Rabbi Chanan Morrison

Rabbi Kook on Chanukah: The Highest Love

Is this just another form of nationalism?, 12/10/2007, 4:00 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Vayeshev</I>: The Nature of Exile

Joseph's pit is a metaphor for Galut, for exile., 11/29/2007, 3:53 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Vayishlach</I>: <I>Gid HaNasheh</I>

What is the significance of this prohibition?, 11/23/2007, 1:07 AM

Rabbi Kook on Balancing Prayer and Torah

Which activity is more important?, 11/12/2007, 11:05 AM

Rabbi Kook on the Sabbath Influence

The mitzvah of zachor is performed during the week, 11/4/2007, 12:17 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Lech Lecha</I>: Father of Many Nations

The new name marks Abraham's new status., 10/19/2007, 4:04 AM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 31: Like a Lost Vessel

The deceased are not lost forever. , 10/7/2007, 10:45 AM

Rabbi Kook on Sukkot: Our Protective Fortress

A paradigm of protection and safety., 9/25/2007, 11:56 PM

The Intrinsic Sanctity of Eretz Yisrael

Rabbi Kook initially opposed the hetter mechirah., 9/17/2007, 2:28 PM

Rabbi Kook on Rosh Hashanah: Awakening Mind and Heart

What are these Teruah-blasts of the shofar?, 9/11/2007, 8:29 PM

<I>Ki Tetzei</I>: Amalek - Constructive Destruction

It is not enough to wage war against Amalek., 8/23/2007, 11:35 AM

<I>Shoftim</I>: The High Court in Jerusalem

In what areas did the court have jurisdiction?, 8/17/2007, 2:31 AM

Shabbat and Water

"God's voice" appears in Psalms 29 seven times., 8/12/2007, 4:03 PM

Rabbi Kook on Blessings Over Bread and Torah

Two blessings are derived directly from the Torah., 8/3/2007, 11:59 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Va'Etchanan</I>: With All Your Soul

We accept upon ourselves the reign of Heaven., 7/27/2007, 12:31 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Masei</I>: Unchecked Violence

How are unpunished murderers a "defilement"?, 7/13/2007, 12:52 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Pinchas</I>: Zealotry

Torah does not ordinarily approve of such acts., 7/5/2007, 1:04 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Balak</I>: An Eternal People

Balak alongside the recitation of the Shema?, 6/29/2007, 11:43 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Chukat</I>: Total Dedication to Torah

Torah study requires a high degree of commitment., 6/22/2007, 1:51 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Korach</I>: Separation and Connection

Separation is not a goal in and of itself., 6/15/2007, 12:23 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Shelach</I>: Offering Wine and Grain

Turn from evil and do good., 6/8/2007, 1:02 AM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 112: No Fear!

"Fortunate is the person who is always afraid"?, 6/4/2007, 6:46 PM

Jerusalem: The City of One Gate

Entering Jerusalem through one gate, together. , 5/16/2007, 5:10 PM

The Omer Controversy

What is the nature of the Jewish people?, 5/8/2007, 10:55 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Acharei Mot</I>: The Triple Measure

About the ketoret and the Yom Kippur service., 4/27/2007, 1:06 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Tazria</I>: Birth-Offerings at Shiloh

The sorry affair that ended offerings at Shiloh., 4/20/2007, 12:18 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Shemini</I>: Mourning for a Tzaddik

Why was Aaron forbidden from eulogizing his sons?, 4/13/2007, 12:42 AM

Rabbi Kook on Passover: Who is Free?

Freedom on Pesach is about a state of mind., 4/5/2007, 9:38 PM

Rabbi Kook on "Amen": The Response of the Soul

What does "Amen" mean and how should it be said?, 3/19/2007, 6:28 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 84: Preparing for Prayer

Sincere prayer requires mental preparation., 3/12/2007, 11:08 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Ki Tisa</i>: First and Second Luchot

Moses had to break the first set of tablets., 3/8/2007, 12:37 PM

Purim in Volozhin

Rabbi Kook as the "Purim gabbai"., 2/28/2007, 4:24 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Mishpatim</I>: An Eye for an Eye

When monetary restitution alone cannot atone., 2/15/2007, 12:08 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Yitro</I>: Breaking Bread With Scholars

Rabbi Avin's statement needs to be clarified. What is so wonderful about eating with a Torah scholar? Wouldn't studying Torah with him be a much greater spiritual pleasure? And in what way is such a meal like "enjoying the splendor of God's Presence"?, 2/8/2007, 11:52 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Beshalach</I>: Listening to the Old...

In Biblical Hebrew, verbs are emphasized by adding the gerund form before the verb - <I>shamo'a tishma</I>. The Talmud often infers additional meanings from this grammatical repetition. In this case, the sages taught an important lesson about learning Torah. , 2/1/2007, 7:27 PM

Parshat Bo: The So Holy Donkey

Immediately before leaving Egypt, the Israelites were commanded to commemorate the final plague of the Death of the Firstborn through the mitzvah of consecrating the firstborn., 1/24/2007, 7:26 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 144: No Breach in Our Street

Many of the commentaries translate the word <I>alufeinu</I> as "our cattle" - a reference to the healthy state of the livestock. The Talmud, however, interpreted <I>alufeinu</I> as "our leaders" or "our teachers." , 1/14/2007, 2:18 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 31: "My Times Are in Your Hand"

