15 10, 2018

More examples of mystical additions to the siddur

By |2018-10-15T04:05:10-07:00October 15th, 2018|Thoughts|

  There are multiple examples of additions by mystics to the siddur and machzor and to the practices concerning how and when the prayers are said. The following are a few examples.   Additions to the Shema The several sections from the Torah which the siddur and machzor call the Shema are recited in the [...]

4 03, 2018

The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook, a Mystic

By |2018-03-05T07:08:33-07:00March 4th, 2018|Thoughts|

Even rationalists like me can read, enjoy, and learn from the writings of mystics. We do not have to accept everything they say as being true, but there are things they say which are true. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook was born in Latvia in 1865 and died in Jerusalem in 1935. His father was [...]

17 01, 2018

A new siddur with Rav Kook’s commentary

By |2018-01-17T06:11:55-07:00January 17th, 2018|Book Reviews|

Koren Press, a prestigious publishing house, has published “The Koren Rav Kook Siddur.” Rabbi Abraham Isaac haKohen Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine He was the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav. He was a Torah scholar, a decider of halakha (Jewish law), a mystical [...]

7 09, 2016

A strange view of how to bring the messiah

By |2016-09-07T03:41:31-07:00September 7th, 2016|Thoughts|

  While the concept of a messiah sent to miraculously reorganize civilization and bring peace is not in the Hebrew Bible, it began to be accepted by Jews around the fourth or third century BCE, and later by Christianity. There is no single view as to how the messianic age will occur or when, and [...]

14 12, 2014

Is the Zohar a holy ancient book?

By |2014-12-14T06:19:17-07:00December 14th, 2014|Thoughts|

  Many mystics insist that the Zohar, the most famous book on Jewish mysticism, was composed by Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai around the year 130 CE. However, there are rabbis and scholars who recognize that Moses d' Leon, a Spaniard living in Granada, wrote it around 1286, that parts of the book were added by others [...]