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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Rav Kook and the Documentary Hypothesis

GH posts that he has found sources where Rav Kook supposidly allowed for the DH. Here was my response in the comments section:

This is a misrepresentation of Rav Kook's hashkafa. He never accepts the Documentary Hypothesis, he labels it irrelevant.

He refused to speak at the opening of Hebrew U. unless they promised not to open a department of biblical criticism. They promised and then broke their promise which caused Rav Kook MUCH pain.

Also, the mystical concept of continuous revelation applies ONLY to esoteric thought and Torah SeBeAl Peh (which includes INTERPERTAION of the Written Torah), NOT to the text of the written Torah.

On the Written Torah, Rav Kook wrote (Orot HaTeshuva, chapter 1):

The Written Torah we receive through the highest, most expansive channel in our soul. We feel from it the living, general light of all existence. Not the spirit of the nation created this great light – but the spirit of G-d.
In the Oral Torah we begin the descent to life. We sense that we receive this light through the second channel of the soul, the channel which approaches practical life. We feel that the spirit of the nation molded the Oral Torah in its distinct image. Here the Torah of G-d and the Torah of Man converge.
And these two lights make a complete world, in which heaven and earth kiss.

I would like to add that none of the sources really support GH's claim. Rav Kook actually writes quite strongly against the relevancy of the DH to anyone who has a healthy connection to the Jewish nation. I don't have time to write more about this now, but perhaps I will put together a post on this topic in the future.