Printer Friendly

R. ABRAHAM ISAAC HA-KOHEN KOOK AND THE BRENNER AFFAIR.

The scholarly fascination with R. Abraham Isaac Kook's (until recently) unpublished mystical journals has been considerable. Some scholars had access to some of these concealed texts; (1) others speculated about the impact of the editorial process on shaping R. Kook's philosophy. (2) However, intensive research into the editorial process of Orot, Orot ha-Kodesh and other of R. Kook's works--and exploring its implications for understanding his philosophy--only began after the publication of eight volumes of R. Kook's mystical journals, entitled Shemonah Kevazim (Eight Notebooks) in 1999. (3) The surfacing of the journals, which were written between 1904 and 1921, and the subsequent publishing of additional journals, allow a comparison between R. Kook's original formulations and his redacted works. (4) Scholars quickly combed these new texts and chronicled the changes introduced by various editors. These changes include the systemizing of R. Kook's writings to organize them around certain themes and ideas; the introduction of titles and subtitles; the reworking of certain words, phrase, or sentences; and the choice to include certain passages and exclude other passages of the mystical journals.

Understandably, the editorial activity of R. Zvi Yehudah Kook (5)--the only son of R. Kook--has received particular attention. (6) The deep interest in R. Zvi Yehudah's role in editing his father's works derives from the formative role he had in publishing R. Rook's writings. He edited more of R. Kook's works than any other editor. The scholarly focus on R. Zvi Yehudah's editorial practices and techniques also derives from his self-perception, which was widely accepted by other religious Zionist scholars and ideologues (principally those associated with Yeshivat Mercaz Ha-Rav), that he bore exclusively responsibility for the supervision of the publication of his father's writings since the latter's death. (7) Scholars have therefore been attentive to the extent that R. Zvi Yehudah's editorial effort represents accurately or interprets tendentiously his father's writings and philosophy.

Most of the aforementioned studies have broadly investigated the nature and extent of R. Zvi Yehudah's editing of his father's works. In this study, my focus will be narrower. I will limit my examination to R. Kook's brief essay, "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot" (The Battle of Opinions and Beliefs), which forms the sixth essay of Zironim (Seeds). This and the other seven essays of Zironim were published in the collection, Ha-Tarbut ha-Yisraelit (The Israelite Culture), in 1913. (8) R. Zvi Yehudah and Alexander Ziskind Rabinowitz (Azar) copublished and edited the collection, (9) which was the first and only literary project of the Association of Israelite Culture. (10) R. Zvi Yehudah edited "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot," as well as the other sections of Zironim, by bringing together different paragraphs from his mystical journals and introducing extensive changes to them.

Before examining the aforementioned section from Zironim, I will summarize the characteristics of R. Zvi Yehudah's editorial technique as documented by several studies devoted to the issue. (11) First, R. Zvi Yehudah's editing was at times prompted by didactic concerns. The didactic orientation is evident in his attempts to simplify the often enigmatic formulations of R. Kook's mystical journals. (12) He therefore excised difficult passages and introduced brief explanatory additions. R. Zvi Yehudah also wanted to make R. Kook's writings more accessible by bringing order to the diffuse form of the journals. He thereby arranged topically the material which had been composed in an associative and aphoristic manner. (13)

Second, R. Zvi Yehudah's changes to his father's writing were motivated by a desire to protect the latter from criticism. (14) Consequently, he moderated some of his father's more radical and contentious statements. (15) He also edited the texts in order to eliminate elements of his thought that might be objectionable, such as R. Kook's self-perception as a prophet and tzadik ha-dor (the righteous one of the generation). Likewise, R. Zvi Yehudah altered formulations of his father to soften R. Kook's critique of contemporary Jewish groups (religious and secular) and other religions and nations. (16)

Third, R. Zvi Yehudah modified the formulations of his father and practiced a method of selectivity in order to underscore certain notions which he identified as particularly significant and downplayed others which he viewed as problematic. Thus, he excised certain phrases or passages so that the kabalistic, ecstatic, individualistic, and antinomian elements of his father's thought are less prominent. (17) In addition, he altered certain words or phrases to bring to the fore certain themes such as the segulah of the Jewish people, the essential holiness of the land of Israel, the neutralization of the value of the Diaspora, and the messianic character of the current age. (18)

