Judaism Eternal: Selected Essays from the Writings of Samson Raphael Hirsch - Vol. 1

By I. Grunfeld; Samson Raphael Hirsch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III

KISLEV

1. The prayer for rain

2. Chanukah.

"ON the 13th of Kislev we begin to insert the prayer for rain in our devotions," reads the injunction in your calendar, "he who omits this supplication has to repeat his prayers." Linger for a moment over this injunction and take it to heart; for your own welfare and that of your children, take to heart the truth which this injunction offers you.

Is it not heartrending to think that mention of this calendar injunction has to-day1 become a touchstone and a test of your worth, a "shibboleth" for determining whether you are still sound, whether your inner being, your divine inner sanctuary is still unaffected and unharmed by the poisonous delusions with which the agents of spiritual death strive to undermine the life of the human soul?

Entreat God for rain--that is the bidding of this injunction. Entreat God for rain at the season of the rain; it is God who creates the cloud for nations, unto them he gives directions regarding the rain, even though it were for one single man, one single herb in the field. ( Cf. Zechariah 10. 1.)

Behold, this is the living faith of the Jew. He is not blind to the great forces, to the mighty laws which his Master, the Master of Nature, has implanted in the work of His creation. For him the universe is a world of Divine thoughts translated into actions. "Melachah,""malach," a message, a messenger of God is to him every being, every force, every law that controls beings and forces.

It is God's charge which all of these fulfil throughout creation, most of all at the point where man, groping like a blind mole, stupidly mutters, "it is the law of nature which causes them to function." It is precisely this law of nature itself which is

____________________
1
An allusion to the Reformers in Hirsch's days who wanted to do away with the "prayer for rain" in the Amida, as referring to the climatic condition of Palestine.

-20-

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Judaism Eternal: Selected Essays from the Writings of Samson Raphael Hirsch - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Samson Raphael Hirsch--The Man And His Mission xiii
  • Bibliography xlix
  • Part I - Reflections on The Jewish Calendar Year 1
  • Chapter II - Cheshvan 15
  • Chapter III - Kislev 20
  • Chapter IV - Tebeth 29
  • Chapter V - Shebat 35
  • Chapter VI Adar 47
  • Chapter VII - Nisan 57
  • Chapter IX - Sivan 88
  • Chapter X - Tammuz 117
  • Chapter XI - Av 126
  • Chapter XII - Elul Shofar and Selichoth 142
  • Part II - Jewish Education 153
  • Chapter XIV - Religious Instruction 160
  • Chapter XV - On the Place of Ethical Training in School Education 174
  • Chapter XVI - On Hebrew Instruction As Part of a General Education 188
  • Chapter XVII - The Relation of General To Specially Jewish Education 203
  • Part III - Educational Talks 221
  • Chapter XVIII - Educational Talks 223
  • Educational Talks 232
  • Index of Subjects 253
  • Index to Passages Cited 268
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