S. R. Hirsch on Moses Mendelssohn

Posted: January 8, 2017 in History
Tags: , , ,

“And when the yoke from without began to be lifted, and the spirit breathed more freely, one of eminently illustrious personality came upon the scene and influenced Jewish life to the present day. His freer intellectual development, indeed, owed much to the influence of forces extraneous to Judaism… In his personal life and practice an observant Jew, he showed his brethren throughout the world that a man could be strictly religious and yet enjoy the eminence and lustre of a German Plato. It was this ‘and yet’ which proved decisive. His successors contented themselves with the zealous cultivation of Tenakh on philological and aesthetic lines… to the neglect of Judaism itself.”

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Nineteen Letters, p. 30

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