Yehudah Mirsky, an associate professor in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis, will discuss “Mystical Zionism’s Surprising Origins: Rav Kook’s Early Decades.” The online program, scheduled for Wednesday, January 31, at 7 p.m., is for the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Dr. Mirsky is the author of “Towards the Mystical Experience of Modernity — The Making of Rav Kook 1865–1935.”
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook was a theologian, one of religionist Zionism’s foundational thinkers, one of the Zionist movement’s most influential and controversial rabbinic advocates, and the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel. His legacy has played an important role in Israeli politics and society. But the development of his views before he moved to Palestine in 1904 have not received scholarly attention. This lecture will examine how Kook’s very unconventional Zionism emerged from decades of meditation on questions of metaphysics, ethics, and the distinctive spiritual challenges of modernity.
The online talk is free and open to the public; advance registration necessary. To register, go to the Bildner Center’s website, bildnercenter.rutgers.edu, scroll down, and click on “Public programs and events,” or go to bildnercenter.rutgers.edu/events/upcoming-events/range.listevents/