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The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook by Ari…
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The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook

by Ari Ze'ev Schwartz

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book want to demonstrate the importance of Rabbi Rav Kook, a spiritual leader in the late 19th and early 20th century. Ari Schwartz has done an admirable job of pulling forth a large number of essay that Rav Kook wrote. Schwartz has written an introduction to this book, offers much commentary, and appended a biography of this distinguished thinker and mystic. I put Kook as the author but LT regards Schwartz as the author. Kook expresses his views not only on religion and spiritual topics, but life in general. So, this is a fairly comprehensive introduction. ( )
  vpfluke | Oct 25, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was received thru Early Reviewers giveaway.

I requested this book because I had read that Rav Kook was a huge influence among Jews, observant and secular, in Europe and in the Middle East before the State of Israel came into being.

The thoughts and writings of Rav Kook are organized around themes, ''The song of the Individual'', " the song of the Nation", "the song of Humanity", "the Song of Creation".

To be truthful, it is not a book to just sit and read thru, more a book to help shed light on a question in human relations. For example, how does one teach a child: do we want to create an adult focused on working and having a career? Rather, "it is a stage in life that has its own intrinsic value... our responsibility: to protect the innocence and purity of childhood and to facilitate a slow transition ... into adulthood. ...The personality of the educator should never be allowed to destroy the precious characteristics of childhood."

I am slowly reading thru this book, but it will take time. Glad to have it in my library. ( )
  Savta | Sep 2, 2018 |
The spiritual and mystical writings of the first Ashkenazi Head Rabbi in Jerusalem. A very interesting perspective and therefore an interesting read. ( )
  BoyntonLodgeNo236 | Jul 17, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A book that leaves you wanting to read more Kook. For me, this was an intro to Kook's thought, and it's a solid one. The author/translator does a good job introducing each section and curating a collection of Kook's thought, so I got a good sense of the breadth of his philosophy. I can't speak to the translation's quality, of course, not having read Kook in the original. ( )
  jwpell | Jul 12, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rabbi Ari Ze’ev Schwartz translated Rav Kook’s teachings. He took the advice Ramban gave to Ibn Tibbon who said that trying to translate from one language must be done with care to get not only words but the meaning and beauty of the original. I know that I personally found great meaning and beauty in this translation.

The book is divided into four parts which Rav Kook called “The Song”:

• The First Song: The Song of the Individual
• The Second Song: The Song of the Nation
• The Third Song: The Song of Humanity
• The Fourth Song: The Song of Creation

Rav Kook described four different types of people who have unique interests and worldviews. Each soul has its own way of worshiping and learning. He understood that in order to learn it is important to teach in a way that will benefit all who seek, thus “The Song.” He believed that each soul must learn in a way that will not cause one from giving up learning because of disinterest or frustration in the lessons. He said,

“I do not want to restrict myself in such a way. I want to connect to the entire Jewish people, and in no way do I desire to be disconnected from any person.”

The book is easy to read. The author has provided a commentary for each lesson that is clear and readable in a way that is interesting and easily understandable. It is then followed by a lesson, comment, or excerpt from Rav Kook’s personal correspondence in a bold type that is indented separately from the commentary of the translator.

Toward the end of this book, there was an anecdote about reading and re-reading the Torah. In it, Rav Kook was surprised when a student said that he read each lesson in the Torah twice before going on to the next. To paraphrase, Rav Kook replied, “Twice? Only twice? It must be read at least ten times before going on to the next lesson.” That is how I feel about the lessons and the translator’s commentary. It must be read and re-read in all Rav Kook’s beautiful and profound philosophy.

I hope that the reader of this review sees my joy in the gift of this book and of the teachings.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book in exchange for a fair review. ( )
  jonnijones | Jun 11, 2018 |
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