Page 138 - 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
126
O ro t Ma-Ofel,
which developed the theme that light will emerge
from the darkness, for the
Koah Ha-Meshiah
arouses itself in
darkness. He believed that war unleashes unknown social forces
which, when prudently directed, can be channeled for the better-
ment of humanity. This writing constituted the first half of
the book
O ro t,
published in 1920.
His
magnum opus, O ro t Ha-Kodesh—o i
which three volumes
appeared posthumously, with two still in manuscript—was written
during his late Jaffa־St. Gallen period. His literary executors have
indicated that another three-volume work,
O ro t O lam im ,
was
also written during this period but is still in manuscript form.
In 1916, he accepted the call to be the “temporary” rabbi of
congregation
Mahzikay Ha-Dat
in London. This was a very busy
and crucial political period when the Rav helped to overcome
the anti-Zionist opposition to the Balfour Declaration, and when
he founded and spread his own Zionist movement,
Degel Yerusha-
layim.
His major work in London was in the tradition of
Sefer
Yetzirah,
written in Aramaic. Everything else he wrote was in
Hebrew, except another brief political tract written in Yiddish,
in support of
Degel Yerushalayim.
The book expounded the sig-
nificance and the hidden meanings of the letters in the alphabet,
the vowel signs, and the cantillation symbols. Entitled
Rosh
M ilin ,
it was published in London in 1916; and a commentary
upon it was written by Rabbi Menashe Adler.
Jerusalem, Chief-Rabbinate Period
— 1919 to 1935
During this period, the busiest in Rav Kook’s notable career,
he functioned as the dynamic, but also as the kind and persuasive
Chief Rabbi of the
Ashkenazic Kehilah.
In 1921 he established his
own institution, the
Yeshivat Merkaz Ha-Rav,
and directed it as
Rosh Yeshivah.
At its dedication, he delivered a major address
defining the nature of Talmudic scholarship for modern times,
and outlining a curriculum to train modern rabbinic scholars.
This address was later published as a pamphlet entitled
Hartzaa t
Ha-Rav.
In it he presented three areas for rabbinic-halakic scholarship:
1)
Halakah Berurah—3.
commentary showing the logical con-
sequences of a Talmudic discussion as it results in a
P ’sak
of the
Rambam or of another authority. 2)
B irur Halakah—A Shulhan
Aruk
commentary tracing the roots of the
Halakah
back to Tal-
mudic sources. The function of both, since they are comple-
mentary, is to set forth the solid basis of Judaism upon a Biblical-
Rabbinic foundation. 3) Clarify and explain the terse
B iur
of the
Vilna Gaon on the four pillars of the
Shulhan Aruk.
This, too,
would shed light on the other two tasks. Though in his European
period he devoted himself to
Mahashavah,
a thoughtful presenta-
tion of ideas in Judaism, it was in this Jerusalem period that he