Sunday, the Third of Elul, marks the passing of Rabbi Avraham HaKohen Kook, of blessed memory, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel and considered the spiritual leader of the national religious community. Rabbi Kook, who died 75 years ago, lived from 1865–1935.
Rabbi Kook was famous for his great love of all Jews regardless of their background and for bringing together the secular and religious. He also founded the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva which later spawned the Hesder yeshiva movement which combines Torah study and IDF service. Today there are some 50 hesder yeshivas throughout Israel. His son Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, of blessed memory, is considered the spiritual head of the movement for Jewish return to Judea and Samaria.