Monday, November 18, 2013

Hirsch's TIDE is TIDE for Westerners

Isaac Breuer said that Torah is eternal but derech eretz changes in each era. R' Hirsch defined it for his era. (See Artscroll Bio for the passage).

The Gemara says that most Jews should pursue Torah Im Derech Eretz. I propose that in East Europe most did, ie Eastern European derech eretz. They worked. They were involved in the world to the extent they were allowed. What R' Hirsch did is define Derech Eretz for Westerners.

I am a Westerner. I was in Poland for a grand total of 4 hours back in the 1990s. That's my exposure to Eastern Europe. Even though my ancestors are from the Ukraine, I am a Westerner. Thus, when I follow the Gemara's advice to pursue Torah Im Derech Eretz, I follow that of R' Hirsch.

My derech therefore is not simply TIDE but Hirschian TIDE.

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