Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook, (1865-1935), talmudic scholar and the first Chief Rabbi of Israel (then Palestine). Born in Latvia, he embodied a unique blend of the mystical and the rational. He saw the Jewish return to Israel as not merely a political phenomenon to save Jews from persecution, but an event of great theological significance. He believed that building up the physical land was laying the groundwork for the messianic redemption. He called for a spiritual renaissance where "the ancient would be renewed, and the new would be sanctified." Over 30 volumes of Rabbi Kook's writings have been published, and he is considered as the philosophical father of the religious-Zionist movement.
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