Upon visiting Israel, Jews from America are surprised to find that "The Rav" here (even among such notables as Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach) is Rav Kook, and not Rav Soloveitchik. Rav Kook's influential and popular standing for millions of Jews, makes it that much more tragic, that his writings are not known in American or Haredi yeshivot. In the Jubilee of the State of Israel, surveys found that he was the most in-consensus figure among Israelis, and the question is: Why is his Torah and personality so popular? This overview deals with the historic background of Rav Kook, his generation, and his harmonious, holistic synthesizing (rational, emotional and mystical) Torah, which may very well be that which is missing, to be mekarev the masses.
Not only was he versed, sharp, and innovative in the arenas of Talmud and Halakha, he was at home in all areas of Jewish thought – Bible, Midrash, philosophy, and mysticism. On top of all this he was unmatched in piety and righteousness.
Rabbi Kook's love for the Jewish people was not the product of mere human compassion. Rabbi Kook's love for the Jewish people was the result of penetrating and divine insight into this people's true essence.