Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leo Strauss on Assimilation

I really like this quote from Leo Strauss z"l on assimilation:

Assimilation proved to require internal enslavement as the price for external freedom. Or, to put it somewhat differently, assimilationism seemed to land the Jews into the bog of philistinism - of shallow satisfaction with the most unsatisfactory present - a most inglorious end for a people which had been led out of the house of bondage into the desert with careful avoidance of the land of the Philistines. To quote the words of the Torah (Exodus 13,17): When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though it was near. It is always near.
Progress or Return? Jewish Philosophy and Modernity, Essays in Modern Jewish Thought

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