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Rav Kook’s Faith

Rav Kook's Faith
NEXT CLASS
Rav Kook's Faith
Tuesday January 31, 2017
9:55PM
The class will begin in:
6 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes
Instructor: Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
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Rav Kook’s Faith


Tuesday 10:00PM
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Course Description

What is the role of faith in the life of the Jew? How does faith (emunah) differ from belief? What challenges does modernity pose to emunah and what are the prospects for overcoming them? In this mini-series we will explore the writings of Rav Kook on these topics and gain an insight into the challenges people of faith and people who aspire to faith face and understand more about the teachings of one of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the modern era – Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook zt”l.


About Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding Director of ATID - The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem. An editorial board member of the journal Tradition, Rabbi Saks authored Spiritualizing Halakhic Education (Mandel Foundation) and edited Wisdom From All My Teachers: Challenges and Initiatives in Contemporary Torah Education (Urim). He is a graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Smicha) and participated in the Jerusalem Fellows program for senior Jewish educators at the Mandel Institute. He has taught at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls and Yeshivat Hamivtar.


Class Resources & Information

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PREVIOUS CLASSESCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
January 19, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Rav Kook's Faith

I'm looking forward to beginning our study of Rav Kook's teachings about faith and belief - a topic that took on new urgency in the early 20th century as the Jewish world underwent historic transitions.

 

Each week we will explore different texts from Rav Kook's writings (in English where available), and as we go along I will try to fill in background to his life and thought. Those who want to do independent reading are strongly recommended to get Yehudah Mirsky's Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution (Yale, 2014). Attached is the short bibliographical essay appended to that book which is a good road map to those who want to read further.

 

For a brief biographical sketch of Rav Kook, see the introductory pages attached from Julian Sinclair's edition of Rav Kook's Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz (Hazon, 2014).

 

As general resources I also recommend the following websites: www.ravkooktorah.org and www.ravkook.net

 

For our first session we will look at a 1905 letter on the topic of freedom of thought and belief (from Letters I:20, attached in Hebrew and English).

 

As always, I welcome your feedback and input as we move though the course - jeffreysaks@gmail.com

 
pdfBibliographical Essay
pdfBiographical Sketch
pdfLetters I:20
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January 26, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Faith and Science

In another letter to his disciple Moshe Zeidel (Igrot I:134), attached in Hebrew and English, Rav Kook discusses scientific truths and religious truths and their bearing on faith.

Read Aryeh Baruch's short essay written on topics discussed in this session: http://blog.webyeshiva.org/parallel-postulate-truths-rav-kook-rambam/

 
pdfIgrot I:134
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February 2, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
General Trend and Divine Providence

We will examine a passage from Orot HaKodesh II, pp. 412-413 , attached in Hebrew and English.

 
pdfOrot HaKodesh II, 412-413
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February 9, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Faith and Love

How are faith and love connected? What do each have to say to contemporary civilization? A source from Orot HeTechiya #17 - from this newly translated edition.

 
pdfOrot HaTechiya 17
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February 23, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Prayer and Faith

Rav Kook's siddur commentary (Olat HaRaaya) is a storehouse of sharp insight on his philosophy of prayer and how that intersects with our theme of faith. We will look at passages from the introduction - attached in vocalized Hebrew from an anthology of his writings on prayer, Orot HaTefillah.

 
pdfOlat HaRaaya - Intro
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March 1, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Belief and Non-Believers

In a series of letters about how we should interact with non-religious and non-observant Jews (including family members), Rav Kook develops ideas that are central to his views on faith, belief, and the Jewish people.

 
pdfLetters
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May 17, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Midot HaEmunah

We will resume our exploration of Rav Kook on faith (on May 17) with his text Midot HaEmunah (from his work Midot HaRa'ayah).

The text is attached in Hebrew and in English translation.

 
pdfMidot HaEmunah (English)
pdfMidot HaEmunah (Hebrew)
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May 31, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Midot HaEmunah 2

Continuing in the Midot HaEmunah from #3 in Hebrew or English.

 

Apologies for last week's tech difficulties - my new laptop seems to be working so we don't anticipate any trouble this week!

 

 
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June 7, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Midot HaEmunah 3

Continuing in the Midot HaEmunah from #4 in Hebrew or English.

 
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June 14, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Rav Kook: Faith and Litertaure

Changing pace a bit we will look at Rav Kook's views (from a variety of sources) on the relationship between literature and faith.

 
pdfSources
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June 21, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Faith and Literature 2

Continuing our discussion about Rav Kook's views (from a variety of sources) on the relationship between literature and faith.

 
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June 28, 2016 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Faith and Literature 3

Concluding our discussion of faith and literature from a variety of sources.

 
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January 3, 2017 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Rav Kook's Prayer (1)

During this new round of the Rav Kook class (commencing January 3rd) we will be focusing on his teachings regaridng Tefillah (Jewish Prayer) and will mainly be using his siddur commentary Olat Ra'ayah. We will make texts available each week -- but for those desiring your own copy of the 2 volume work, it is available:

For more on the Nazir's meeting with Rav Kook click here.

For a brief biographical sketch of Rav Kook, click here for introductory pages from Julian Sinclair's edition of Rav Kook's Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz (Hazon, 2014).
As general resources I also recommend the following websites: www.ravkooktorah.org and www.ravkook.net

 
no handouts posted yet
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January 10, 2017 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Rav Kook's Prayer (2)

Continuing our discussion of Rav Kook's philosophy of tefillah -- what happens when we pray? Sources from Olat Ra'aya attached.

 
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January 17, 2017 10:00PM - 11:00PM
Rav Kook's Prayer (3)

What happens to a person when s/he prays? What happens to his/her world?

 
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January 24, 2017 9:55PM - 10:55PM
Rav Kook's Prayer (4)

The guide to prayer - Olat HaRaaya page 11.

 
pdfSources
NEXT CLASSCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
January 31, 2017 9:55PM - 10:55PM
Rav Kook's Prayer (5)

Continuing in the same sources (click here) -- if prayer is NOT about changing God's mind, what were Avraham and Moshe up to?

 
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UPCOMING CLASSESCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
February 7, 2017 9:55PM - 10:55PM
Rav Kook's Faith
 
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February 14, 2017 9:55PM - 10:55PM
Rav Kook's Faith
 
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