It has been argued that this last characteristic explains much of the changes introduced by R. Zvi Yehudah in his editing of "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot." Meir Monitz, in his detailed analysis of R. Zvi Yehudah's role in editing Orot, has argued that his editing of this passage reflects his efforts to "minimize positive statements [of R. Kook] concerning the wicked and their role generally in the world." (19) He claims that this motivation is reflected in R. Zvi Yehudah's editing of the opening sentences of "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot." His argument is best understood if we compare the original formulation of R. Kook (left) with the edited version of R. Zvi Yehudah (right):
Alarming are the ideas from         Alarming are the ideas from the
foreign opinions that flood the     torrent of foreign opinions,
world, including foreign opinions   particularly foreign beliefs of
of inclinations to foreign          idolatrous practices, which floods
beliefs, Christianity, Islam,       and intrudes into the camp. They
Buddhism, and generally             seize the hearts of many and turn
idolatrous practices. All of        aside many of our youth from the
these intrude with a torrent into   path of life to the path of death.
the camp. They seize the hearts     (21)
of many and pervert the paths.
(20)


Monitz points to two significant changes in these sentences. First, R. Zvi Yehudah added the following phrase: "turn aside many of our youth from the path of life to the path of death." Second, instead of including the list of religions and belief systems which are considered foreign beliefs ("Christianity, Islam. Buddhism, and generally idolatrous practices"), R. Zvi Yehudah abbreviated R. Kook's formulation to include only "idolatrous practices" (avodot zarot). Monitz argues that R. Zvi Yehudah added the reference to the harm rendered to contemporary youth so that the positive appraisal that R. Kook ascribes to the wicked later in the passage is somewhat mitigated. He also eliminated the list of rival belief systems to Judaism because R. Kook subsequently views them as expressions of divine light. In order to obfuscate somewhat R. Kook's attribution of divinity to rival religions, R. Zvi Yehudah omitted the specific reference to different belief systems.

I would like to suggest a different understanding of the underlying motivation of these two emendations, as well as of other modifications that R. Zvi Yehudah introduced here. His intention in editing this passage was to provide a response of R. Kook to the most significant literary and cultural controversy that occupied the Zionist and Hebrew literary landscape in the second decade of the twentieth century, namely, the Brenner affair. (22) The controversy was sparked by the publication of Yosef Haim Brenner's essay, "On the Press and Literature" (ba-Itonut u-va-Sifrut) in November, 1910 in ha-Poel ha-Tsa'ir, a journal which Brenner himself edited. In the essay, Brenner critiqued the attention in the Jewish press to the recent wave of conversions of Jews to Christianity. He argued that the obsession with apostasy was preventing the Jewish people from addressing their state of crisis and working toward a solution, grounded in productive labor, spoken Hebrew, and creative cultural activity. What is more, according to Brenner, a Jew could convert to Christianity and remain in the Jewish community, since religion is not a factor in defining national Jewish identity. In addition, Brenner maintained that he recognized no essential difference between the two religions ("I see no fundamental difference between the ascetic and subjugated worldview of the prophet from Anathoth (23) and the prophet from Nazareth"). (24)

Brenner also voiced his opposition to Ahad Haam's insistence that secular Jewish identity is dependent on cultivating a positive orientation to the Jewish past. Most famously and provocatively, Brenner declares:
For me the Old Testament does not have that value of which everyone
proclaims that it is the "Holy Scriptures," "the Book of Books," "the
Eternal Book," etc. We have been freed some time now from the hypnosis
of the twenty-four books of the Bible.... We are the free Jews
[ha-yehudim ha-hofshim]; we have nothing to do with Judaism whatsoever.
Nevertheless, we are part of the community [klal] no less than those
who don phylacteries and wear ritual fringes. (25)


Thus, he distinguishes himself sharply from Ahad Haam's cultural form of secular Zionism, demanding that Zionism concern itself with the problems of Jews and not with Judaism (even in a secular cultural guise).

The controversy surrounding the article was further inflamed when Ahad Haam successfully urged the Odessa Committee to cut off funding for the ha-Poel ha-Tsa'ir newspaper due to Brenner's article. In response to Brenner's article and Ahad Haam's opposition, the Jewish press was flooded with over a hundred articles in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian during a three-year period. The debate touched on two fundamental issues. First, it involved an exploration of the relationship between Judaism, Christianity, Jewish culture, and secular Zionist Jewish identity. (26) Second, it examined the question of censorship and freedom of expression and thought within the framework of the Zionist movement.

As the most significant ideological and literary controversy in Zionist circles in the second decade of the twentieth century, Brenner's controversial conception of national Jewish identity and the question of free speech and heresy was addressed by many of the most important Zionist thinkers and literati. Those who contributed articles in the Yiddish or Hebrew press included A. D. Gordon, Ahad Haam, Joseph Klausner, Eliezer Ben Yehudah, and Mikha Yosef Berdechevski. (27) A number of the contributors maintained a close relationship with R. Kook, such as Hillel Zeitlin, Yehoshua Radler-Feldmann (Rabbi Benya-min), and Alexander Ziskind Rabinowitz (Azar). (28) It is therefore surprising that R. Kook apparently failed to express his opinion regarding the Brenner affair.

