Renewing the Old, Sanctifying the New: The Unique Vision of Rav Kook (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization) (Hardcover)

Renewing the Old, Sanctifying the New: The Unique Vision of Rav Kook (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization) By Marc B. Shapiro Cover Image

Renewing the Old, Sanctifying the New: The Unique Vision of Rav Kook (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization) (Hardcover)

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Rav Kook (1865-1935), the first chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, was a revered thinker whose ideas were in the vanguard of religious Zionist ideology. His theological positions have continued to mould the attitudes and beliefs of successive generations.

Newly published writings, however, reveal ideas that have not yet entered mainstream consciousness. Marc Shapiro has grappled with the complexity of the language of these difficult Hebrew texts and identified themes he sees as of critical importance for modern Jewish Orthodoxy. His study will be welcomed as an attempt to make these teachings more broadly accessible despite the complexity of Kook's exposition.

A key development in Kook's thinking is that he points to the religious significance of non-Jewish religions, and even raises the possibility that non-Jews may also have experienced their own religious revelations. This is a major departure from the traditional rabbinic approach. Another innovative concept is 'valorization of the masses', a view that recognizes that basic morality has been preserved in a purer form among the uneducated pious masses than among learned scholars. He similarly reconsiders the nature of heresy and dogma and develops the idea of the 'unintentional heretic', a category that could be said to include many in the modern world who are no longer tied to traditional religious understandings. Perhaps most controversially for Orthodox Jewish circles, he also presents an innovative understanding of the animal sacrifice of Temple ritual that allows for its abolition in messianic times. Taken together, these ideas will reverberate, foment much discussion, and shape new ideological directions in the world of religious Zionism.

Product Details ISBN: 9781802077339
ISBN-10: 1802077332
Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
Publication Date: May 28th, 2025
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization