Page 137 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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G
ew ir t z
— R
a v
A
b r a h a m
I
s a a c
K
o o k
1 2 5
tive aspects of
Haskalah
as it pertained to life and its changing
needs. He published and edited a new monthly,
N ir ,
but it was
short-lived.
On his return to the Holy Land he was inspired to write
Orot
Ha-Teshuvah,
one of the most important books on religious and
ethical thought, but it was not published until 1925. There in
the Holy Land his ideas of
Tehiyah
were developed and crystal-
lized. He was convinced that the
Galut
shatters the wholeness
of the Jewish spirit; therefore, a return to the Land is the be-
ginning of a return to Torah, a return to God, a return to whole-
ness and to holiness.
Rav Kook was also absorbed in practical and
halakic
prob-
lems. In 1907, he published
Etz Hadar,
wherein he explained
why the
Halakah
requires the use of an Israel-grown
E trog
which,
he maintained, is superior to the
H u tz Le-Aretz Etrog.
This
book helped the economic development of the orchards
(Par-
desim)
and the general growth of the Yishuv.
A
Shmitah
was scheduled to occur in 1911. Because he was
gravely concerned with the economic strength of the Yishuv and
with its future growth, he published in 1910 an exceedingly im-
portant
halakic
work,
Shabbat Ha-Aretz,
which permitted normal
use of the land during a
Shmitah
year if certain conditions were
fulfilled. As he wrote the
R idbaz ,
his
H e ter
made possible the
growth of the Yishuv. In his
P ,sak
Rav Kook followed R. Yitzhak
Elhanan Spector of Kovno, R. Joshua of Kutnow, R. Mordecai
Eliesberg of Boisk, and R. Shmuel Moheliver of Bialestok.
His last years in Jaffa and the two following years in St. Gal-
len, Switzerland, were his most productive period. Now in his
late forties and early fifties, he reached the zenith of his creative
power. It was during these years that his thought and religious
ideas emerged and were revealed. He published
Kiruat Elokim
and
Ta le le i Orot,
respectively, in the Berlin
Tahk imon i
in 1910
and 1911. In these he stressed the divinity of man’s nature and
the affinity between the human soul and the Universal Soul. In
1912 he wrote
Mahalah H a idao t Be-Yisrael,
which was published
in
H a ivri,
Berlin; and in 1913 he wrote
A l Erkai Ha-Tehiyah
Ha-Leum it,
published in Jaffa. These articles appeared in
O rot,
second part of the volume, as
Orot Ha-Tehiyah,
and were pub-
lished in Jerusalem in 1920.
Second European Period
— 1914 to 1919
In 1914 the Rav accepted an invitation to attend the
Kenesiah
Gedolah
of the
Aguda t Yisrael.
World War I broke out and he
was stranded in Europe. He spent two years as the house guest
of R. Isaac Dov Bamberger in peaceful St. Gallen. These years
were spent in fruitful study and scholarship. Here he wrote