Keeping the Vision Alive: A Family Member Teaches a New Generation the Torah of Rav Kook
The teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but for Rabbi Dov Kidron, the connection is deeply personal. “My great-grandfather who I am named for was Rav Dov Kook, Rav Avraham Yitzchak’s younger brother. There were eight siblings who were born in Europe and gradually made their way to Israel – they were big Zionists!”
World Mizrachi has partnered with Rav Kidron in an exciting new podcast entitled Orot MiMizrach, a 12-part series about the Torah of Rav Kook. Rav Kidron is an experienced Torah teacher, giving two daf yomi classes each day (one in English and one in Hebrew), but it was a conversation with his brother Nadav that sparked this new project. “My brother had been living in Boca Raton, Florida, for a few years, and he told me that while people may recognize the name ‘Rav Kook’ in the Diaspora, most people do not know much about his Torah or his opinions and philosophy. Rav Kook was such a giant; it is a tremendous shame for his Torah not to be well known. And so, together with World Mizrachi, we are excited to produce this series which will shine a light on this remarkable Torah giant.”
This year will mark the 88th anniversary of Rav Kook’s passing, on the 3rd of Elul, 5695 (1935). “Even though he lived in a different generation, so many of Rav Kook’s teachings remain relevant and are even more needed today than in his own lifetime. In the early 20th century, many people were involved in large movements focused on the collective, whether Zionism, socialism, or nationalism. Today, in the 21st century, the dominant culture and ideology is far more individualistic and concerned with individual rights, liberties and expressions of identity. Rav Kook wrote extensively about the klal, the collective identity and mission of the Jewish people, and particularly in our times it is crucial for a new generation to learn his ideas and approach.”
In addition to teaching some of Rav Kook’s big ideas, on topics such as relations with non-observant Jews, Zionism and universality, Rav Kidron incorporates anecdotes and vignettes from Rav Kook’s life that add flavor to the 20-minute podcasts. “My grandmother would tell us stories about Rav Kook as he was in the house, coming into the kitchen to ask how he could help out on Erev Shabbat. In Iggrot Re’aya, the letters of Rav Kook, there are letters he wrote to my great-grandfather Rav Dov, in the years when Rav Kook was already in Eretz Yisrael and Rav Dov was still in Europe.” Rav Dov Kook would later become the Chief Rabbi of Afula in 1925, as well as the head of Machon Harry Fishel.
Through this combination of ideas and stories, Orot MiMizrach will shine a new light on the remarkable teachings of Rav Kook. Beginning July 30 (12 Av), make sure to join World Mizrachi as we embark on a fascinating tour of the Torah of Rav Kook. You can subscribe and listen to Orot MiMizrach on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and all your favorite podcast platforms.