30 March 2015

Ha, look at what I just found in Rav Hirsch

Describing a man met on a boat.

“...He was one of those people who, as their life's treasure, carry an ideal in their heart and would not let it be robbed by the sophistication and tension of a desperate time, who would not let themselves be deprived of their faith in the present, of the possibility of a better present. Because of their ideals, these same people carry an immeasurable pain in their breast, because it is clear to them in every situation what it could be like, what it should be like, and what profoundly grievous contrast the ideal presents to what the situation really is. Unknown, ignored and lonesome, they walk this earth. Nobody suspects the pain and nobody suspects the bliss that lies in their warmly beating hearts. Narrow-minded pity shrugs its shoulders about the kind-hearted romantic who does not know how to fit into today's situation. 'Look here, look at the fools of the past,' the clever people of the present say. And they do not know how precisely those that they call the fools of the past are truly men of the future.”

Vol. VIII, p. 677.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Feldheim Publishers.
(Thank you, yay Feldheim, everyone support this great publishing company, no they didn’t ask me to say that.)

1 comment:

  1. In case any other sentimentalists are secretly wondering: this was not Ruskin. For one thing, the rest of the description does not sound like him. But just to put a cap on it, this essay is from an 1855 Jeschurun and Ruskin did not leave England all that year. So you are free to imagine with pleasure just how many 19th century people – and how many in our own time – meet this description.

    (Many thanks to ---- for the date and source. This is not why I asked for it.)