R. Zvi Yehudah was involved in cultivating interest in his father's writings among the literati of the New Settlement. Therefore, it is likely that the absence of a response by his father to the Brenner affair irked him. I am suggesting that he crafted such a rejoinder through his editing of "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot." The connection to the Brenner affair can be seen in a number of the additions and omissions that R. Zvi Yehudah introduced to the edited version of the essay.

First, he added the title "The Battle of Beliefs and Opinions" (La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot). As noted above, the Brenner affair was the most prominent ideological struggle among Jewish intellectuals during this period, and it touched upon the question of proper beliefs, heresy, and free expression of opinions. Consequently, R. Zvi Yehudah's title would provide the reader with the association with the protracted debate surrounding Brenner's article.

Second, R. Zvi Yehudah began the section with a passage in which R. Kook grapples with the influence of a plethora of foreign religions on Jewish society. In R. Kook's original formulation, he speaks of the struggle between competing beliefs systems, including Islam and Buddhism. R. Kook's reference to Islam and Buddhism divorces his discussion from the specifics of the Brenner affair and therefore R. Zvi Yehudah excised it. He reworked the opening sentence of the passage so that it can be understood as R. Kook responding to the influence of Christianity on Jews and therefore apply to the Brenner affair.

Third, in the opening sentences, which set up the context of R. Kook's remarks, R. Zvi Yehudah added the following phrase, which was absent from his father's original formulation: "[the foreign beliefs] turn aside many of our youth from the path of life to the path of death." During the Brenner affair, it was often claimed that Brenner and his ilk were corrupting the youth of the New Settlement. For example, in his essay, "Torah from Zion" (Torah mi-Zion), which replied to Brenner's essay, Ahad Haam derided Brenner and his supporters for "attempting to impact their spirit on the younger generation in the land of Israel by making them not only 'free of mitzvot, but free from anything which connects one generation to another in our national life." (29) Consequently, R. Kook's discussion of foreign views that corrupt the "younger generation" can be understood as R. Zvi Yehudah's editing of the text to fit the contours of the Brenner affair by making reference to the impact of Brenner's views on the youth of the New Settlement.

Fourth, having set out the problem which R. Kook addressed, previous responses to the pernicious influence of foreign beliefs on Jewish society are cited. Let us compare the original formulation of R. Kook (left) with the edited version of R. Zvi Yehudah (right):
Those who defend the opinions,      Those who defend the opinions of
particularly those of Judaism,      Judaism raise a clear voice, negate
raise a clear voice, negate the     the evil opinions, and reveal their
evil opinions, and reveal their     fallaciousness and falsity by an
fallaciousness and falsity. It is   examination into the definitions of
quite doubtful that they will       Judaism. It is quite doubtful that
acquire the desire to reverse       they will succeed in reversing that
that which has begun to erupt as    which has begun to erupt as a
a volcano. (30)                     volcano. (31)


In the original formulation, R. Kook writes: "Those who defend the opinions, particularly those of Judaism, raise a clear voice." (32) Thus, R. Kook spoke generally of the defense of opinions with particular emphasis on the defense of Judaism. R. Zvi Yehudah narrowed the focus of the formulation so that it speaks exclusively of the defense of Judaism ("Those who defend the opinions of Judaism raise a clear voice"). (33) Thus, after R Zvi Yehudah's redaction, the text can be understood more specifically as a response to the question raised by the Brenner affair rather than a general exploration of the relationship between different belief systems. What is more, R. Zvi Yehudah related the manner in which they defended Judaism: "by an examination of the definitions of Judaism." That is, according to the reworked text, R. Kook follows his presentation of the problem of "idolatrous practices" on "our youth" by rejecting the proposed solution of others who define Judaism vis-a-vis those other belief systems. It can be argued that R. Zvi Yehudah was again shaping R. Kook's discussion to the contours of the Brenner affair inasmuch as opponents of Brenner's indifference to the distinction between Judaism and Christianity labored to define Judaism and distinguish it sharply from Christianity. For example, R. Tchernowitz (Rav Tzair), who was a colleague and correspondent of R. Kook, published a series of articles in 1911 in which he critiqued Brenner by differentiating between Judaism and Christianity. (34) He lauds and elaborates upon Ahad Haam's depiction of Judaism as "standing for the abstract and objective foundation of absolute justice." (35) He then adds that Judaism "stands for settling the world according to justice and righteousness" and contrasts it with Christianity. (36) Thus, by inserting the phrase: "by an examination of the definitions of Judaism," R. Zvi Yehudah crafted R. Kook's section on "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot" as a stance in the Brenner affair in opposition to other alternative solutions that were staked out in the debate.

