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Does anyone know if there is any historical record of Rabbi Hirsh's perspectives on Chassidism? The movement was obviously not very present where he was in Germany, but given that he was in contact with other rabbis throughout Europe and had definite strong opinions regarding the Reform and Zionist movements, I feel he must have had some perspectives on Chassidism. I know he touches briefly on his hesitant regard for Kabbala in general in his "19 Letters" but that's not exactly the same thing.

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    Air, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for this fascinating question! I hope you get great answers. In the mean time, I hope you check out some of our other content, perhaps starting with other samson-raphael-hirsch questions. I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Oct 5 '18 at 16:07
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    I just did a quick scan through the Klugman biography and through Shemesh Marpei, and found nothing on the subject. – yitznewton Dec 11 '18 at 14:41
  • The most likely place to get an answer to this question would seem to be from the pinkasim from Frankfurt de-Main from that time period. I believe they are available in the National Library of Israel. Volume 31 of Kiryat Sefer, pp. 507-516 lists a manuscript copy from the time. It is also listed in this book from Yakov Kopel Duschinski: דושינסקי, יעקב קאפל. "ספר מעשי בית דין דק"ק פראנקפורט דמיין יע"א משנת תקכט עד תקנט לפ"ק." הצופה לחכמת ישראל י )תרפו(: 106-115. – Yaacov Deane Nov 12 at 17:12
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Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch may have disagreed with the Hasidim, but they liked him and his teachings just the same. Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, 20th-century German rabbi, said this of Rabbi Hirsch:

The definition of a gadol be’Yisrael is one who is great in Torah and great in piety, one whose personal views and conduct are based exclusively on those twin pillars. Such a person is acknowledged as a peer by the other great men of his era. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch was revered by the Chassidic leaders of Galicia and by the rabbis of Lithuania. That his views did not accord with theirs was immaterial; his philosophy grew out of his G-d-fearing understanding of Torah, and therefore it was legitimate for him. So it was with Rabbi Salomon Breuer and so it was with Rabbi Joseph Breuer. Their greatness transcended community. They belonged to Klal Yisrael, so they were honored by Klal Yisrael, all of it.

  • Where [or when] did he say that please? – Dr. Shmuel Oct 30 at 23:46
  • @Dr.Shmuel : On the yahrtzeit of Rav Yoseph Breuer, here: matzav.com/… – Maurice Mizrahi Oct 30 at 23:49
  • @MauriceMizrahi Why do you begin your answer with, "Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch may have disagreed with the Hasidim"? If you have a source from Rabbi Hirsch for that comment, it would seem to be precisely what the OP is asking about. Quoting a 20th century Rabbi who says that Rabbi Hirsch was respected by both Chassidic and Lithuanian Jewish leaders doesn't really address what Rabbi Hirsch's views were toward Chassidut. – Yaacov Deane Nov 12 at 16:27

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