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Samson Raphael Hirsch

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Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808 –1888) was the Intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz School of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Hirsch’s philosophy, together with that of Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer, has had a considerable influence on the development of Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Hirsch was a pupil of Chacham Isaac Bernays, and the Torah education which he received, combined with his teacher's influence, led him to determine not to become a merchant, as his parents had desired, but to choose the rabbinical vocation. In furtherance of this plan he studied Talmud from 1823 to 1829 in Mannheim under Rabbi Yakov Ettlinger. Hirsch was rabbi in Oldenburg, Emden, was subsequently appointed chief rabbi of Moravia, and from 1851 until his death led the secessionist Orthodox community in Frankfurt am Main. He wrote a number of influential books, and for a number of years published the monthly journal Jeschurun, in which he outlined his philosophy of Judaism. He was a vocal opponent of Reform Judaism and similarly opposed early forms of Conservative Judaism. Most of Hirsch's writings have been translated into English and Hebrew by his descendants, starting with "Horeb" in the 1950s (by Dayan Isidore Grunfeld of London) and his Torah commentary in the 1960s (by his grandson Isaac Levi, also of London). The bulk of his Collected Writings, which had previously been published in German in 1902-12 under the title Nachalath Tzvi, were translated during the 1980s and 1990s in memory of his grandson Joseph Breuer.

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