Weekend quote – Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

1st quote

Commentary on, ״Even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood״

‘Inclination, impulse, instinct’ – It is regrettable that, they translated ‘יֵצֶר’ as a passive force “- as if there is power that spurs men to do evil.

From this evolved the same desperate opinion, that is the foundation of great “religion”: The view of the power of evil that man is enslaved to and from it he will not be saved unless he holds a particular belief.

This way the mantle ׳יֵצֶר׳ or evil instinct became the rope that binds mankind.

This view is incorrect – the verb ׳יצר׳ stems from an active and creative process, not a passive one. It speaks not of the creator but of the created. And if we identify the root “create” with “energise” we reveal the meaning, not a passive force, but man’s vigorous active volition.

מתוך פירושו לתורה, ספר בראשית, תירגם לעברית: הרב מרדכי ברויאר, ירושלים, תשכ”ז, עמ’ פא. תרגום לאנגלית, המלרה״א

2nd quote

the neophite