“There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael” (BeReishit Rabbah 16:4).

AN ANGEL AMONG MEN - On Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zt”l

From the Back Cover

For the lips of the priest (kohen) shall guard knowledge, and people shall seek Torah from his mouth; for he is an angel of the Lord of Hosts (Malachi 2:7). If the teacher resembles an angel of the Lord, seek Torah from his mouth. If not, do not seek Torah from his mouth (Mo’ed Kattan 17a).


R. Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zt”l certainly fit this criterion. His brilliance and depth of knowledge were simply otherworldly; his devotion to God was supernal; and his character traits were heavenly. At the same time, however – and perhaps more important – he was an exemplary human being. Although he strove for personal, spiritual perfection, he was more concerned with helping others come closer to God. He was constantly involved in the affairs of his people, doing everything in his power to ease their pain, raise their pride, and pave the way for their ultimate redemption in their ancestral Land.


The stories, anecdotes, and ideas found in this book reveal but a fraction of the light that radiated from this celestial human being, this Angel Among Men.




Advanced Praise

Finally, a faithful description of the life and ideals of one of the greatest and most influential leaders of our time! Congratulations to R. Moshe Lichtman for making it available to the English-speaking public. His easy to read and inspiring translation is another significant contribution to the much-needed literature of Torat Eretz Yisrael. Coming after Eim HaBanim Semeichah, it is a valuable addition to everyone’s library. It should be read and reread.

– Rabbi Shalom Gold

…A valuable and informative work. There is so much about Rav Kook that is misunderstood and misportrayed in the Jewish world, that a book that portrays him accurately is invaluable and necessary. This is such a book.

– Rabbi Berel Wein

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From the Author’s Foreword

Ever since his passing in 1935, Rav Kook’s character, life story, deeds, and philosophies have served as subject material for a wealth of literature in many prestigious books and periodicals. This is not surprising, for the Rav was an exemplary personage whose splendor illuminated the path of the Nation and the world, like the One Who declared the generations from the beginning (cf. Yeshayah 41:4).

The goal of this work is not to recapitulate the Rav’s life story, nor to present a systematic, refined description of his worldview. The book’s only objective is to illustrate the story of his life with anecdotes and “tidbits” that reveal the human side of this luminary’s ways and deeds. For, only through these anecdotes will we get a direct, unadulterated sense of what made him tick, what moved him, and what was hidden in the depths of his soul. Then, we will be able to set his image before our eyes, like a life-giving fountain radiating warmth, kindness, and tenderness to all who surround it – the individual and the community, the righteous as well as the sinner.

The thirty-one chapters of this book contain a rich and colorful array of stories, anecdotes, reactions, thoughts, and sayings covering the various stages and episodes of the Rav’s life. The material was culled from the writings and verbal testimonies of his colleagues, disciples, friends, admirers, and acquaintances.

From the Publisher’s Preface

The purpose of this book is not to tell of the Rav’s greatness in Torah, remarkable genius, and unique talents – that would require a separate book in and of itself. Its purpose is to describe some of the Rav’s deeds and paint a portrait of his character, so that the reader may embrace and emulate his ways. We do not claim that the stories and anecdotes found in this book will encompass the Rav’s entire, grand and luminous character. Nonetheless, we felt obligated to reveal a small portion of the light that shone before us, so that we may learn which path to take and how to conduct ourselves.



This inspiring and moving volume contains stories and anecdotes about the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook. Rabbi Kook was one of the greatest Torah teachers of the generation, and one of the most important Jewish thinkers of modern times. He was also a great example of living in according with that most fundamental of all teachings, loving his fellow Jews and human beings. His love of the land of Israel, his generosity and openness, and help and trust to others in helping build the land and state of Israel are a legacy which lives on in and through many of his students and students’ students today. In this wonderful volume by Simcha Raz, translated by Moshe D. Lichtman, we see tens of incidents in which the special power of Rabbi Kook is felt. He was one of those rare human beings that brought a sense of holiness to all those who approached him. This is a most inspiring volume for all who love Torah, the land of Israel, and teachings of human goodness.

I would also add that one of the very special features of this volume is that it contains the accounts of many different individuals in regard to what their meeting with Rabbi Kook meant to them.
(Shalom Freedman, Jerusalem, Israel)



Book Review by Mandell I. Ganchrow, M.D., “The Voice of Religious Zionism,” Religious Zionists of America – Mizrachi / Hapoel HaMizrachi, Elul 5763.

To a generation that never had the opportunity to meet or interact with Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, zt”l, the mere mention of his name portrays a sense of greatness and Godliness that underlies the Spirit of Religious Zionism.

Rabbi Moshe D. Lichtman, who previously had translated “Eim HaBanim Semeichah,” the story of HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt”l and his transformation during the Holocaust to Religious Zionism, once again brings to our community a masterpiece. Lichtman has taken the volume “An Angel Among Men” by Simcha Raz and presents it to the English Speaking world, who yearns for a greater insight into the life, philosophy and Torah of Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, zt”l.

Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, was born in 1865 in Griva, Russia, and until his death in 1935 led a rich life that was characterized by his love for his fellow Jew and Eretz Yisrael. His influence was felt not only in the Religious Zionist community but in the secular and charedi world as well.

Raz’s book illustrates through stories and anecdotes the personality and human side of this great Torah leader. As we follow the Rav’s life from Europe to Israel – his love of Zion permeates his teachings, personality and his Weltanschauung.

Rav Kook understood the political imperatives of his time, which are applicable even today. When “religious zealots” tried to prevent him from establishing the Chief Rabbinate, he commented, “If the Rabbinate does not receive official recognition, the Reform Rabbinate will penetrate into Eretz Yisrael, G-d forbid.” How great was his insight! Students of history, lovers of Zion, rabbis, teachers and laymen will surely benefit by reading this volume, published by Kol Mevaser Publications. We look forward to Rabbi Lichtman’s future literary translations of great Religious Zionist masterpieces.