Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Corporate World

"[Regarding Avraham being ordered to leave his homeland,  birthplace  and father's house]...It is certainly not meant to be belittleing of this factor if the planting of the first Jewish germ demanded forsaking fatherland, birth-place and the paternal home. It is rather just the appreciation of these factors wherin lies the greatness of the isolation demanded here. This demand itself placed Abraham in the completest contrast to the ruling tendency of his age. Not individualism, not recognition of the worth and importance of the individual, but centralization which makes men lose their personal value, and lower them to mere subordinate workers, mere bricks for the building of the fame of a supposed representation of the community, that was the tendency of the age, which under the slogan of "let us make a name for ourselves" began building the tower of the glory of Man. This tendency begot the erroneous conception of  a majority which has sway in every direction and in every case. So that finally everything is considered the highest by the majority, ipso facto becomes considered and honored as the highest by everybody. It is true of course that the majority of every community should be the representative of all that which is truly the highest and holiest; and it is in the presumption that such is the case, that Judaism, too, values attachment to the community as being supremely important. Nevertheless at the head of Judaism the words לך לך "go for yourself" stand as being higher still; nobody may say: I am as good, as honest, as everybody else is, as is the fashion here today. Everybody is responsible to G-d for himself. If necessary, alone - with G-d - when the principle worshipped by the majority is not the true godly one. this what was demanded from Abraham as the starting point of his and his future people's mission. Our very language teaches, as we have seen, in the word ארץ and בית how strong are the bonds that attach a person both; yet stronger than the bond that attaches us to fatherland and family should the bond be that attaches us to G-d. How could we have existed, how continue to exist, if we had not, from the very beginning received from Abraham the courage to be a minority!"

Rav Hirsch (Bereishis 12:1) in daattorah.blogspot

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