Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch - Alan Brill

Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch

In the discussion of Rabbi Grunfeld in a prior post, the contrasts with Rabbi Isaac Breuer were not immediately obvious to my readers. To further discussion, Rabbi Isaac Breuer wrote a 15 page essay on the importance of his grandfather Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.  (Jewish Leaders ed. Leo Jung, pp 163-177). The essay does not claim to be Breuer’s views but those of Hirsch.

Breuer paints Hirsch as a revolutionary great man directing history to move forward.  In fact, Breuer declares every great historical personality is a revolutionary figure. True Jewish revolutionaries do not rebel against God’s law but against the material social conditions, which have to be overthrown to change. The revolutionary masters the new conditions – and then break the mold in advance of the rest of his generation.  Other nations may rebel against their religion or law but the Jewish revolution keeps the law as eternal. The law is Divine, not the will of the people. Just as one cannot rebel against the laws of nature we cannot rebel against the Divine law.


Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch | The Book of Doctrines and Opinions: (

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