Rav Kook deals with the classic questions asked by any thinking practicing Jew: Why did the rabbis institute so many additional rabbinic laws, which pre-occupy us day and night? Did the Torah not command us enough obligations and restrictions?! In this famous article from Orot called "Chacham Adif miNavi", Rav Kook suggests a totally innovative approach to appreciating the minutiae and ideals of Rabbinic Mitzvot, enlightening and motivating us in their observance.
Why aren't heaven and hell more discussed in the Torah? How can we really believe in Olam Haba if we don' have proof that it exists? Why do we want Techiyat Hametim to happen if Olam Haba is so amazing? Who goes to heaven and who doesn't?
The reason that common sense is so often ignored is that it usually leaves one with a painful decision to make. Human nature abhors having to make painful decisions. Hence, common sense is relegated to one’s subconscious and reappears as regret and attempted repentance.
Why did G-d create Am Yisrael as a nation and not just a religion? Why, in addition to the mitzvot between individual Jews, and between man and G-d, does the Torah call for a framework of a national land, army, political system, and even coin?
In the previous part, we asked Why did G-d create an Jewish nation in its own land and not just a religion? We brought two reasons from Rav Kook's writings: an established nation can influence the rest of the nations and So that all should know, that not only outstanding individual can live in the light of G-d, but even entire nations can. In this part, we will see three more ideas to answer our question.
If we claim that zionism is an integral part of religion or Torah, then why originate a new slogan ‘religious-zionism’, in place of the age-old title ‘religion’ or ‘Torah’? If there is a reason for the new slogan, is there a need for renaming it - "Religious - Zionist - Humanist”?
Is it prohibited to look at articles that merely represent the actual idol, even though they
are not themselves worshipped (icons), or is the prohibition limited to idols that are
Rav Kook supports secular morality, in that the conscience and logic stem from the same Creator that wrote the Torah. Nevertheless, he stresses the clear advantages of Mussar HaKodesh, or morality based on religion, for several important reasons.
It is a mistake to seek to confine Judaism's inner spirit and spiritual content to particular definitions. Its soul contains everything; all spiritual tendencies, revealed and hidden, are concealed in it, as everything is contained in the Absolute.
Paul advances the idea of preferring an organization, a sect, a particular ideology to the natural framework of family, land, nation, and language. Henceforth, he who joins this movement will be redeemed; non-members are doomed to eternal perdition.
Rav rules that “it is forbidden to say, 'How beautiful is that idolatress!'” However, the Talmud raises a difficulty: Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel “saw a heathen woman who was particularly beautiful, and exclaimed, 'How great are Thy works, O Lord!'”
The entire purpose of rain and earth is to aid man, to provide him with life in order that he be able to fulfill his role in the world - “Without either, man could not exist.” On the other hand, the earth and the rain are immaterial without man.
The concept of a “false prophet” only applies to prophecy. The greatness of a Torah scholar does not depend on his ability to predict the future. It depends upon his greatness in Torah, his exemplary character traits, and his devotion to God.