The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook

Image result for the spiritual revolution of rav kookThe Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook
The Writing of a Jewish Mystcic
By: Rabbi Ari Ze'ev Schwartz
Gefen / 270 pp

I was wildly impressed with the Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook. After getting my hands on everything available in English over the years on Rav Kook's writings, this is the first, yes, the first, English book on Rav Kook that I was able to fully understand.

Although not a translation of any single work of Rav Kook (as most other translations are) The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook contains important and inspiring excerpts from all over Rav Kook's writings. The book is divided into four categories. The first is "The Individual" which contains teachings on God, Torah, prayer, Teshuva, personal growth, and more. The second is "The Nation" which includes many of his (in)famous teachings on Zionism. The third is "Humanity" which includes a chapter on our relationship with other religions. The fourth is "Creation" which is about animal rights and vegetarianism. There is also a chapter on the biography of Rav Kook. Most excerpts are 2-4 paragraphs long, making for easy bite-size teachings. It reads much like a well-rounded mussar sefer covering so many facets of Torah.

There were a number of teachings and quotations that I never came across before. Some even more controversial than usual. For example, there is an entry where Rav Kook defends his belief that Jesus was "a charismatic and spiritual person." So too, being on a weight loss program now, I was especially thrilled to learn all about Rav Kook's views on exercise and a healthy body!

This is a very exciting release and goes to the top of Rav Kook literature available in English. With one of my boys learning in the local Rav Kook school, it's about time I knew something a little deeper about Rav Kook other than his basic biography. Highly recommended for the English reader trying to get a glimpse into the philosophy of Rav Kook.

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