Rav Kook's Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz

 
9780991270804: Rav Kook's Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz
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What can shmita - the biblical sabbatical year and the agricultural cycle of which it is a key part -mean for the modern world? Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the giants of modern Jewish mystical thought, wrote this essay in 1909 to preface his book Shabbat Ha'aretz (Sabbath of the Land), in which he advocated new halakhic approaches to shmita in the context of the Zionist agricultural revival. His essay is a classic of authentic religious environmentalism, a meditation on the relationship between ancient legal structures and the deep spiritual life that they embody.

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About the Author:

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), first Ashkenzi chief rabbi in the land of Israel under the British Mandatory government, was one of the pre-eminent Jewish religious thinkers and halachic authorities of the twentieth century. His landmark book Shabbat Haaretz was first published in Hebrew in 1910.

Rabbi Julian Sinclair has a first from Oxford in PPE, an MA from Harvard, and worked at the UK Treasury before getting orthodox semicha. He is a writer, translator, tour guide, educator, environmentalist and solar energy developer. He has consulted to the UN on religious responses to climate change and has been featured in the New York Times Magazine for his work in this area. Previously he was a rabbi at Cambridge University, where he also taught Jewish Thought in the Divinity School. Today he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and five children. He is Vice President at Energiya Global, a leading Israeli solar company that has just developed the first-ever large-scale solar project in Sub-Saharan East Africa. Rabbi Sinclair is a Senior Rabbinical Scholar at Hazon and has taught on Jewish and environmental values in Israel, the UK and throughout North America.

Review:

There are few concepts as beautiful (and as radical) as the Jewish idea of a sabbath for the land every seven years. In this utterly fascinating translation, Rav Kook offers a gorgeous and profound hymn from across the decades to the concept, and the able translator provides historical context as well as powerful hope that this great rest and rejuvenation can have practical as well as spiritual meaning in the modern age. --Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

Rarely can a one-hundred-year-old pamphlet reach across history and shake a reader s heart and inspire an activist s hands. Shabbat Ha aretz, which was revolutionary in the Land of Israel in its time and is revolutionary for American Jews today, does just that. Hazon and Sinclair have done us an enormous service by bringing Rav Kook s Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz into the heart of 21st-century living. --Rabbi Mishael Zion, author of A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices

In this brilliant translation of Rav Kook's work and in his accompanying essays, Julian Sinclair succeeds in clarifying the paradoxes of shmita ... a highly valuable and enlightening volume. ----Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, author of The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious

Rarely can a one-hundred-year-old pamphlet reach across history and shake a reader s heart and inspire an activist s hands. Shabbat Ha aretz, which was revolutionary in the Land of Israel in its time and is revolutionary for American Jews today, does just that. Hazon and Sinclair have done us an enormous service by bringing Rav Kook s Introduction to Shabbat Ha'aretz into the heart of 21st-century living. --Rabbi Mishael Zion, author of A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices

In this brilliant translation of Rav Kook's work and in his accompanying essays, Julian Sinclair succeeds in clarifying the paradoxes of shmita ... a highly valuable and enlightening volume. --Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, author of The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious

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