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Rav Kook

Englishing the Talmud Englishing the Talmud
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

According to a rabbinic tradition recorded in the Talmud (Shabbat 12b), God’s angels do not understand the Aramaic language in which the Talmud itself is mainly composed. As many a modern reader can testify, they’re hardly alone.
Going the Distance Going the Distance
Friday, April 27, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel is a nation-state. In contrast, Diaspora Jewry—in particular, American Jewry—is a network of voluntary communities, constituting not just different structures but different life-worlds. While it is usually taken for granted that nation-states and their respective diasporas will grow apart, with Jews the issue is hotly debated.
Repentance = Freedom? Repentance = Freedom?
Thursday, September 2, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the thick of the month of Ellul, nearing Rosh Hashanah, penitence is or should be in the air. Also recently marked was the 75th yahrzeit of the great mystic, jurist, and theologian Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935).  As it turns out, Kook's  teachings on the meaning of repentance are among his most striking, stamped with his distinctive mix of piety and audacity. In his eyes, teshuvah, generally translated as "repentance" but literally and more powerfully "return," signifies not only a deepened and renewed commitment to religion and commandments but, paradoxically, nothing less than a new birth of freedom.
The Kook Perplex The Kook Perplex
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In late May, a file began to circulate on the Internet of a lengthy and hitherto-unknown work by Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), one of the greatest and most consequential of modern Jewish thinkers. Though he died 75 years ago, Kook's provocative ideas still play a pivotal role in contemporary Israeli political and religious debates, and the long-playing controversies surrounding his literary estate reflect something of the aura of his mystical personality and teachings. This latest revelation, and the round of polemics spurred by it, illustrate some enduringly high-voltage issues within Jewish life today.
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