Understanding Evil: Selections from Rav Kook’s Eyn Aya by Abraham Isaac Kook
Translator: Michael Derfler
A society that has a sense of morality wants to oppose evil. In a polarized culture that feeds on sound-bites, serious discussion is limited. Identifying evil by naming individuals or groups, is likely to cause a premature end to the discussion. However, there is a more abstract way we can begin the conversation. What motivates an evil person or group of people? Where are they coming from and what is their goal? What are their tactics? After a framework of understanding is developed, we can see how it applies to specific people.Rav Kook was a tremendous scholar and an active public figure. Unfortunately his ideas are commonly dismissed as controversial or incomprehensible. This collection of writings is focused on a fundamental subject. Rav Kook saw idolatry (and heresy) as the foundations of evil. Sometimes we learn about something from its opposite. In this collection we learn about some foundational ideas in the Israelite outlook on life from its opposite – the idolatrous outlook.