Rabbi Hillel The Elder Made Socialistic

Ancient History,Judaism & Jews,libertarianism,Morality,Socialism

As someone who’s fluent in Hebrew, educated in part in Israel at a time when kids learned their Hillel; I can tell the Jewish sage’s most famous quotation, on a presumably American quotation site, has been bowdlerized. The American version has been shortened and socialized.

Rabbi Hillel was a “Jewish scholar and theologian (30 BC – 9 AD).” His sayings always struck me as libertarian. Justice, after all, is libertarian.

Here’s the wrong Hillel a la America:

hillel

The correct Rabbi Hillel:

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, then when?

In Hebrew, it’s very musical:

hiller-corrected