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Shabbat Parashat Pinchas 5782

Igrot Hareaya Letters of Rav Kook: Supporting an Israeli Winery - #106

Date and Place: 29 Tevet 5668 (1908), Yafo


Recipient: Rabbi Naftail Hakohen Adler, the Chief Rabbi of London and the nations (British Empire)


Body: On behalf of the love of the desired land (Eretz Yisrael) and the dear mitzva to support its builders and those who work the holy land with great toil, I have come to make a request of you, great scholar.

In the agricultural village of Rechovot, which is near here, the farmers met and founded a guild of vineyard owners and a few years ago built a winery. Everything is handled according to the highest standards of kashrut, as the Torah requires, as they fulfill the land-based mitzvot and all the details of kashrut for all year long and for Pesach.

These people have gone to great lengths [to do things properly], and their undertaking is fit to be well-known and lauded, for they have helped build and improve Eretz Yisrael. They do this not through donations and philanthropic support but with their strength and power in a proper and distinguished manner.

Therefore, I believe that the love of the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael is fit to prepare the leaders of the nation to lend their moral support to these people. In one of the great cities of the world (London), one of the members of the guild, Mr. Moshe Weinschreiber opened a business to sell the wine of the guild. I saw it as a  personal obligation to lend my help by turning to the Chief Rabbi, that he [i.e., you] should show them kindness and present them a shining face, with your holy help in whatever way your excellency and pure heart and love for Eretz Yisrael sees fit.

May the merit of the mitzva to settle the Holy Land stand by you to lengthen your life in pleasantries, and may you merit to see when Hashem returns the remnant of His nation to His holy mountain. 


Choice of Profession - #108

Date and Place: 18 Shevat 5668 (1908), Yafo


Recipient: Moshe Zeidel, a young student of Rav Kook from his days in Boisk, and a frequent correspondent of his.


Body: … I will now respond to your inquiry as to a choice of a profession for you. If I had enough time to investigate more exactly the results of those who graduated from different courses of study and the way they chose their life path, I would be very happy to share my opinion, which would of course focus on the spiritual element of the choice. Since it is difficult for me to clarify the matter, I cannot give you practical advice.

I will just share with you my inclination, that there are three professions that someone as special as you, full of wisdom and pure fear of Hashem, might choose to bring spiritual gains to our nation, in addition to any personal gain. I believe that the fields are philosophy, Semitic languages and literature, and national economics.

My logic is that our generation is very confused, and the confusion finds its way to the field of economic theory, and this is influenced by philosophy. These matters find their way to the Jewish people as national and racial tendencies. All of this is connected to Semitic literature, as this is the quarry from which our nation was hewn.

My hope is that if we can produce students who are full of talent and earnestness in these fields, they will be able to increase light through their personal work, which will channel the world properly in these fields of study, uncover fundamental truths, and help heal the confusion of the generation. Of course, one cannot complete a scientific course of study without knowledge of hidden treasures in other sciences, but I think the fields I raised are the most important fields.

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