Rav Kook Torah

Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook (1865-1935)

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

5625 (1865)

Born on the 16th of Elul, 5625 (Sep. 7, 1865) in Greive (now Griva), a suburb of Dvinsk in Latvia.

5645 (1884) Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Berlin, the Netziv

At age 18, he studied for a year and a half at the famed Volozhin yeshiva.

The head of the Volozhin yeshiva, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Berlin (the "Netziv"), held the "ilui [prodigy] from Griva" in high esteem.

Related article: Purim holiday in Volozhin

5646 (1886) Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim (the 'Aderet'), Rav Kook's father-in-law

Married Batsheva, the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim (1843-1905) (known by his initials, the Aderet), then rabbi of Ponevezh, and later chief rabbi of Jerusalem.

5648 (1888) photo of Zeimel market square in 1920's

Appointed rabbi of Zeimel (Zeimelis) in Lithuania at age 22. Launched a short-lived monthly rabbinic journal, Itur Sofrim.

5649 (1889) Rav Kook as rabbi of Zeimel

During his stay in Zeimel, Rav Kook's first wife died. (Their daughter Frayda Chana was a year and a half at the time.) His father-in-law the Aderet convinced him to marry Raiza-Rivka Rabinowitz, daughter of the Aderet's twin brother. Raiza-Rivka was the mother of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Esther Ya’el Kook, and Batya-Miriam Ra'anan.

Studied with the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv (1839-1926), author of Leshem Shevo Ve-Achlamah.

5654-5656 (1894-1896)

Collected 38 sermons in the book Midbar Shur. The manuscript, however, was stolen, and the book was only published a century later, in 1999.

5656 (1896)

Became rabbi of Boisk (now Bauska), Latvia.

Wrote Musar Avicha, a treatise on moral reflections (published posthumously in 1946).

Related article: The story of the gold watch

5664 (1904)

Arrived in Eretz Yisrael on the 28th of Iyar, 5664 (May 13, 1904). He served as rabbi of Jaffa and the surrounding settlements for the next ten years.

Related articles: Rav Kook Arrives in Jaffa, The Blessing of a Kohen

5665 (1905) Rav Kook as chief rabbi of Jaffa

Published the first chapters of Orot HaTeshuvah, Rav Kook's original thoughts on the topic of repentence, as well as Eder HaYakar and Ikvei Hatzon.

Related article: Overview of Orot HaTeshuvah

5670 (1910)

Sabbatical year. Published the Halachic work, Shabbat Ha'Aretz, in defense of the heter mechirah.

Related article: Explanation of permit to work the land during the Sabbatical year

5674 (1913)

Lead a mission of rabbis to settlements in the north to encourage them and strengthen religious observance.

Related articles: Dances of Teshuvah in Poriah, A Wise Old Nation, Visit to Merchavya

5674 (1914) Rav Kook in Switzerland during WWI

Traveled to Europe for Agudat Yisrael convention in Germany. Unable to return to Eretz Yisrael due to the sudden outbreak of World War I, Rav Kook spent a year and a half in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Related article: Rav Kook first meets Rabbi David Cohen, the 'Nazir'

5676 (1916) Rav Kook in London during WWI

Rav Kook arrived in England in early 1916. He served as rabbi of Machzikei HaDat congregation in London for three years during the war. In 1917, he published the mystical treatise Rosh Millin on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Related articles: The Balfour Declaration, "Fight On My Behalf"

5679 (1919) Rav Kook speaking in Jerusalem

Returned to Eretz Yisrael.

In Tevet 5680 (Dec. 1919 - Jan. 1920), he accepted the position of Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.
Two months earlier, his twelve-year-old daughter Esther Ya’el died tragically after falling down a flight of steps.

Related article: The Jerusalem Policeman

5680 (1920) Cover of Orot

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook edited some of his father's writings, publishing them in the book Orot - Rav Kook's most famous work.

Related articles: The Printer's Dilemma

5681 (1921) Rav Kook in Jerusalem

Established Chief Rabbinate of pre-state Israel, becoming Chief Rabbi together with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yaakov Meir.

Related articles: The Kosher Kitchen of the Poel Mizrachi, Blasts That Penetrate the Heart, The Kotel Affair

5684 (1924) modern-day Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav

Established the Mercaz HaRav yeshivah in Jerusalem, unique among the yeshivot at that time in its religious philosophy and positive attitude towards Zionism.

5695 (1935) Rav Kook's writing table

Rav Kook passed away in Jerusalem on the third of Elul, 5695 (Sep 1, 1935), two weeks before his 70th birthday.

Related articles: Stay in the Land, Usishkin's Eulogy, Burial in the Mount of Olives Cemetery