Fifth, in the remaining parts of the section, R. Zvi Yehudah interwove at least five diverse passages in different journals of R. Kook, concealing the textual threads and forging a unified text which provided R. Kook's contribution to the question that perplexed the Jewish literary community in the second decade of the twentieth century: the proper response to the damaging influence of Christianity on Jewish society. In the first passage, he explains the problem with defining Judaism. (37) R. Kook writes that Judaism differs from Christianity, as well as from other religions, inasmuch as Judaism represents a comprehensive and infinite truth, while Christianity and other belief systems represent finite and fragmentary truths. Therefore, he concludes, defining Judaism limits Judaism to one particular thing and does not capture its infinitude. It misconceives Judaism as wholly different from other religions and nations and particularistic in nature, which constitutes an idolatrous conception of Judaism ("like the building of an idol or molten image"). (38) Alternatively, R. Kook argues that Judaism's superiority lies in its encompassing the particular divine sparks possessed by each religion "united in it in an ideal, holy form." (39)

R. Zvi Yehudah, then, imperceptibly brought a different passage which applies this notion to the division between the Jewish people and other nations. (40) That is, each nation has a particular character and they possess this to a greater degree than the Jewish nation, but the Jewish nation is unbounded and possesses to some degree the characteristics of each of the particular nations.

R. Zvi Yehudah proceeded to append to the passage a fourth text of R. Kook, which was taken from an unknown source and was deftly integrated into the section so that the reader does not detect his editorial interventions. (41) This text further illuminates Judaism's nature as an encompassing truth. For R. Kook, as a result of their all-inclusive character, Judaism and the Jewish people possess absolute certitude about themselves and are intolerant vis-a-vis other belief systems and nations. But they contain the "inner seed of the foundation of tolerance," since it gives "room for each tendency toward light, life and spiritual manifestation."

R. Zvi Yehudah concluded the section by drawing from one of the previously employed texts which he interweaved with a new text. (42) These texts continue the main argument of the passage that "an inner spark of God shines in each" religion and nation and "in the future tolerance will spread so that human spirit will be able to detect the hidden spark in each of them." Consequently, R. Zvi Yehudah's intensive editorial efforts forged together numerous texts of R. Kook that combine to present a unified approach to grapple with the influence of Christianity. It presents an approach that underscores the infinite superiority of Judaism in respect to other religions, but also expresses a willingness to accept an element of truth in each particular religion.

I would add that perhaps other sections of Zironim should also be read in the light of the Brenner affair. It has already been proposed that regarding the third section of Zironim, "The Souls of the World of Chaos" (Ha-Nashamot shel ha-Tohu), "R. Kook saw before his eyes Brenner and those who shared his views" (43) In this section, R. Kook argues that the secular idealists possess "souls of chaos [tohu]" and "their souls [neshamot]... are very great [gedolot]." (44) According to R. Kook, they demolish "that which is built according to the measure of the world," because they are seeking out the divine infinitude. (45) In this depiction of the rebels among secular Zionists, R. Kook is employing tropes that appear in the writings of the Brenner affair. For example, Hillel Zeitlin, in an article written to defend Brenner, declares: "He [Brenner] lived in purity and holiness," and "seeks out truth and God." (46) Likewise, Yehoshua Radler-Feldmann (Rabbi Benyamin) and Alexander Ziskind Rabinowitz (Azar), two close associates of R. Kook, depict Brenner and his ilk as viewing the world as "only containing chaos [tohu]," and depict them as "possessing great souls [neshamot gedolot]."" (47)

Thus far, a textual comparison between R. Zvi Yehudah's edited version and R. Kook's original formulations in his mystical journals supports the thesis that R. Zvi Yehudah edited "La-Mil-hemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot" in response to the absence of R. Kook's voice in the cultural debate surrounding the Brenner affair. However, this textual analysis must be supplemented by an examination of two issues: R. Kook's failure to contribute to the Brenner affair and R. Zvi Yehudah's motivation to bring R. Kook into the conversation that was taking place among the literati of the Zionist literary world.

