SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH , rabbi, statesman and philosopher, was indeed a rare phenomenon in our history. Whether we turn to him as a Biblical commentator who had a most original way of expounding the eternal message of the Torah, or as an educationist who founded the first orthodox Jewish Secondary School in Europe; as a statesman who, while a member of the Moravian Parliament, delivered immortal orations on the meaning of human freedom and the dignity of man; whether we look at him as the philosopher of Jewish Law who by his system of symbolism started a new school in the elucidation of the spirit of our observances
The universality of Samson Raphael Hirsch's mind, the range of his intellect and knowledge, the depth of his historic vision, the clarity of his Jewish conception are truly amazing, whilst the certainty and absoluteness of his religious convictions are awe-inspiring.
Great historic personalities who permanently influence the trend of the human mind can never be understood as mere individuals. They can be appreciated only in their historical setting. Such great men usually appear at points of historical transition, at crises of human civilisations.
Modern historians incline more and more to the view that world history is nothing other than the story of the relationship between Religion and Civilisation. This conception of the philosophy of history owes its main driving power to the writings of Arnold Toynbee, the outstanding historian of our time, especially to his famous "A Study of History". It is, however, in his epoch-making book "Civilisation on Trial" that Professor Toynbee makes a thorough analysis of the