This weekend I had the occasion to read some articles featuring the weekly Torah (Bible) portion, and I chanced upon a friend's article that contained a quote of a well known Rabbi. As I read the quote, two facts hit me. First, this quote dovetailed perfectly with my previous article, and the second observation I will give you after you read the quote. I looked up the complete quote for my own curiosity, and I am including it exactly as printed. Please read it carefully, and then I will give you my comments and observations. The quote is:
To inherit a home and to build a home - this encompasses a Jew's ethical vocation on earth. And, in truth, is it not also the foundation of all human welfare? Is it not the sine qua non for the hopes and perfection of all nations? If only this first page of the founding charter of God's nation were read in the conference halls and palaces where the fares and fortunes of nations are deliberated! If only this great "Magna Carta" were consulted wherever education and culture, peace and salvation of men and mankind are discussed. For the fate of men, their success or failure, is decided neither in the chambers of rulers nor on the battlefield. It is not decided in business concerns, in colleges and institutions of arts and sciences or in houses of worship. It is sealed only in one place, in the parental home. Conceive children in purity, see to it that every child, whether he is born in a palace or a hut, is welcomed and nurtured by the love of a mother and a father who have preserved their purity for parenthood, endeavor to facilitate and strengthen the establishment of a sanctified home - then the foundation for the welfare of the people will have been laid and the nation will be assured from the start that all its affairs, at every level, will be dealt with by men of pure hearts and undefiled hands. If one wishes the spirit of ethical integrity to permeate his society, then there is only one way: "build houses" (Jeremiah 29:5), for such a spirit can flourish only in the dedicated atmosphere of a home. There exists no substitute for the home, and if one is looking elsewhere for the source of peace and prosperity, he is searching in vain.
All of a nations politics and diplomacy, its theories of national economy and institutions for mass education, its trade and industry, its schools and community centers - none of these will save the people from extinction if they let the parental home become a parody. Are children born for the sake of the state's false concern instead of the warm love of parents? Does the census show ever-growing numbers of children without parents and parents without children? Does the nation's high society make a mockery of morality and modesty? If so, then all the palaces it is building are founded on quicksand.Wow! This Rabbi certainly has the grasp of the political atmosphere in America today. He is able to discern what it is that is gnawing at the fabric of today's society, and point with clarity at the solution for redemption.
But wait! Just who is this prescient Rabbi?
His name is Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, living in Germany circa the mid 1800's and died on December 31st, 1888. The quote you have just read, was not castigating the American society, but his criticism was aimed at the German society, and his co-religionists who were mesmerized by the modern ideas and ideals of their contemporaneous societal lifestyles. At a time when the German civilization was at its zenith, when society was evolving in a wordly manner beyond the Old Fashioned religious dictates, this Rabbi foresaw the obvious development and warned his followers of the dangers.
And how correct he was. It didn't take long before the modern German Liberalism spawned a Hitler who manipulated the newly accepted mores, and created a generation of willing monsters and their cheerleaders. The resultant World War devoured the lives of many millions and global society has yet to fully recover. Boy, am I glad that Rabbi Hirsch was talking about Germany and NOT America.
But wait!!! How exactly is our current version of America different from the pre-Hitler Germany? As you look around you it will become clear, that rampant Liberalism has pushed our country even further down the road toward an immoral, Godless, "anything goes" society, where the norms of a handful of years ago, such as close knit families, are jeered and derided by the Societal and Political Elites and their minions.
The similarities are astounding, but I will let you, my readers compile your own list of comparisons between today's America to Hitler's Germany. When you are done, I know you will find plenty more abominations that the Germans never thought of.
Would having a Rabbi like Samson Raphael Hirsch to warn us help? It didn't help most of the German Jews. God help us all.