• December 5, 2022
  • 10 5783, Kislev
  • פרשת וישלח

Rav Kook’s Faith

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) http://amzn.com/0300164246. 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 http://amzn.com/0991270800 (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

January 19, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 1
Class description

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) http://amzn.com/0300164246. 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 http://amzn.com/0991270800 (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

January 26, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 2
Class description

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/

February 2, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 3
Class description

GENERAL TREND AND DIVINE PROVIDENCE: We will examine a passage from Orot HaKodesh II, pp. 412-413 , attached in Hebrew and English.

February 9, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 4
Class description

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. https://korenpub.com/maggid/intusd/orot

February 23, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 5
Class description

PRAYER AND FAITH: Rav Kook’s siddur commentary (Olat HaRaaya http://www.sefer.org.il/Product/27686081/%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A8-%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%AA-%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%99%D7%94-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%93%D7%A9-%D7%91-%D7%9B%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%9D—%D7%94%D7%95%D7%A6%D7%90%D7%94-%D7%97%D7%93%D7%A9%D7%94) 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 – http://www.sefer.org.il/Product/40330/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%AA%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%94—%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91–%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94-%D7%A6%D7%91%D7%99-%D7%A0%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%94.

March 1, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 6
Class description

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.

May 17, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 7
Class description

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.

May 31, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 8
Class description

MIDOT HAEMUNAH 2: Continuing in the Midot HaEmunah from #3 in Hebrew (http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/rav-kooks-faith/?material=7273) or English (http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/rav-kooks-faith/?material=7272). Apologies for last week’s tech difficulties – my new laptop seems to be working so we don’t anticipate any trouble this week!

June 7, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 9
Class description

MIDOT HAEMUNAH 3: Continuing in the Midot HaEmunah from #4 in Hebrew (http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/rav-kooks-faith/?material=7273) or English (http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/rav-kooks-faith/?material=7272)

June 14, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 10
Class description

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

June 21, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 11
Class description

FAITH AND LITERATURE 2: Continuing our discussion about Rav Kook’s views (from a variety of sources) on the relationship between literature and faith.

June 28, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 12
Class description

FAITH AND LITERATURE 3: Concluding our discussion of faith and literature from a variety of sources

January 3, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 13
Class description

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 purchase. (https://www.hamadaf-y.co.il/%D7%97%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%AA/%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%A7-%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%93%D7%99%D7%95/%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%A7/%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%AA-%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%99%D7%94-2-%D7%9B%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%9D/) For Android.(https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=il.yahadut.olatreiya) Electronic formats. (http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/vl/tohen.asp?id=556) For more on the Nazir’s meeting with Rav Kook click here.(http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/192889/seeker-finds-master-and-transcendence) For a brief biographical sketch of Rav Kook, click here for introductory pages (http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/rav-kooks-faith/?material=7000) from Julian Sinclair’s edition of Rav Kook’s Introduction to Shabbat Ha’aretz (http://amzn.com/0991270800) (Hazon, 2014). As general resources I also recommend the following websites: www.ravkooktorah.org and www.ravkook.net

January 10, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 14
Class description

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.

January 17, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 15
Class description

RAV KOOK’S PRAYER (3): What happens to a person when s/he prays? What happens to his/her world?

January 24, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 16
Class description

RAV KOOK’S PRAYER (4): The guide to prayer – Olat HaRaaya page 11.

January 31, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 17
Class description

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?

February 7, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 18
Class description

RAV KOOK’S PRAYER (6): I’m so sorry about the technical problems last night that kept knocking out my internet (probably weather related). Next week we will finish up paragraph 2 from where we got interrupted, and move on to para 3 (attached)

February 21, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rav Kook’s Faith: Lesson 19
Class description

RAV KOOK’S PRAYER (7): Continuing in section 3 and 4 of the Siddur Introduction of Rav Kook.

Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem, and its WebYeshiva.org program. He is the Editor of the journal Tradition, Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and Director of Research at the Agnon House in Jerusalem. A three-time graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Rabbi Saks has published widely on Jewish thought, education, and literature (see www.webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).