Let us first address briefly the reason for the absence of R. Kook's direct voice in the dispute over Brenner's article that arrested the Jewish world in general and the New Settlement (yishiv ha-hadash) of Jaffa where R. Kook resided during these years in particular. It is perhaps related to an important shift in R. Kook's writing that began slightly before the outbreak of the controversy surrounding Brenner's article. From 1906, R. Kook ceased to compose essays for journals and newspapers, and his journals written from 1910, which served as the primary conduit of expressing his thought, took a distinct inward, mystical, and kabbalistic turn. R. Kook no longer--to the extent that he did previously--expressed himself in an intelligible and lucid manner and the character of his writing was loftier and inaccessible.

This change is most evident from a comparison of the first notebook written after he emigrated to Jaffa in 1904 and completed well before 1910 and the eight notebooks (Shemoneh Kevatzim). (48) As Uriel Eitam has convincingly argued, R. Kook began to compose these notebooks from approximately 1910. (49) Udi Avramovich has succinctly summarized the differences between the pre-1910 journal and the post-1910 journals:
[In the latter journals], R. Kook was occupied intensively with the
world of the "righteous one" (zaddik) and the gap between his sublime
experiences and the demands of reality and halakhah. It is not
coincidental that in this period, R. Kook wrote about his personal
experiences, which is completely absent from the first notebooks
written in Jaffa. (50)... In this period [after 1910], R. Kook was also
involved in temporal and current questions which permeated the cultural
and philosophic environment of his period. But his involvement was in a
more indirect and less intense manner. The spiritual tension that is
revealed in these central notebooks is between finitude and infinitude
and not between faith and modernity.

A completely different picture emerges from the first notebooks. There
is no mention there of the "righteous one" and his world and less
deliberation is devoted to the tension between divine infinitude and
temporality. In addition, there are no passages with an
autobiographical character. (51) In this period between 1904 and 1910
(and perhaps somewhat before and after this period), (52) R. Kook
offers in his notebooks fascinating and explicit deliberations with an
array of problems relating to secularization and Enlightenment that
occupied the cultural figures of the New Settlement. The style of the
passages from this period are... more comprehensible and direct. It is
recognizable that some of them are polemical, while regarding the later
writings it is not clear at all if there is a definite addressee. (53)


It seems likely that due to this significant literary, theological, and existential shift, which occurred around 1910, R. Kook was less interested and capable of engaging directly current debates surrounded the Brenner affair.

Regarding R. Zvi Yehudah's motivation, I would argue that he wanted to cultivate interest in his father's writings among the literati of the New Settlement. This is most evident from an unorthodox letter of R. Zvi Yehudah Kook to Yosef Haim Brenner in 1907. The former tries to interest the latter in his father's theological work, Ikve ha-Zon, and his philosophy in general:
I have sent you the work, Ikve ha-Zon, and I inform you and request of
you that you do not read this work, but you should study it in depth
and reverentially.... It will add to you new sciences and even new
outlooks.... This work I have sent to you not as the author's son,
enamored of his father's ideas and eager to disseminate them, but
rather as a youth of our generation and its ideals of the "camp that
remains," who offers some delicacies to be enjoyed by his contemporary
and friend (if I may) whom he recognizes from afar as one of his own
and close to his soul, another idealistic youth of the "camp that
remains."

My father, may his light shine, is the author and one of the most
devout rabbis. In addition to his learnedness in Torah, he has been
called a zad-dik--he is also a scholar and free-thinking philosopher,
impeded by nothing, in the full sense of the term. He has taken great
care to search out and understand the philosophic teachings of the
nations....

The foundation of these two works [Ikve ha-Zon and Eder ha-Yakar
(another work of R. Kook)] is, in my opinion, the sermon of Prof.
Hermann Cohen that was published in ha-Shiloah. (54)


R. Zvi Yehudah displays here a deep interest in engaging Brenner and showing the relevance of his father's thought for him and other "youth of our generation." He tries to convince him of the philosophic profundity of R. Kook's works and his employment with contemporary philosophic works such as those with the German Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen. R. Zvi Yehudah's concern in generating interest in his father's thought among the youth of his generation, particularly among the intellectuals and literati of the Second Aliyah period, would explain also his motivation to shape the response of R. Kook to the debate and dialogue surrounding the Brenner affair.

In conclusion, it is important to underscore the image of R. Zvi Yehudah (at least during the Jaffa period of his father) that emerges from this study. In a groundbreaking article on the editors and editing of R. Kook's works, Jonathan Meir has argued that R. Zvi Yehudah Kook's editing and interpretation of his father's writings "has provided a different color to them from which they possessed originally. They were disconnected from their textual and historical-social contexts and they were integrated into a new theological system, which is fitting to the reality after the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel and its wars." (55) Without disputing Meir's important insight, this study has suggested that R. Zvi Yehudah, through his editing of "La-Milhemet ha-Deot ve-ha-Emunot," was at times also interested in grounding R. Kook's writings in the historical and social context in which they were composed. During the Jaffa period, R. Zvi Yehudah aggressively redacted various pages from his notebook and shaped the essay in order to relate R. Kook's work to one of the most significant cultural and ideological Zionist debates of his time and to bring his writings in conversation with his contemporaries and colleagues.

