Item description for Light of Redemption: A Passover Haggadah Based on the Writings of Rav Kook by Gideon Weitzman...
Rav Kook was one of the greatest Jewish leaders and thinkers of recent history. He understood that the Zionist awakenings were the realization of the prophetic visions of rebirth and return. It was in this context that Rav Kook explained Pesach and wrote a commentary on the Haggadah. His poetic and kabbalistic style meant that his writings have been largely inaccessible to the English reader. Rabbi Weitzman presents these ideas in a style that will enhance the understanding of the Seder and will be an excellent addition to any Jewish library.
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Studio: Urim Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 7" Height: 9.75" Weight: 0.98 lbs.
Release Date Mar 15, 2005
Publisher Urim Publications
ISBN 9657108713 ISBN13 9789657108710
Reviews - What do customers think about Light of Redemption: A Passover Haggadah Based on the Writings of Rav Kook?
Helps to levitate your unleavened holiday Mar 30, 2005
Rabbi Abraham Isaac (Avraham Yitzhak) haCohen Kook (1865-1935) was born in Latvia, studied in the great yeshivot of Lithuania (and Volozhin). Rav Kook became a Zionist leader and the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine. His Zionist infused essays and analysis of the festival of Pesach (Israel being a modern day exodus of the Hebrews) became a mainstay of Israeli haggadahs and Passover seders. Now, finally, these essays and thoughts are available to an English speaking and reading audience.
The Haggadah's format is Right to Left, with Hebrew text on the right pages, and English translations on the facing left pages. Commentaries are at the bottom of the pages. There is no transliteration of the Hebrew; and the four sons are "sons" and not "children." The Haggadah opens with five essays, one of which is "Four That is Really Five," which discusses four cups of wine, four sons, four questions, four redemptions.. or is it really five? Is there actually a fifth son that is not talked about?
There are songs at the back of the Haggadah, the Hallel, as well as Shir haShirim (no English, just voweled Hebrew), since some families have a custom of reading the Song of Songs at their Seder. It also includes the Search for Leavening, and illustrations of three ways to arrange a seder plate: according to The Ari; The Gaon of Vilna; and Rabbi Moshe Isserlis.
But the reason to buy this Haggadah is the Kook commentaries. Here are just a tiny bit of examples: For Kaddesh, Rav Kook asks, why Kaddesh and not Kiddush for this recitation of the kiddush? Because Kaddesh is singular and an imperative for each individual to sanctify. Why is the simple function of washing your hands U'rechatz before the Karpas a way to transport oneself to Jews around the world? For Karpas you dip a vegetable in salt water. Which is the food? The solid vegetable or the liquid? Is the salt water merely tears of the slaves? Or is the fluid more; is the fusing consumption of fluid and solid more significant than just salty water on a vegetable? When the hungry and the needy are invited to the seder, Rav Kook asks why are the hungry and needy BOTH mentioned. How do they differ? What are their differing needs and characteristics? I was especially drawn to Rav Kook's commentaries on the nature of freedom. Passover is the festival of freedom; we are commanded to feel free, but yet we are constrained by the format of the seder. Rav Kook cuts to the heart of the matter. How can you be free yet forced to follow a format at the same time. Rav Kook wrote that freedom is not achieved by each person doing whatever s/he wants, but the freedom to act without coercion but within a framework. Regarding the "wicked son," Rav Kook says that the almighty saves those who want to be saved, and that some are content with their slavery. They see the seder as work and service. Rav Kook comments on "The Egyptians mistreated us" by writing that that 'the Egyptians made us bad', and that servitude causes one to lose faith and leads to Hebrews mistreating fellow Hebrews as well as others. For "with a strong hand", Rav Kook relates that God required a strong hand to extricate the Hebrews from Egypt. Rav Kook asks why Maror is eaten after Matzah. Would it not be better to taste the Maror of slavery before the Matzah of freedom? Or must we first taste freedom, and then only eat of slavery to better understand servitude from the vantage point of freedom?
Although this is a holiday of leavened bread, reading this book will truly levitate your seder.