Welcome to the Beis Midrash, where TIDE is alive and well! I recommend you start with the blog's Inaugural Post by scrolling to the bottom.

Please differentiate between the great classic Torah Im Derech Eretz (TIDE) writings, and the blog's own writings, which are those of a novice student of TIDE.

Please consult your rabbi about anything you read here that you find controversial.

“There is a popular notion that, unlike Hasidism and Musar, which attempted to deepen the religious experience of the Jew, the Hirschian system aimed at merely preserving Judaism against the onslaught of Western culture. It is our conviction that this notion is erroneous. Study of R. Hirsch's writings and commentaries has been for many a most effective source of Musar, deepening our spiritual grasp of Judaism.”---Rabbi Shelomoh Danziger, last paragraph of http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/Clarification%20of%20RSRH_danziger.pdf

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inaugural Post

Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated! http://torahmusings.com/2008/06/end-of-tradition/ (I admit it: I've always wanted to use this line from Mark Twain.)

No matter that some who were brought up with Torah Im Derech Eretz (TIDE) found that the great R' Aharon Kotler zt"l's sublime vision was a better fit for their souls.

No matter that others who were brought up with TIDE are apathetic to it.

No matter that there currently is no rav who claims the title as spokesman for Hirschians.

No matter that we don't have nearly the number and size of the institutions that others have.

Rabbeinu Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch, zt"l, wrote again and again that TIDE is a timeless concept; it knows no boundaries of culture or place. It is the supremacy of Torah over all periods and circumstances, with no exceptions. It is the avoidance of "fighting the last war", i.e., of focusing only on building secluding walls higher and thicker in order to enforce an old derech eretz (cultural circumstance), in an age of increasingly faster, portable, and inconspicuous means of communications with outside ideas and knowledge. It is the confidence that comes with understanding how to use the Torah to navigate the prevailing culture as it is, and only seclude ourselves from that which we must.

To the extent that TIDE is not being practiced today, it is up to us to use all of our abilities and means to create a viable TIDE for the present, basing ourselves, of course, on the counsel of our rabbonim and on the TIDE writings of the past.

Thanks for dropping in on the Beis Midrash! If you and your rav decide that TIDE is for you, I hope you'll find a makom kavua (regular spot) here.


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