Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TIDE in the Hirsch Chumash: Benefiting from Proper Culture

"Culture starts the work of educating the generations of mankind and the Torah completes it; for the Torah is the most finished education of Man. The fig-leaf and apron, those first gifts which Man possessed on his way to education, were the first appurtenances of culture, and culture in the service of morality is the first stage of Man’s return to God. For us Jews, derech eretz and Torah are one. The most perfect gentleman the most perfect Jew, to the Jewish teaching, are identical. But in the general education of mankind culture comes earlier….Therefore Jews, too, are to attach themselves to, and love all good and true culture and by the ways and manner of their behavior and demeanour appear as educated people and show that being Jew is only a higher state of being a man."

Rav Hirsch, Genesis 3:24, Judaica Press


  1. Back in Hirsch's day, finding good and true culture was probably a bit less of a challenge than today. I like that you include Beethoven in your blog. I would enjoy seeing some other "kosher" culture as well. Thanks!

  2. Not even a comparison. Even 40 years ago the challenge was way less difficult. Today, actually, it's nearly impossible to find good culture without bringing in schmutz. I just came back from the museum so I speak from experience.