This chapter expresses the psalmist's faith that God will protect him against all enemies. Yet, the meaning of the first part of the following verse is unclear: "My times are in Your hand; rescue me from my enemies and my pursuers." (31:16) What does it mean that one's "times" are in God's hand?, 1/7/2007, 4:10 PM

Rabbi Kook on Chanukah: Flickering Lights in Dark Times

Even wicks and oil that do not burn smoothly may be used for Chanukah lights. Why?, 12/21/2006, 3:52 PM

<I>Vayeshev</I>: Joseph's Labors in Exile

Perhaps our greatest question in life is: Do our actions have true significance? The performance of <I>mitzvot</I> is metaphysically meaningful, but what about our day-to-day activities? Ultimately, how much of our lives and pursuits truly matter?, 12/14/2006, 1:42 AM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Vayishlach</I>: Ancient Agronomists

Why does the Torah mention the agricultural expertise of the Canaanites? In general, why did God place these idolatrous and immoral nations in the Land of Israel? Would it not have been simpler if the Jewish people could have gained possession of <I>Eretz Yisrael</I> without needing to conquer it from the Canaanite nations?, 12/8/2006, 10:33 AM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 103: Reaching Inwards to God

We sometimes read of extraordinary spiritual journeys, of people seeking out God and the meaning of life as they scale the majestic heights of a distant mountain or withdraw to the infinite vastness of an isolated desert. The psalmist, however, indicates that a more authentic journey would perhaps start much closer to home., 12/3/2006, 4:42 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 111: Divinity in the Details

This psalm expresses our wonder at the beauty and splendor of God's works, both in the world of nature and in the Torah. The importance of this praise of God's works is evident in a dispute that took place between Rabbi Abahu, a third-century scholar in <I>Eretz Yisrael</I>, and an unnamed heretic., 11/26/2006, 2:04 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 94: Fortunate Misfortune

Why did King David think that afflictions are such wonderful, providential experiences? And what exactly is this connection between suffering and Torah study?, 11/19/2006, 1:06 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Chayei Sarah</I>: The Torah of the Patriarchs

Even the sages were puzzled why the Torah describes in such detail the doings and dialogs of Abraham's servant, in his search for a wife for Isaac., 11/16/2006, 12:24 AM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 3: Enemies From Within

Our most dangerous adversary is the enemy within. And this principle, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook wrote, applies to both the individual and the nation., 11/7/2006, 2:29 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 49: Parables and Riddles

Maimonides wrote that the method of truly great thinkers is "to employ the style of riddle and parable." Why do the wise speak in parables and riddles?, 10/29/2006, 4:02 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 128: Striving for Excellence

We usually think of self-reliance only in terms of livelihood. Actually, it is a mindset, relating to all aspects of life, material and spiritual., 10/25/2006, 3:05 PM

Rabbi Kook on <I>Breishit</I>: The Hidden Light of Creation

The sages referred to the light of the first day as the <I>Ohr HaGanuz</I>, "the Hidden Light". What is the nature of this special illumination introduced at the beginning of Creation?, 10/19/2006, 10:48 PM

Rabbi Kook on the Full Cup of Blessing

The Talmud (<I>Brachot</I> 51a) teaches that this cup of wine should be filled to the brim: "Whoever says the blessing over a full cup is given a boundless inheritance" and "is privileged to inherit two worlds, this world and the next.", 10/16/2006, 3:00 PM

Rabbi Kook on Sukkot: All of Israel in One Sukkah

All viewpoints and ideas become integrated and unified. We are elevated and attain a perfect unity - a unity that spreads its holy light over all the dispersed communities of Israel., 10/10/2006, 12:14 PM

Rabbi Kook on Yom Kippur: The Value of Life

Were I to dedicate my life towards fulfilling the purpose for which I was created, this would confirm and justify my existence. , 9/27/2006, 2:14 PM

The <I>Teshuvah</I> of Rosh Hashanah

We do not recite any confessional prayers, nor do we make any promises to improve. Instead, the Rosh Hashanah prayers deal with a completely different theme: the entire world accepting God's sovereignty. How does this aspiration fit in with the overall seasonal theme of <I>teshuvah</I>? , 9/21/2006, 3:23 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 82: The Holiness of the Synagogue

The Hebrew word for a synagogue is not <I>beit tefillah</I> (house of prayer), but <I>beit kenesset</I> (house of gathering). The Greek word <I>synagogue</I> also means "place of assembly". Its holiness stems from its use as a gathering place for the community. , 9/17/2006, 4:20 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Ki-Tavo</i>: Be Happy!

Not only does God expect us to keep the <I>mitzvot</I>, but we are to perform them with joy and contentment. What is the difference between these two emotions?, 9/7/2006, 11:52 PM

Rabbi Kook on Elul: Unity and Repentance

The Jewish people have become divided into two camps, through the categorization of Jews as <I>Charedi</I> (religious) and <I>Chofshi</I> (secular). These are new terms, which were not used in the past. In this respect, we can certainly say that previous generations were superior to ours., 9/3/2006, 4:43 PM

Rabbi Kook on Psalm 4: Restraining Evil Impulses

"Tremble and do not sin; speak in your hearts upon your bed, and be still forever." (Psalms 4:5) According to 3rd century scholar Rabbi Shimon <I>ben</I> Lakish - himself a well-known penitent - this verse outlines a four-step program how to master the temptations of the <I>yeitzer hara</I> (evil inclination)., 8/27/2006, 8:13 PM