Rabbi Marcus Lehmann (1831-1890)

Let us consider the history of other nations! First they are small and unimportant; they grow stronger and more powerful by perpetual warfare against their neighbours and other enemies; thus they become great, mighty and rich. Later on they stagnate and become the victims of other advancing nations. Israel, however, always remains in fighting trim; it never dares rest or sink into somnolence, for in every age new enemies arise who threaten it with destruction. But Israel’s methods of warfare are different from those of other peoples. Israel has neither an army nor a navy, neither guns nor other weapons – its sole defence depends on G-d’s help. If we abandon our sins and return to our Father in Heaven, our salvation is assured and our enemies will perish. This continuous fight and continuous salvation does not permit us to sink into sinfulness and depravity. Every Israelite feels himself a part of the whole, and knows that each Jew is made responsible for all others. (Commentary on the Passover Haggadah, p. 72)


Rabbinic Quotations