Mossad HaRav Kook: Seventy Years of Scholarship

One of the largest and oldest publishers of scholarly religious books in Israel is marking 70 years of spreading the light of Torah.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz,

Mossad HaRav Kook, 70th anniversary logo
Mossad HaRav Kook, 70th anniversary logo
image: Mossad HaRav Kook

The Rabbi Kook Institute (Mossad HaRav Kook), one of the largest and oldest publishers of scholarly religious books in Israel, held an event Sunday evening, marking 70 years of spreading the light of Torah.

Among the distinguished guests were former Chief Rabbis of Israel: the Rishon Letzion Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who is currently Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Chief Rabbi and Rishon Letzion Rabbi Shlomo Amar also attended. The government was represented at the event by Minister of Industry and Trade Eli Yishai, Religious Affairs Minister Yitzchak Cohen and Minister Meshulam Nahari.

Opening the event, the director of the Rabbi Kook Institute, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Raphael, said, "As every year, we gather here to discuss matters of Jewish Law and to hear Torah giants speak on many varied issues of Jewish Law. This tradition was established by Rabbi Kook more than 50 years ago, and this year we decided to focus on leadership, morality and government in the light of Jewish Law."

Rabbi Raphael added, "At a time of darkness, of degradation in the integrity and honesty of public servants, national representatives and members of the top echelon of leadership, it is only appropriate for us to examine our rabbis' views of national leadership."

Netanyahu: 'A Basic Failure in Education'
Opposition Likud party chairman and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the event, delivering a harsh critique of the current administration's efforts to negotiate away parts of Jerusalem.

"The nation of Israel never gave up Jerusalem," Netanyahu declared. "And now we find ourselves, for the first time in history... with a ruling party, from among us, coming and offering Jerusalem - and the most precious parts of Jerusalem, that most represent our heritage! - to foreigners, to the worst of our enemies. I see this not only as a political failure - it is that too - not only as a dangerous security failure, but primarily as a basic failure of values in education, in Jewish national and religious education. I think we must return to instilling that heritage in our youth, but I think we must in parallel and first of all preserve our land and, at the top of the agenda, Jerusalem."

A Flagship Publishing House
Mossad HaRav Kook, named for first Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, is the flagship publishing house of the national-religious movement. It was founded by Rabbi Yehudah Leib Maimon in 1937 with the objective of publishing religious, legal and historical works, including periodicals and contemporary research.

The Institute, located adjacent to Rabbi Kook's Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, also houses an extensive archive of religious Zionist source material.