The Jewish approach to learning seems to have been ingrained very early and very deeply.
Hectaeus, a Greek geographer active during the reign of Alexander the Great, wrote about remote countries that were beginning to be known at the time.
He remarked that he had heard of an interesting people who lived to the south of Syria:
All of them were philosophers, that is, people who ask idle questions and are interested in wisdom for wisdom's sake.
That is a very nice statement about our people.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "Curious Jews," an esssay by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz