I often find that music has a way of transporting me back in time. I’ll hear a song on the radio, a line from a song lyric, or even a niggun and I instantly return to a point in my past when at I associate with that music. I’m sure most people are like that. Rarely will I read something after a long period of time and get that same feeling. Yesterday was one of those times, though.
Dr. Yitzchok Levine, with permission from Jewish Action, sent an email out with a link to an old Jewish Action article from the summer of 1989 titled “The Forgotten Humanism of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch” by Rabbi Mayer Schiller. As I reread it yesterday I was brought back to reading it right before I had gradutated public high school.
I had read The Nineteen Letters in 1987 when I became Torah observant, but this was the first time I had actually read anything written about Rav Hirsch. Rabbi Schiller’s article discusses Rav Hirsch’s view of our relations with non-Jews and the purpose of Golus. The article opened my eyes to a bigger view of Rav Hirsch’s teachings, as well what the role of Jew should be in the world at large. As a teen with very few Jewish friends in my city, I found comfort, strength, and purpose in this article. Now, almost 20 years later, that feeling is back.
Dr. Levine has given me permission to post the link to this important article available here. (Posted with permission from the summer 1989 issue of Jewish Action, the magazine of the Orthodox Union.)
In addition, Dr. Levine has a fascinating collection of article posted online regarding Torah Im Derech Eretz and Rav Hirsch available here, as well. His site and email list is a great resource.