The Legends of Rabbah Bar Bar Hannah with the Commentary of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook

Bezalel Naor (Author) Abraham Isaac Kook (Author)


Rabbah bar Bar Hannah has been referred to as the Jewish Sinbad the Sailor. His tall tales, fifteen in all, are recorded in the Babylonian Talmud in Tractate Bava Batra (73a-74a). The particular chapter in which they are situated is named "The Seller of the Ship" ("HaMokher et ha-Sefinah"). Appropriately, these tales of seafarers (ne{utei yama) were inserted in that legal discussion, as is the wont of the Talmud to mix Aggadah with Halakhah, thus tempering law with lore and legend.

Rav Kook's commentary to the Legends first appeared in print in Jerusalem in 1984 in the second volume of his collected essays, Ma'amrei ha-Rayah. In this early work (written at age twenty-five), Rav Kook yet cites sources. Later, when his style of writing switched to "stream of consciousness," sources were eliminated. For this very reason, the commentary to the Rabbah bar Bar }annah legends is of extreme importance. Here, Rav Kook divulges the many and varied Kabbalistic sources that informed his view. We see him equally at home in the world of the Vilna Gaon and of his rival Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. A great influence upon Rav Kook's thought was the earlier Italian mystic, Rabbi Moses Hayyim Luzzatto In Ma'amrei ha-Rayah, Rav Kook's commentary was provided by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner with brief summaries as well as an index. These are certainly helpful to the reader. The present edition is the first time in any language that the commentary of Rav Kook is presented complete with much needed explanatory notes.

Product Details

Kodesh Press L.L.C.
Publish Date
March 26, 2019
7.99 X 0.81 X 10.0 inches | 2.08 pounds
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About the Author

Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), mystic and kabbalist, served as the
first chief rabbi of Israel.