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Abraham Isaac Kook: The Lights of Penitence, the Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems (Classics of Western Spirituality) Paperback – July 1, 1978

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Hebrew (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Abraham Isaac Kook (1865 1935), mystic and kabbalist, served as thefirst chief rabbi of Israel.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; Revised ed. edition (July 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080912159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809121595
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rav Kook was the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine and helped lead the continuing dialogue of Jewish Mysticism into the 20th century. This collection of his writings is both profound and beautiful. Some of the pieces such as 'The Lights of Penitance' might appeal only to scholars, but Kook's poetry can be appreciated by all. His idea of a unified Judaism where the secular and the holy both make up parts of the whole are very moving. Other themes include vegetarianism and a universal love for all people.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a wonderful survey and introduction of Rav Kook's works. The philosophical texts are compelling and inspiring, the letters are touching and personal, and the poetry exposed a sincerity and passion which could not be harvested from any history book. Fantastic, meaty reading.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent anthology, and contains samples of a number of different kinds of writing Rabbi Kook Z"Ts"l did. There is the text of his perhaps most well- known work, "Orot" and there are letters, essays, and poems. Rabbi Kook was a remarkable poetic thinker, like Pascal, Kafka, Kierkegaard, . He was too deeply devout and tremendously learned-a master of commentary in all forms of Jewish sacred Literature. His writing is often difficult to understand as it is so richly poetic.

But behind it all is a philosophical system based on his reading of the Torah, a system which sees the Cosmos as a whole moving toward Redemption. And which in this sees the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as central to this cosmic process. Rabbi Kook is one of the great religious Zionist thinkers, and his ability to see the good and positive in the works of others, non- religious Jews and non- Jews also make him a philosopher who can speak to us today.

This work should certainly be read by every Jew who wishes to understand the Jewish role in history. It should also be read by every human being who wishes to come in touch with the work of an inspiring thinker with a message of love and redemption for all of mankind.
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Format: Paperback
Rav Kook is the greatest Jewish thinker in the last 200 years because he most fully understands the spiritual crisis of the modern Jew. Although there were a number of dynamic Jewish religious leaders who took up the mantle of leadership in order to rebuild the shattered remnants of the Jewish world in the wake of the Holocaust such as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik and the Satmar Rov, their message was basically directed at a relatively small group of Jews. Rav Kook has a message for the entire Jewish people. His great contributions were: (1) to emphasize the dynamic nature of both the spiritual and physical worlds, and, one the one hand, tell the traditional religious Jew that the Torah is flexible and can stand up to the challenges of modernity and change, while on the other hand demonstrating the perpetual relevance of the Torah to the Jew who has a less than full commitment to it; and (2) to demonstrate the absolute necessity of the Jewish people to return to the Land of Israel and build a modern society rooted in the Torah. This fine book gives a sampling of these ideas and is a good introduction to the mind of this remarkable thinker.
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