31 March 2015

“Bring me that horizon!”; or, random thought of a Thursday

I really think that the odd little essay toward the end of Vol. VIII may be my favorite of Rav Hirsch's essays. One seldom gets to see much of the rav himself in his writings; this essay is an exception: there he is, leaning on a ship railing, looking at the stars.

Anyway, at one point in this essay (which meanders like Iyar itself) he observes that Torah may be sailed through any weather, under friendly colors (that is, it applies in every era, to all that is good and noble in contemporary culture, and should be presented as such).

In his time, contemporary culture meant romanticism and science.
In our time, contemporary culture means the sort of fragmented idealism that gives us such interesting things as organic vegan GMO-free “strawberry cupcake popcorn,” of which we just received three bags for Purim.

Strawberry cupcake popcorn?

Actually, I rather liked it; and I like the fragmented idealism behind it; and yes, I called the day the list came out to put my name down for a swath of the PDX airport carpet.

But I like history so much that there are days when the “friendly colors” I would be inclined to hoist while sailing through contemporary culture would be the stateless and idiosyncratic colors of a pirate.

...however, stateless and idiosyncratic pirates are a flourishing part of contemporary culture. So it's all good.

1 comment:

  1. Rav Hirsch once entered the election to appoint a chief rabbi of England. In the end nearly all the votes went to the candidate who had the Queen's endorsement.
    But it perked up the petty side of me that just after I posted this I found the results of that election, and one of the communities that stands out as having voted for Rav Hirsch was --- Penzance.