Sunday, December 7, 2014

Unfair criticism

Along with the universal praises of Hirsch and the Frankfurt kehilla, one sometimes hears the criticism that the kehilla produced far less scholars than did Eastern Europe. The charge is a reflection of ignorance. The IRG at the time of Hirsch's passing numbered 400 families or around 2,000 people. That's the size of a single out of town congregation in the USA. And when R' Hirsch arrived there were just a handful. How many people were in Eastern Europe? There were at least 6 million. R' Hirsch's school started in 1853 with 84 students. In 1881 there were 600.  How can one draw any comparisons to or conclusions about Torah Im Derech Eretz with numbers as disparate as that?

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