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Benjamin Ish Shalom is a professor of Jewish philosophy and rector of Beit Morasha of Jerusalem at the Center for Advanced Jewish Studies. Ish-Shalom received his Ph.D. degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1980-1995, he was a member of the Faculty of Humanities, Department of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University and, in 1988, was appointed the Andrew N. and Rose Miller Professor of History of Zionism and Modern Israel at Yeshiva University. Ish-Shalom's book, Rav Avraham Y.H. Kook, Between Rationalism and Mysticism, was published in 1993.

 

Abstract of paper given at Judaism and Ecology conference:
Nature in the Thought of Rav Kook

Rav Avraham Yitzak HaCohen Kook wrote that when speaking of nature, one must not attribute to it a set and defined essence in and of itself. Rather one must relate to a broader essence -- that of holiness. This essence has an open and dynamic character which is defined as a living multi-dimensional organism. Human beings are its clearest and loftiest expression. According to this view, nature, in all its dimensions, including the spiritual and the material, the cosmic and cultural-historical, is a process of the revelation of God in the world, and humans are perceived to be its pinnacle, the highest expression of this positive and optimistic divine-cosmic-natural process.

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