Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
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“Do not destroy anything” is the first and most general call of God. If you should now raise your hand to play a childish game, to indulge in a senseless rage, wishing to destroy that which you should only use, wishing to exterminate that which you should only exploit, if you should regard the beings beneath you as objects without rights, not perceiving God who created them, and therefore desire that they feel the might of your presumptuous mood, instead of using them only as a means of wise human activity – then God’s call proclaims to you, “Do not destroy anything! Be a mentsch!” [Translation from German]
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How does Rav Hirsch define destructive acts?

2. Does society today use God's creations only for means of wise human activity? How can we work to better emulate this ideal?

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Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)