NOTES

(1.) The first scholar who had extensive access to these journals was Rivka Shatz-Uffenheimer through the medium of R. Zvi Yehudah Kook. Benjamin Ish-Shalom, a student of Shatz-Uffenheimer, was also given access and he published some of these passages in his book on the philosophy of R. Kook, Rabbi Avraham Itzhak Hacohen Kook: Between Rationalism and Philosophy (New York: SUNY Press, 1993).

(2.) On the possible influence of the philosophy of R. David Kohen on the editing of Orot ha-Kodesh, see Yonina Dison,"Orot ha-Kodesh: Re-edited and Organized According to Four Motifs," Daat 24 (1989-1990): 41-86 [Heb.]; Dov Schwartz, "Editorship versus Authorship (More on Orot ha-Kodesh)," Daat 24 (1989-1990): 87-92 [Heb.]; "Orot ha-Kodesh--A Joined Work," Sinai (1991): 69-82 [Heb.]; Religious Zionism between Logic and Messianism (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 1999), 198-233 [Heb.].

(3.) Yosef Avivi, "The Source of Orot: The Eight Notebooks of R. Avraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook," Zohar 1 (2000): 93-111 [Heb.]; Udi Avramovich, "The Publication of the Notebooks," Alon Shvut 156-57 (2000):135-61 [Heb.]; "The Missing Notebooks," Akadamot 19 (2007): 212-21 [Heb.]; "The Monopoly, the Mission, and the Censorship: R. Zvi Yehudah Kook and the Editing of R. Kook's Writings," Daat 60 (2007): 121-52 [Heb.]; Yoel Ben-Nun, The Double Source of Human Inspiration and Authority in the Philosophy of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook (Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2014), 18-63 [Heb.]; Uriel Eitam, "A Survey of R. Kook's Works on Jewish Thought," Zohar 18 (2004): 19-38; Yoni Garb, "R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook--Nationalistic Thinker or Mystical Poet?" Daat 54 (1996): 69-96 [Heb.]; "Rabbi Kook and His Sources: From Kabbalistic Historiosophy to National Mysticism," in Studies in Modern Religions, Religious Movements and the Babi-Baha'i Faiths, ed. Moshe Sharon (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 77-96; Neria Guttel, "Craftsmanship and Art in R. Zvi Yehudah Kook's Editing of the Writings of R. Abraham Isaac Kook: The Introduction to Shabbat ha-Aretz," Tarbiz 70 (2001): 601-25 [Heb.]; Yonatan Meir, '"Longing of the Souls for the Shekinah: Relations between Rabbi Kook, Zeitlin and Brenner," The Path of the Spirit: The Eliezer Schweid Jubilee Volume, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, ed. Yehoyada Amir, 19:771-818 (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2005) [Heb.]; "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," Kabbalah 13 (2005): 163-247 [Heb.]; Meir Monitz, "The Circle of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook and the Editing of His Works," PhD Dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, 2009 [Heb.]; "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot," Alei Sefer 20 (2009): 125-70 [Heb.]; "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot ha-Kodesh," Alei Sefer 22 (2012): 67-114 [Heb.]; Avinoam Rosenak, "Who's Afraid of R. Kook's Hidden Treatises?" Tarbiz 69 (2000): 257-91 [Heb.]. and the revised and expanded English version, "Hidden Diaries and New Discoveries: The Life and Thought of Rabbi A.I. Kook," Shofar 25 (2007): 111-47); Smadar Sherlo, The Tzaddiq Is the Foundation of the World (Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 2012).

(4.) The journals were published by the family of R. Eliyahu Shlomo Rannan (R. Kook's grandson). Since their publication, additional journals have surfaced and been published. In 2006, five journals were published by The Institute to Publish the Archives (Ginzei) of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook, Kevatzim me-Kitvei Yad Kodesh, ed. Boaz Ofen, vol. 1 (Jerusalem, 2006). The same source published in 2008 another three journals, Kevatzim me-Kitvei Yad Kodesh, ed. Boaz Ofen, vol. 2 (Jerusalem, 2008). Subsequently, the R. Zvi Yehudah Ha-Kohen Kook Institute published three volumes of R. Kook's notebooks: the first volume contains seven short notebooks, Pinkisei ha-Re'ayah, ed. Ben-Zion Shapiro and Zev Newman, vol. 1 (Jerusalem, 2008); the second volume contains one notebook from his period in Jerusalem, Pinkisei ha-Re'ayah, ed. Levi Yitzhaki, vol. 2 (Jerusalem, 2010); and the third volume contains three notebooks from his earlier period in Zeimal and Boisk, Pinkisei ha-Re'ayah, ed. Levi Yitzhaki, vol. 3 (Jerusalem, 2011).

