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Igrot Hare’aya – Letters of Rav Kook #105

Interceding Regarding a Will


Beit Din Eretz Hemda - Gazit

Sivan 28 5782
Date and Place: 28 Tevet 5668, Yafo

Recipient: Shmuel Hakohen Kook, Rav Kook’s brother

Body: Yesterday, I wrote to you along with the manuscripts I sent. I hope you received them. I am sending this letter to you with a messenger who is bringing the manuscript of the Tikkunei Zohar (with many notes of Rav Avraham, Rav Kook’s maternal great-grandfather). Certainly when it is typeset, I hope they will send me the galleys, so that I can proofread and perhaps make some comments, as there are times that our great-grandfather z.t.l.’s writings require explanation, as I learned from his notes on the Zohar, which Aryeh Leib Horowitz started working on.

Regarding [the request from me of] an article to attach to the Mesilat Yesharim, that would be a job that is a very great honor, to join up with that lofty, holy author z.t.l., who was a storehouse of wisdom. I still have not decided what the proper approach is to take in that holy project. May He Who grants wisdom send me a good idea on the matter.

Let me just take the opportunity to ask you to help out on a matter of a mitzva. The messenger bringing this letter told me that his father wrote a will. From what he has heard, his father did not leave anything to the messenger’s elderly mother (except the small amount her ketuba is worth). This is a believable possibility because the relationship between the couple has always been very strange, may things like that not occur to us. If I would have known that this was happening, I would never have allowed such a will to have been written, and I would have used any type of moral coercion that I have at my disposal. It is true that this is beyond the letter of the law, but there are opinions that it is permitted to coerce according to the judgment of the dayan that this is the correct path; my practice is to do this at times. So now, it is a great mitzva to take action concerning this older gentleman, so that he will agree to change this part of the will. Let him leave the decision of [how much to leave to her] until after he has completed his long life, according to the level of honor with which he always was in the practice of supporting her.

I hope that you will take the opportunity to act on this matter as well as you can. I am sure you will forgive me for the toil involved in doing so. I am well aware of your good nature, thank G-d.
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