Rav Simcha Hakohein Kook Undergoes Double Knee Replacement

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Rav Simcha Hakohein Kook, chief rabbi of the city of Rechovot, underwent a double knee replacement earlier today. The surgeries were performed at about 3 p.m. Israeli time.

Rav Kook, who is in his high eighties, made Rechovot his home almost 50 years ago. Back then, only 12 percent of the city’s children were attending religious schools and the number of kosher food stores could be counted on the fingers of one hand.  At the time, Rav Kook’s brother, Rav Shlomo Kook, served as Rechovot’s chief rabbi. In 1980, Rav Shlomo Kook was killed in a car accident along with his wife and two of their children. The position was then offered to Rav Kook, who had been poised to accept a rabbinical position in Tiveria.

Rav Kook’s brother’s untimely passing made him wonder whether he should reconsider that decision. He consulted his rosh yeshiva, Rav Meir Chodosh of Chevron Yeshiva, and Rav Elazar Menachem Man Schach, who had served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kletzk in Rechovot years earlier, and with whom he was particularly close. Both encouraged him to accept the position in Rechovot.

One of the first things Rav Kook did in his new role was establish a local yeshiva together with his brother, Rav Avrohom Yitzchok, and Rav Chaim Zelivansky. Yeshivas Meor Hatalmud started with just 20 students. Today it has more than 500, including a thriving kollel. Rav Kook also established a mesivta in Rechovot and two mesivtos and a cheder in Yerushalayim. All of these institutions, which accommodate 850 students, are part of the Generations Educational Network, of which Rav Kook serves as chairman.

Doctors say that recovery follow today’s double knee replacement surgery could be prolonged. All are asked to daven for the complete recovery of Rav Simcha ben Baila Rochel.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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