Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rav Kook greets Chaim Nachman Bialik

[Another great edition of HH is here!]

I've been reading a lot of Rav Kook lately, and I love, especially, his poetry. I wouldn't exactly call it accessible reading, but I would definitely call it rewarding reading.

Along the way, I've come across R' Kook's letter to Chaim Nachman Bialik, upon the latter's 1909 visit to Israel; it's printed in אגרות הראי"ה Vol. I pg. 247-248. Here is a rough translation:

Blessed are you upon your arrival to the land of life, exalted guest, our great and beloved poet, Master Chaim Nachman Bialik, may Gd bless you from Zion.

With pure and complete love and with elevated respect I honor myself to extend to you, our mighty poet, my hand in blessing as you first step today upon the land of our rejuvenation.

Prepare, our beloved poet, to greet the dew of life and the living, rich heavenly generosity, which will begin to display itself to you anew from the portion of Gd, full of life, which is prepared for every rich soul of the house of Jacob which enters the air of the spiritual life of the beloved land. O poetic soul, awake, awake, speak the living song to the living nation, which awakens to greet the source of its life on the ground in which it is planted.

Now sing, please, o poet who is so beloved to us, of the salvation of a nation and its Gd. Awaken your harp, be filled with strength and pleasantness, to sing to us the song of the land, the song of the rejuvenation. Inform Jacob: Behold, a nation is born! Behold, the living nation has risen! Behold, he strides across Tavor and Chermon! Sing to us of the strength and might, of the wealth and honor, which are of the Gd of Israel in heaven and earth, in valley and mountain, in Carmel and Sharon, in the portion of His lot.

Be happy and joyous, beloved and pleasant poet, in the joy of the hope of our nation and our land.

One who greatly honors you,

Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kook


  1. I have Rav Kook on my google alert and thus saw your blog.
    I am also very involved in Rav Kook's poetry. In fact, I have been performing it and just completed a recording that includes 12 poems and 2 of Rav Kook's nigunim. It was just released on Tzadik Records.
    Here are our some links to this material that may interest you.


  2. They learnt in the same yeshiva (I don't know if at the same time, but possibly)

  3. Actually Bialik studied there later...he was younger than Rav Kook

  4. Itzchak & Anonymous-
    I'll have to check out your pages, Itzchak.

  5. for more information on the Bialik Rav Kook connection see Angel among men 388-393