Pinchas Polonsky

Rabbi Kook and the Modernization of Judaism

Part 1. Religious Understanding of Modern History
Chapter 1
Rabbi Kook's Religious Revolution

1. Religious Zionism and the Global Renaissance of Judaism
2. The National Dialogue with God
3. The Concept of Continuing Revelation and the Changed Religious Paradigm
Chapter 2
Religious Significance of the State of Israel

1. The Vilna Gaon's Concept of the Death
and Resurrection of the Jewish People
2. Rabbi Kook's Analysis of the Potential for Chochma
and Bina in the Diaspora and in the State of Israel
3. The Connections between the Approaches
of the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Kook
Chapter 3
Advancing our Understanding of Jewish Life
through the Concept of a National Dialogue with God

1. The Establishment of Religious Holidays
to Commemorate Key Events in National History
2. The Implications for Freedom of Choice
3. The Dialogue with God at the Jewish National Level
and at the Level of Humankind as a Whole
4. The Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible:
an Example of the View of History as Divine Revelation
5. Even Today Jewish History is Seen by Humankind as Sacred 41
6. Interpreting Jewish History in Light of the Idea
of the National Dialogue with God
Chapter 4
Applying the Concept of the National Dialogue
with God to Current Problems Facing Judaism

1.The Story of Elisha ben-Abuya
2. A Turning Point in Jewish History
Chapter 5
Contemporary Problems in Judaism

1. Running off the Road in our Century – the Religious
Inadequacy of the Judaism of Galut for Life in Israel
2. The Problem of Applying Halakha to National Questions
3. The Four-Millennia Scope of this Historical/Philosophical Concept, and the Historical Process Today
Part 2. Rabbi Kook and the Modernization of Judaism
Chapter 6
Rabbi Kook's Vision of the Modernization of Judaism

1. A Step in the Development of Judaism
2. The Teaching of Rabbi Kook as Torat haKelal,
Teaching for the Entire Nation
3. Flaws in Judaism and the Process of their Correction
4. Example 1: The Integration of Sparks from Zionism
5. Example 2: The Integration of Sparks from Atheism
6. Example 3: The Integration of Sparks from Reform Judaism
7. The Essential Difference between Reform Judaism
and Modern Orthodoxy
8. Religious Anti-Fundamentalism
and the Concept of Continuing Revelation
9. The Embedded Implication that Judaism Must Lag
Behind Culture in Its Development
Chapter 7
The Conflict between Halakha and the Ethical Instinct

1. General Principles and Examples of the Conflict
Between Halakha and the Ethical Feeling
2. Opposing Approaches to the Conflict
between Halakha and Ethics
3. Rabbi Kook's Approach: Synthesis, Rather than Compromise
4. Modern Orthodoxy as a Synthesis
of the Two Opposing Approaches
5. Example 1: The Conversion of non-Jews Marrying Jews:
a Revision of Halakha
6. Example 2: The Status of "Jewish by Father"
in Jewish Society