Page 136 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
1 2 4
birth. In 1891 he published
Havesh Peir,
a booklet stressing the
proper placing of
Tefillin
on the forehead. In this work he inter-
prets
M i tzvo t Maasiyot
as a bond between man and God. He
believed in the spiritual efficacy of all
M i tzvo t,
for holiness flows
through the
M itzvah
into man.
In 1890 he went to Boisk to deliver the eulogy for Rav
Mordecai Eliesberg, the distinguished leader of
H oveve i T ziyon ,
and in 1895 he was called to become its rabbi. While in Boisk,
he began a commentary on
Ein Yaakov
and
Agadah,
and worked
on it in Jaffa and Jerusalem during his later periods. This com-
mentary is still in manuscript form.
Although he was not active in the birth and growth of early
political Zionism, he wrote
T euda t Yisrael U-leumiyuto
in 1901,
and published it in
Hapeles,
a monthly edited by E. A. Rabino-
witz. This monograph became the ideological foundation for
M izrahi,
which was established the following year in Lida.
He was profoundly disturbed by the impact of modernity upon
the religious-intellectual position, and particularly by the growth
of the negative, assimilationist tendencies of the early
Haskalah.
At this period (1902) he wrote
Moreh N ’vuh im Hadash
(also still
in manuscript form), which endeavors to harmonize and unite
the contrasting tendencies of science and religion in the Jewish
Weltanschauung.
During the next two years (1903 and 1904) he
was still concerned, as his articles in
Hapeles
demonstrate, with
this question of religion and science.
Jaffa Period
— 1904 to 1914
Rav Kook’s literary output in this period reflected an Israel-
centered interest. In
M ik tav Galui,
published in 1905, he admon-
ished the youth of the Yishuv not to turn their backs on their
religious heritage. In another letter that year, he urged the
Yeshivah
students to learn to write in modern Hebrew and
communicate with their fellow-Jews, thus relating Torah to
Hayim .
In
A der Ha-Yakar,
a biography of his father-in-law
A dere t
(Eliyahu David Rabinowitz Teumim), published in 1906, he
criticized
P ilpu l
as a form of
belle lettres
because it is unrelated
to life. He requested that irreligious youth be not rebuffed; it is
preferable to let them be nationalistic, for such a return to
Jewishness is the first step in their return to Judaism. As the
Zeitgeist
will change, they too will change.
In
Ikvai Tzon ,
he again addressed himself to youth. He had
faith in their idealism and integrity, and urged them to prepare
themselves for holiness. In this pamphlet he emphasized the need
for the Jewish people and its youth to renew their potentiality
for prophecy—
Lehadesh Koah Ha-Nevuah.
He accepted the posi­