Posted on January 30, 2012 by Andrea Wiese
Tovah Leah, my teacher for Personalizing Prayer, and Relationships class, cites Rav Kook nearly everyday! I finally realized that I loved almost every quote that she brought from him. So last week I bought a book that compiles Rav Kook’s thoughts on the Parshiot, the weekly Torah portions.
Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar. He is known in Hebrew as הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, and by the acronym הראיה (HaRaAYaH) which in English means “evidence”, or simply as “HaRav.”
Last week, in Bo, Moshe leads the Jewish people out of Egypt and G-d commands us to have Pesach, (Passover) and to not eat leavened products during these days. Rav Kook talks about freedom, and that there are two kinds, one, the well known is to not be enslaved, to not be subjugated. But he also says that we can be a slave no matter our social standing, (and this is my favorite quote from last week,) “What makes us truly free? When we are able to be faithful to our inner self, to the truth of our divine image (tzelem Elokim) – then we can live a fulfilled life, a life focused on our soul’s inner goals.” When we are truly faithful to who we are inside, we can finally be free of trying to please others, to stop trying to be someone else, and really love who we are. At this moment we are the best we can be, and honestly strive for the things that we actually want and need.
I am sure I will have more from the Parsha and from Rav Kook for you in the future! I’m becoming a big fan!