Samson Raphael Hirsch

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The more the Jew is a Jew, the more universalist will his views and aspirations be, the less aloof will he be from anything that is noble and good, true and upright, in art or science, in culture or education…

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (June 20, 1808December 31, 1888) was the intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. He wrote notable commentaries on the Pentateuch, Psalms and Jewish prayer book, as well as ethical and philosophical works.

Quotes[edit]

  • However important it is that love shall precede marriage, it is far more important that it shall continue after marriage.
    • Commentary on Genesis XXIV, 67 quoted by Joseph H. Hertz, Pentateuch, p. 87
  • Torah im Derekh Eretz
    • Integration of traditional Judaism with secular education [1]
  • The prophet of the new message came into their midst with the cry of "religion allied to progress"; he filled the blank, pacified their conscience and wiped out their shame. With this magic word he turned irreligion into Godliness, apostasy into priesthood, sin into merit, frivolity into virtue, weakness into strength, thoughtlessness into profundity.
    • Essay "Religion Allied to Progress" [2]
  • The more the Jew is a Jew, the more universalist will his views and aspirations be, the less aloof will he be from anything that is noble and good, true and upright, in art or science, in culture or education; the more joyfully will he applaud whenever he sees truth and justice and peace and the ennoblement of man prevail and become dominant in human society.
    • Essay "Religion Allied to Progress" [3]
  • There are probably no creatures that require more the protective Divine word against the presumption of man than the animals, which, like man, have sensations and instincts, but whose body and powers are nevertheless subservient to man. In relation to them man so easily forgets that injured animal muscle twitches just like human muscle, that the maltreated nerves of an animal sicken like human nerves, that the animal being is just as sensitive to cuts, blows and beating as man. Thus man becomes the torturer of the animal soul, which has been subjected to him only for the fulfilment of humane and wise purposes; sometimes out of self-interest, at other times in order to satisfy a whim, sometimes out of thoughtlessness—yes, even for the satisfaction of crude satanic desire.
    • Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances, translated by Isidor Grunfeld, London: Soncino Press, 1968, vol. II, p. 292, sec. 415.

External links[edit]

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