish Society

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