Rav Kook Torah

Lech Lecha: The Dream and the Brit Ceremony

“This is My covenant (brit) between Me and between you and your descendants that you must keep: you must circumcise every male.” (Gen. 17:10)

Simcha Raz recounted the following story in his biography of Rabbi Aryeh Levine (1885-1969), the well-known tzaddik of Jerusalem, who was a devoted friend and disciple of Rav Kook:


The incident took place in 1936, a year after Rav Kook had departed this world. One night, Simcha Raz’s uncle dreamt a vivid dream. In the dream, he saw Rav Kook dressed in his finest holiday clothes. The rabbi held his walking-stick in hand, ready to leave his house.

“I am in a hurry to attend a brit milah (circumcision ceremony),” Rav Kook explained (in the dream). “It is scheduled for ten o'clock, and there is not much time.”

When Simcha Raz’s uncle woke up in the morning, he asked his wife to call the late chief rabbi’s family. Was there really a brit milah scheduled for that day?

Rav Kook’s widow answered the call.

“No, there is no brit in our family,” she replied.

“But there is a brit in the family of a very good friend of ours, a friend who is dearer to us than our own relatives. A grandson was born to Reb Aryeh Levine, and the brit is to take place at ten this morning. We are rushing now to get there.”

To Simcha Raz’s uncle, there was no doubt that the spirit of the chief rabbi would be present at this joyous event. So he hurried off to attend the brit. Reb Aryeh Levine, the proud grandfather, was of course in attendance.

The high point of the ceremony occurred when the baby’s name was announced. The child was named “Abraham Isaac”. He was the first child in Israel to be named after the late chief rabbi.

(Adapted from “A Tzaddik in Our Time” by Simcha Raz, p. 343)