(5.) For simplicity's sake I will refer to R. Abraham Isaac Kook as R. Kook and his son as R. Zvi Yehudah.

(6.) Udi Avramovich, "The Monopoly, the Mission, and the Censorship: R. Zvi Yehudah Kook and the Editing of R. Kook's Writings," Da'at 60 (2007): 121-52 [Heb.]; Neria Guttel, "Craftsmanship and Art": Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot"; "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," 184-92; Ben-Nun, The Double Source of Human Inspiration and Authority, 46-50.

(7.) See the letter of R. Zvi Yehudah from 1946: "The stern warning of my lord, father and teacher, [R. Kook], may his memory be blessed, in his last hours, before he departed from this world, was that the ordering of his works and attending to them will be done exclusively under my supervision." Kook, Orot ha-Emunah, ed. Moshe Gurvitch (Jerusalem: privately published, 1998), 148. See also Udi Avramovich, "The Monopoly, the Mission, and the Censorship: R. Zvi Yehudah Kook and the Editing of R. Kook's Writings," 146-48.

(8.) Ha-Tarbut ha-Yisraelit: Kobetz Sifrutei-Madei (Jaffa: The Association of Israelite Culture, 1913), 19-22.

(9.) On R. Zvi Yehudah's editing of Zironim, see Harel Cohen, "Background to the Essay 'Ha-Tarbut ha-Yisraelit' of R. Zvi Yehudah ha-Kohen Kook," Me-Avnei Ha-Makom 11 (2000): 235-38 [Heb.]; Meir, "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," 240. According to Cohen, R. Yisrael Haver was the co-editor (238) and according to Meir, it was Alexander Ziskind Rabinowitz (Azar).

(10.) See Meir, "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," 237-39.

(11.) See note 6.

(12.) Avramovich, "The Monopoly, the Mission, and the Censorship," 130-32; Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot," 157-59. On R. Kook's recognition that he needs an editor to systemize his writings see Kook, Igrot ha-Re'ayah (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Kook, 1946), 2:264.

(13.) On R. Zvi Yehudah's recognition of the need to bring order to his father's writing through his own editing see R. Zvi Yehudah Kook, Zemah Zvi (Jerusalem: privately published, 1951), 79.

(14.) Rosenak, "Hidden Diaries and New Discoveries," 114.

(15.) Ibid., 116-17; Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot," 144-56.

(16.) Rosenak, "Hidden Diaries and New Discoveries," 116-17: Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot," 144-56.

(17.) On the mitigation of kabbalistic elements in R. Zvi Yehudah's edited works, see Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot" 156-57; Meir, "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," 191-92. On the suppression of individualistic and antinomian elements, see Rosenak, "Hidden Diaries and New Discoveries," 120-23.

(18.) Monitz, "Editing of R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook's Orot" 134-38.

(19.) Ibid., 149.

(20.) R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook, Shemoneh Kevazim (Jerusalem: privately published, 1999), vol. 1, section 157, 68.

(21.) Kook, Orot, 129.

(22.) Much of the material connected to the affair is collected in Nurit Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair': The Fight for Free Speech (1910-1913) (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 1985).

(23.) The reference is to the prophet Jeremiah; see Jeremiah 1:1.

(24.) Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 137.

(25.) Ibid., 136. On Brenner's attitude to Judaism and his conception of the Jewish people, see Menachem Brinker, "Brenner's Jewishness," Studies in Contemporary Judaism, ed. Jonathan Frankel, 4:232-19 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); Samuel Schneider, The Traditional Jewish World in the Writings of Joseph Haim Brenner (Tel-Aviv: Reshafim, 1994). [Heb.]

(26.) On the different views on this issue articulated during the debate, see David Knaani, The Labor Second Aliyah and Its Attitude Toward Religion and Tradition (Tel Aviv: Sifriat Po'alim, 1975), 74-81 [Heb.]; Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 10-130. On the approaches to Christianity and Jesus that emerge from the debate, see Zvi Sadan, Of Our Very Own Flesh: Jesus of Nazareth in Zionist Thought (Jerusalem: Karmel, 2008). 92-126 [Heb.]; Mathew Hoffman, From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), 90-116; Neta Stahl, Other and Brother: Jesus in the 20th-century Jewish Literary Landscape (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 13-15.

