The Jewish approach to learning seems to have been ingrained very early and very deeply.
Hectaeus, a Greek geographer 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 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 nice statement about our people.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz