- THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD contains a cycle of fifteen legends of Rabbah bar Bar Hannah, who has been dubbed "the Jewish Sinbad". Sailing the high seas, Rabbah witnesses fish and birds of gigantic proportions. Trekking through the Sinai Desert, he encounters scorpions as large as donkeys, not to mention human giants.
- Over the ages, these tall tales have attracted numerous commentators of various persuasions. Mystics as diverse as the Gaon of Vilna and Rabbi Nahman of Breslov penned commentaries to Rabbah's legends.
Here, for the first time in English, we have the commentary of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook (1865-1935), arguably the greatest Jewish mystic of the twentieth century. And for the first time in any language, the commentary is provided with explanatory notes.
- Written at the tender age of twenty-five, Rav Kook's commentary (unlike his later works) is openly kabbalistic. There is unfurled before us a Lurianic map of worlds, partsufim and sefirot. What is more, Rav Kook reveals his sources in the various schools of Kabbalah: Rabbi Moses Hayyim Luzzatto of Padua; the Vilna Gaon; and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of the Habad school of Hasidism).
- One dares to say that Rav Kook's inner voyage to the heights of heaven and to the depths of the human spirit in no way lags behind Rabbah's own incredible voyage to the outer limits of imagination.
- Introduction, translation and notes by Bezalel Naor, an acknowledged interpreter of Kookian thought. Most recently, Naor published an annotated edition of Orot (Maggid, 2015); When God Becomes History: Historical Essays of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook (Kodesh, 2016); and The Koren Rav Kook Siddur (2017).
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook
8.3" x 10.3"
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