Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, “The Nineteen Letters” (New York: Feldheim Publishers, 1995) pg. 56
1 א
Everything bestowed upon you – mind, body, fellow man, material goods, other creatures, every talent and every power – all are merely means to action, to further and to safeguard everything. With love and with justice! The earth was not created as a gift to you – you have been given to the earth, to treat it with respectful consideration, as God’s earth, and everything on it as God’s creation, as your fellow creature, to be respected, loved and helped to attain its purpose according to God’s will...Judaism, if properly understood and properly presented, unites all living things with a bond of love and justice.
2 ב

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How does one make the lofty ideas of this text concrete?

2. What does it mean to unite with others in a bond of love and justice? How do we do that in our daily lives?

3. According to this text, what is the purpose of our personal gifts and possessions? How can we best utilize them?

3 ג
Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)