(27.) Ahad Haam, "Torah mi-Zion," in Kol Kitvei Ahad Haam, 406-09 (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1953). For the other essays see Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 28-30, 149-52, 191-95.

(28.) Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 153-57, 160-65, 175-76.

(29.) Ahad Haam, "Torah mi-Zion," 408.

(30.) Kook, Shemoneh Kevazim, vol. 1, section 167, 68.

(31.) Kook, Orot, 129.

(32.) Kook, Shemoneh Kevazim, vol. 1, section 167, 68.

(33.) Kook, Orot, 129.

(34.) The series of articles were first published in ha-Olam newspaper in March 1911 and then republished, along with an earlier article on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, in a pamphlet: Rav Zair, Le-Madihei Yisrael (Odessa, 1911), 20-41; Hillel Zeitlin, R. Kook's close friend, also responds to Brenner's article by claiming "Judaism and Christianity each possess specific and fixed ideals" (Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 157).

(35.) Haam, Kol Kitvei Ahad Haam, 370; Rav Zair, Le-Madihei Yisrael, 30.

(36.) Rav Zair, Le-Madihei Yisrael, 30.

(37.) Kook, Orot, 129; Kook. Shemoneh Kevazim, vol. 1, section 273.

(38.) Ibid.

(39.) Ibid.

(40.) Kook, Orot, 129; Kook. Shemoneh Kevazim, vol. 1, section 303.

(41.) Kook, Orot, 130-31.

(42.) Kook, Orot, 130; Kook, Kevatzim me-Kitvei Yad Kodesh, 1:8; Kook, Shemoneh Kevazim, vol. 1, section 167, 68.

(43.) Kook, Orot, 121-23; Smadar Sherlo, "Courage and Humility: R. Kook's Moral System versus Nietzsche's Morality of Power," Nietzsche, Zionism and Hebrew Culture, ed. Jacob Golomb (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2002), 367. [Heb.]

(44.) Kook, Orot, 122.

(45.) Ibid.

(46.) Govrin, 'The Brenner Affair,' 153.

(47.) Ibid., 157, 176.

(48.) The first notebook written in Jaffa was published in Kook, Kevatzim me-Kitvei Yad Kodesh, 1:75-61.

(49.) Uriel Eitam, "A Survey of R. Kook's Works on Jewish Thought," Zohar 18 (2004): 19-38.

(50.) Avramovich is relating to the first notebook written in Jaffa and a yet unpublished notebook (entitled pinkas ha-dapim, "the notebook of the pages"), which was also written in Jaffa before 1910.

(51.) Avramovich is referring to passages in which R. Kook relates to his own ecstatic experiences.

(52.) It should be noted that although Avramovich dates the shift from 1910 here, he speaks of the change occurring in 1912 in other places in the article. However, he attributes the literary and theological turn in R. Kook's writings to 1912 based on the research of Uriel Eitam regarding the approximate date in which R. Kook began to compose the eight notebooks. Avramovich mistakenly claims that Eitam proved that R. Kook initiating the composition of these notebooks in 1912. Eitam actually argues that R. Kook began to write the eight notebooks in 1910. Note should also be made of the important discussion of Yoel Ben-Nun, who also argues for a significant literary and theological shift in R. Kook's writing during the Jaffa period (The Double Source of Human Inspiration and Authority, 27-38). However, he dates the shift tentatively to 1907. For our purpose it is not important whether the turn occurs in 1907 or 1910. A better understanding of this shift and a more precise dating of its occurrence must await the publication of a second notebook that R. Kook composed during the early part of the Jaffa period.

(53.) Avramovich, "The Missing Notebooks," Akadamot 19 (2007): 219-20.

(54.) R. Zvi Yehudah Kook, Zemah Zvi (Jerusalem: privately published, 1991), 1-2. Much of the translation is taken from Ish-Shalom, Rabbi Avraham Itzhak Hacohen Kook, 3-4.

(55.) Meir, "Lights and Vessels: A New Inquiry into the 'Circle' of R. Kook and the Editors of His Works," 192; see also 189.
COPYRIGHT 2017 Purdue University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Ackerman, Ari
Publication:Shofar
Article Type:Essay
Date:Mar 22, 2017
Words:6333
Previous Article:THE JEWISH MUTUAL INSTRUCTION SOCIETY: EDUCATION FOR. ANGLO-JEWISH WORKERS, LONDON, 1848.
Next Article:DUAL DIMENSIONS OF DISCIPLINE IN JEWISH WISDOM AND EARLY R.ABBINIC SOURCES.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |