Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do Jews need to be religious to consider themselves Jews? Is religion the defining element of Jewish identity?
- If Jews are not a religion, then what is Judaism?
- How can you prove that todays Jews are real Jews - descendants of the original Jews and heirs to the Land of Israel, and not just converts from the lands in which they lived during the last few centuries?
- What about the Khazars? I heard about this Kingdom between the Black and Caspian seas who converted to Judaism. Aren't modern Jews descended from them?
- If Jews share common ancestry, why don't they all look the same?
- If they are all related, why don't they have genetic problems like when brothers and sisters or cousins marry and have kids?
- One gets the impression from Arab and pro-Arab media reports that Jews are a people prone to violence without provocation. Is there a Jewish tendancy for violence?
- If you raise a non-Jewish child as a Jew, will that person be Jewish? Isn't Jewishness just another culture or religion that one can learn?
- Does everyone hate the Jews?
- What are some of the greatest threats to the Jewish community?
Do Jews need to be religious to consider themselves Jews? Is religion the defining element of Jewish identity?
- ...if a Jew doesn't believe in G-d or the Bible, eats treif and on Shabbat
goes to theater, is he or she is still a Jew? Of course. Those who
observe and those who are non-observant of Torah laws may all consider
... The big lie that Orthodox Jews do not view the non-Orthodox as Jewish has been repeated so often it becomes a false fact. Yet no Orthodox organization or leader has ever suggested that halachic status as a Jew is a function of one's level of belief or observance. Until the last 200 years, Jews maintained a remarkable degree of unity despite their dispersion over the globe without a land of their own. This unity was possible by their common law.
- Gail Winston
Director, MEIR, Mid East Information Resource
Jew: this is a term derived from a geo-political designation; Jews are identified with the
country of Judea and its nation; this indicates ethnic and national identity rather than
just belief or practice.
- Prof. S. Daniel Breslauer, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas
If Jews are not a religion, then what is Judaism?
- Judaism is first and foremost, of course, a religion, even if it
is something else besides. ...However, to reduce Judaism to [only] a
religion, as the anti-Zionists try to do for political motives is to
mutilate it. [It is also a] ...Tradition ...community ...a people ...a
culture ...civilization ...national ideology... a commitment to humanism.
Other religions transfer their absolute values into the personal or collective hereafter (if not into death itself). But the Old Testament contains no trace of any explicit belief in the afterlife. The Jew is responsible here and now. If he fails, there will be neither punishment nor rehabilitation in a life to come. All he knows - if he believes - is that the mission he has to accomplish in this life adds to the sacred character of the latter. The same in the last resort applies to even the most secularized Jew.
...Sow the seed, plant the tree. Behave as though your task has to be completed and well completed, as though the tree must bear only the most splendid fruit. If the tree languish because of drought, if it be damaged by hail, look after it. If destroyed by fire or swept away by flood, or if it give poisoned fruit, plant another. Ceaselessly begin again, renew, pursue the daily round, the common task. And with no belief in reward. Not merely because good action is its own reward, but because it is the bearer of hope.
...For Judaism, there is no millennium, and it is almost certain that there will be no paradise for me. The future is not to be sought in the stars or in any form of revelation; it is that which cannot by nature be revealed. In the darkness through which we stumble, one spark will cast no light, but millions of sparks perhaps might. I therefore have to make my contribution, however modest.
...Judaism is above all else a code of ethics around which is built up a faith, not the other way round. It is so saturated with ethical considerations that nobody can be sure of absolution from his sins and failings, and nobody can absolve someone else. Even God cannot absolve. "A fault committed with regard to God can be pardoned only by God; one involving an offence to man is not a matter for God's pardon." (E. Levinas) The dead do not rise to pardon the living.
- Jacques Givet, "The Anti-Zionist Complex"
- Whatever he may do - close his ears, swear that he hears nothing - the words: "I Am That I Am" remain imprinted on his soul. He has received a message. He can do what he likes with it. But he is a Jew by virtue of that message and of what he intends to do with it.
- Francois Fejto, Dieu et son Juif ("God and His Jew"), Grasset, Paris
How can you prove that todays Jews are real Jews - descendants of the original Jews and heirs to the Land of Israel, and not just converts from the lands in which they lived during the last few centuries?
- "Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish
populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. The results
support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa
and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that
most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities
during and after the Diaspora."
- M.F. Hammer, Proc. Nat'l Academy of Science, May 9, 2000
- In addition to oral tradition and copious historical evidence, the genetic evidence stands firmly behind the common ancestry of both Ashkenazim and Sephardim in the Near East, and against any non-Jewish origin for either of these groups. Below are a collection of scientific journal articles including abstracts available worldwide on Pubmed and Medline.
Jewish and middle eastern non-jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes.
Hammer MF, Redd AJ, Wood ET, Bonner MR, Jarjanazi H, Karafet T, Santachiara-Benerecetti S, Oppenheim A, Jobling MA, Jenkins T, Ostrer H, Bonne-Tamir B
Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolution, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; Department of Genetics, Universita degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia 27100, Italy; Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
[Medline record in process]
Haplotypes constructed from Y-chromosome markers were used to trace the paternal origins of the Jewish Diaspora. A set of 18 biallelic polymorphisms was genotyped in 1,371 males from 29 populations, including 7 Jewish (Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian) and 16 non-Jewish groups from similar geographic locations. The Jewish populations were characterized by a diverse set of 13 haplotypes that were also present in non-Jewish populations from Africa, Asia, and Europe. A series of analyses was performed to address whether modern Jewish Y-chromosome diversity derives mainly from a common Middle Eastern source population or from admixture with neighboring non-Jewish populations during and after the Diaspora. Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. Admixture estimates suggested low levels of European Y-chromosome gene flow into Ashkenazi and Roman Jewish communities. A multidimensional scaling plot placed six of the seven Jewish populations in a relatively tight cluster that was interspersed with Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations, including Palestinians and Syrians. Pairwise differentiation tests further indicated that these Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations were not statistically different. The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.
PMID: 10801975, UI: 20300976
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2000 Jun 6;97(12):6769-74
The common, Near-Eastern origin of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews supported by Y-chromosome similarity.
Santachiara Benerecetti AS, Semino O, Passarino G, Torroni A, Brdicka R, Fellous M, Modiano G
Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare, Universita della Calabria, Cosenza, Italy.
About 80 Sephardim, 80 Ashkenazim and 100 Czechoslovaks were examined for the Y-specific RFLPs revealed by the probes p12f2 and p49a,f on TaqI DNA digests. The aim of the study was to investigate the origin of the Ashkenazi gene pool through the analysis of markers which, having an exclusively holoandric transmission, are useful to estimate paternal gene flow. The comparison of the two groups of Jews with each other and with Czechoslovaks (which have been taken as a representative source of foreign Y-chromosomes for Ashkenazim) shows a great similarity between Sephardim and Ashkenazim who are very different from Czechoslovaks. On the other hand both groups of Jews appear to be closely related to Lebanese. A preliminary evaluation suggests that the contribution of foreign males to the Ashkenazi gene pool has been very low (1% or less per generation).
Ann Hum Genet 1993 Jan;57 ( Pt 1):55-64
PMID: 8101437, UI: 93325982
- Molecular analysis of HLA-B27 haplotypes in
Caucasoids. Frequencies of B27-Cw in Jewish and Spanish
Gonzalez-Roces S, Brautbar C, Pena M, Dominguez O, Coto E, Alvarez V, Segal R, Lopez-Larrea C
Department of Immunology, Hospital Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.
PCR in combination with SSO probes was used to analyze the polymorphism in exons 2 and 3 of HLA-B27 subtypes and HLA-C-related alleles in two genetically distant Caucasian groups: Spanish and Jewish populations. AS patients and healthy B27 donors from both populations were analyzed in order to ascertain B27-Cw haplotypes. Three different ancestral haplotypes were found to be represented in both populations: B*2705/Cw*0102, B*2705/Cw*02022, and B*2702/Cw*02022. The B*2705 (92.5%) was the most frequent allele found in the Spanish population, carried by B*2705/Cw*0102 (60.9%) and B2705/Cw*02022 (30.4%) haplotypes. In contrast, B*2702 (59.4%) was the most prevalent allele found in the Jewish population and was carried by the B*2702/Cw*02022 (63.3%) haplotype. No different allelic and haplotypic distributions were among healthy and AS patients in either Spanish or Jewish populations. The differences found in the distribution of B27 haplotypes among Spanish and Jewish Caucasian populations are consistent with the genetic distance of these ethnic groups. When the Jewish population was subdivided into Ashkenazi (A) and non-Ashkenazi (NA) groups, no significant differences were observed in the distribution of B*2702/Cw*02022 haplotype. Minor differences were observed in the underrepresented B*2705 haplotypes. The present results reflect the ancestral affinities of A and NA Jewish populations. A possible HLA-B27 evolutive pathway in Caucasians is proposed according to the data available for the B27/Cw ancestral haplotypes in Spanish and Jewish groups.
Hum Immunol 1994 Oct;41(2):127-34
PMID: 7860357, UI: 95164258
mtDNA polymorphism in two communities of Jews.
Tikochinski Y, Ritte U, Gross SR, Prager EM, Wilson AC
Department of Genetics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Twenty-one types of mtDNA were found in a survey of 39 Israeli Jews, of whom 18 were Sephardic and 21 Ashkenazic. The survey was made with six restriction enzymes that together recognize an average of 600 bp/genome. The differences among the types appear to be due to base substitution at 19 cleavage sites, one deletion, and one conformational mutation. The numbers of differences imply that these modern Jews stem from a minimum of 21 maternal lineages that were already distinct from one another 4,000-5,000 years ago. In three of the four cases where a type was found in more than one person, it occurred in both Ashkenazic and Sephardic populations. The diversity of types in the combined sample of two Jewish populations is lower than both that in a sample from various parts of Africa and that in asample from various parts of East Asia. Nevertheless, it is as high as that in a sample from diverse parts of New Guinea, an area much larger than that in Israel to which the Jewish population traces back.
Am J Hum Genet 1991 Jan;48(1):129-36
PMID: 1670749, UI: 91090099
- Molecular analysis of HLA class II polymorphisms among different ethnic groups in Israel.
Amar A, Kwon OJ, Motro U, Witt CS, Bonne-Tamir B, Gabison R, Brautbar C
Tissue Typing Unit, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Organization, Jerusalem, Israel.
The Jewish population in Israel comprises of inhabitants of heterogeneous ethnic backgrounds. Genetic studies classify the Israeli Jewish population into two major groups: Ashkenazi from Central and Eastern Europe and Sephardic or non Ashkenazi, from the Mediterranean and North Africa. The present study was aimed at elucidating the differential influx of HLA class II alleles in Ashkenazi, in various non-Ashkenazi subgroups and in Israeli Moslem Arabs. Using the PCR-SSOP technique, a large number of alleles were detected at each of the loci examined (DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1). In addition, gene frequencies, characteristic DR/DQ linkage disequilibria, population distance and their corresponding dendogram, were used to study the relationship between Israelis as a group, non Jewish Caucasians and Blacks. These populations could be grouped into three main clusters: the first consists of all the Israeli groups with the exception of the Ethiopian Jews; the second consists of non Jewish Caucasians, with a clear distinction seen between Israelis and non Jewish Europeans and U.S. Caucasians; the third, composed of Blacks, is distinctly different from the other populations. Ethiopian Jews were found to be closer to the Blacks than to any of the Israeli Jewish groups. We have shown that Jews share common features, a fact that points to a common ancestry. A certain degree of admixture with their pre-immigration neighbors exists despite the cultural and religious constraints against intermarriage.
Hum Immunol 1999 Aug;60(8):723-30
PMID: 10439318, UI: 99368173
- Y-chromosome-specific haplotypes of Jews detected by probes 49f and 49a.
Lucotte G, David F
Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology, (CEABH), Paris, France.
A sample of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews has been studied with respect to haplotypes at the 49f-49a Y-specific DNA probes. Only seven haplotypes were found in Jews, three of them (VII, VIII, and XI) being the most widespread. Haplotype distribution in the European non-Jewish population is different.
PMID: 1398615, UI: 93013714
Hum Biol 1992 Oct;64(5):757-61
Population genetic studies on Jews. I. The alpha 2HS serum glycoprotein, a polymorphism strongly correlated with latitude.
Domenici R, Spinetti I, Bargagna M, Morpurgo GP, Levi M, Bar-Shanny S, Modiano G
Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale Infettiva e Pubblica, Universita di Pisa, Italy.
A sample of Jews subdivided according to the birth-place of their parents or grand-parents have been examined for a large number of genetic markers in the course of a long-term project on the genetics of Jews. We report here the findings concerning 794 Jews studied for the AHSG polymorphism. All the subsamples were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. A highly significant difference was found between Sephardic + Near East Jews and Ashkenazi (AHSG*2 frequencies: 0.184 +/- 0.015 and 0.258 +/- 0.016, respectively). For comparative purposes the data available on Caucasoids have been considered. It turned out that they were neatly arranged along a latitude-AHSG gene frequency cline (0.0092 of AHSG*2 gene frequency increase per degree of increase of latitude) in the explored 30 degrees-60 degrees range (r = 0.97; P much less than 0.001). Of the two Jewish frequencies that could be taken into consideration because of their sufficient sizes, that of the Near East + Sephardic Jews was perfectly in line with the above mentioned cline, while that of the Ashkenazi was somewhat displaced in the sense of being more similar than expected to the other, more southern, Jewish group. Since the only AHSG*2 frequency significantly displaced from the regression line is that of the Ashkenazi, whose ancestors lived until centuries ago in more southern areas, this finding is a strong confirmation of the observed cline.
PMID: 2101257, UI: 91322046
Gene Geogr 1990 Aug;4(2):99-111
- HLA DR and DQ polymorphism in Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews: comparison with other Mediterraneans.
Martinez-Laso J, Gazit E, Gomez-Casado E, Morales P, Martinez-Quiles N, Alvarez M, Martin-Villa JM, Fernandez V, Arnaiz-Villena A
Department of Immunology, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.
HLA-DR and DQ alleles have been detected by DNA typing in Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews from Israel. Allele frequencies, characteristic DR/DQ linkage disequilibria, population distances and their corresponding dendrogram by using the Neighbor-Joining method were used to study relatedness between Jewish and other Mediterranean and non Mediterranean populations. Closest relatedness is observed between Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews, and, in decreasing order, also with Algerians, Spaniards (including Spanish-Basques), French and Italians. Also, particular characteristic Central European alleles are observed in Ashkenazi Jews and Mediterranean/African alleles in non-Ashkenazi Jews. This is consistent with historical data, Jews being an ancient Mediterranean population, who have had a certain degree of admixture with their 2000-3000 years old neighbors in spite of cultural and religious traditions which have preserved identity outside Israel.
PMID: 8929714, UI: 97083140
Tissue Antigens 1996 Jan;47(1):63-71
- The above abstracts were compiled from Entrez-PubMed.
What about the Khazars? I heard about this Kingdom between the Black and Caspian seas who converted to Judaism. Aren't modern Jews descended from them?
Many anti-Semites complain that modern Jews are not the Biblical Jews but are descended from the Khazars. The Khazars converted to Judaism and thus modern day Jews, it is claimed, are imposters who have no claim on the Land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael.
WHO WERE THE KHAZARS?
The Khazars were a confederation of Turkish tribes who established a major commercial empire in the second half of the 6th century. As a trading nation, they were faced with a dilemma; tile Christians would not trade freely with Muslim nations, and the Muslim nations would not trade freely with the Christian nations. The Khazars did not want to be recognized as being more partial to one faith than the other. Therefore, around 740 C.E., King Bulan adopted Judaism, and thus, as a "neutral" people, the Khazars could trade more freely with both the Christian and Muslim nations that bordered Khazaria.
Their Judaism - limited no doubt in any case to a comparitively small group (only the king, his attendants and the Khazars of his kind) - was always superficial and they were liable to relapse into paganism. They became what could best be called Judaized Turks. Religious toleration was maintained for the Kingdom's 300 years, with clear traces of Christianity being found among them for the whole historical period. The predominating element in the country were the Muslims, and they formed the royal army(3). In the 10th century, "probably in 965, Khazar leaders appealed to a neighbouring Islamic state for help against invasion but were told that the price of assistance was Khazaria's conversion to Islam. According to Muslim historians the kingdom that had embraced Judaism around 740 suddenly abandoned it less than two and a half centuries later. But this did not save them and by the end of the eleventh century the Khazar empire was no more."(1) There are persistent references to the Khazars as Muslims after A.D. 965(3).
To encourage their own people, Jewish writers have tended to exaggerate the importance of the Khazar conversions to Judaism, leaving out unpalatable facts. The smallest group among the Khazars were the Jews, most of them being Muslims and Christians. The king and his court were Jews for much of their 300 years history and because religious toleration was maintained many persecuted Jews fled there. The fact is that rather than convince themselves by the 10th century that they were Jews descended from Abraham, they found it expedient to convert to Islam.
On the linguistic side, well known Turcologist, A.N.Poliak, regards the Karaite Jews in Poland and the Crimea as the principal present-day representatives of the ancient Khazars, (Karaitism is a minor sect of Judaism quite distinct from mainstream Judaisni) and 'investigations have tended to establish the absence of western influences in Yiddish, though on the other hand affinities with German dialects of the east and south-east have been indicated.'(3)
From the thirteenth century there came a great movement across the face of Europe, which was to continue for the next four centuries, to the hospitable lands of Poland and Lithuania.(5)' 'For long generations, therefore, Poland continued to appear in the light of a land of promise for the Jews of northern Europe, and to receive a perpetual accession of new settlers - refugees escaping from massacre, young men seeking opportunity, merchants from as far afield as Italy or the Balkans. In 1500, the number of Jews in the country is estimated to have been only 50,000 souls; a century and a half later, it had risen to half a million. ...so from the beginning of the sixteenth century the overwhelming mass if Askenazic Jewry, the remants of the communities of medieval england and France and Germany with others from further afield - became concentrated in Poland and the surrounding Slavonic territories. It is from them that the majority of the Jews in the world today are descended." (4).
- modified from Did Modern Jews Descend from the Khazers? by David S. Maddison, www.hatewatch.org
(1) Abba Eban, (1984). Heritage, Civilisation and the Jews
(2) Martin Gilbert, (1969). Jewish History Atlas
(3) D.M. Dunlop, (1987). The History of the Jewish Khazars
(4) Cecil Roth, (1970). A History of the Jews
(5) Chaim Bermant, (1977). The Jews
(13) David J. Goldberg and John D. Rayner, (1987). The Jewish People,Their History and Their Religion.
If Jews share common ancestry, why don't they all look the same?
- Do all cousins look the same? No? They are just 2 generations apart. Jews were last united in a their common homeland perhaps 80 generations ago.
If they are all related, why don't they have genetic problems like when brothers and sisters or cousins marry and have kids?
- The popular term for this concept is 'inbreeding'. It is caused by a reduction in genetic variation due to population bottleneck, genetic drift, or strong selection pressures. Examples of inbred animals include racehorses and showdogs. Among humans, Jews have the dubious honor of being the single most studied ethnicity in terms of genetic problems. This is a product of the Diaspora experience, and one reason why Jews from all the 100 nations of the Diaspora should find Jewish mates not from their own Diaspora lands.
One gets the impression from Arab and pro-Arab media reports that Jews are a people prone to violence without provocation. Is there a Jewish tendancy for violence?
- "The Jews are the mildest of men, passionately hostile to
violence. That obstinate sweetness which they conserve in the midst of
the most atrocious persecution, that sense of justice and of reason
which they put up as their sole defense against a hostile, brutal, and
unjust society, is perhaps the best part of the message they bring to
us and the true mark of their greatness."
- Jean-Paul Sartre, in his 1946 Reflexions sur la question juive
- "one could not believe one word [of the massacres alleged by the
biblical narrator to have been perpetrated by the Hebrews upon the
tribes of Canaan, for] their numerous servitudes rendered them far
removed . . . from the warrior's life of the Arabs and their
glorification of carnage.
- Jules Michelet, La Bible de l'humanité (Paris, 1864)
- "[the Jews] are full of pity for the poor fools who pass their
life cutting each other into pieces, instead of enjoying the pleasures
of a peaceful life as they do."
- Ernest Renan, History of the People of Israel, 5 vols. (Boston, 1905; France, 1887-1903)
- "many Jews no doubt serve in the great continental armies with
honour, [but] the Jew is naturally a pacific being, hating violence
and recoiling with a peculiar horror from blood."
- W. E. H. Lecky, Israel Among the Nations reprinted in his Historical and Political Essays (London, 1908)
- "I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons."
If you raise a non-Jewish child as a Jew, will that person be Jewish? Isn't Jewishness just another culture or religion that one can learn?
- Under Jewish law, a child's religion depends on the religion of
the birth parents. If a birth mother is Jewish, the baby is Jewish.
...A child who is not born Jewish does not become Jewish merely by
being adopted into a Jewish family and raised as a Jew.
- by Robyn A. Friedman, Judaism's Views on Adoption, Atlanta Parent, Nov. 1998
Does everyone hate the Jews?
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of
the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in
the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard
of; but he is heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other
people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of
proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the
world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music,
finance, medicine . . . are also way out of proportion to the weakness
of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all
the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be
vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian
and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendour, then
faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman
followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have
sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and
they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all beat
them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no
infirmities of age, no weakening of parts, no slowing of his energies,
no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but
the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of
- Mark Twain, Concerning the Jews, 1899
- US. Presidents on Jews:
I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation. (Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson)Warren Harding:
It is impossible for one who has studied at all the services of the Hebrew people to avoid the faith that they will one day be restored to their historic national home and there enter on a new and yet greater phase of their contribution to the advance of humanity.Calvin Coolidge:
The Jews themselves, of whom a considerable number were already scattered throughout the colonies, were true to the teachings of their prophets. The Jewish faith is predominantly the faith of liberty.
- from JSource
"The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other
nation. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a
bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the
affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern."
- John Adams, second president of the United States
- "[the Jews are] a nation of philosophers."
- Theophrastus, Aristotle's successor at the Lyceum
- "For of all mankind these were the
first and sole people who from the very first foundation of social life devoted their thought to rational
- Eusebius, the Christian Historian, circa 300 CE
- "In the infancy of civilization, when
our island was as savage as New Guinea, when letters and arts were still unknown in Athens, when scarcely a
thatched hut stood on what was afterwards the site of Rome, this condemned people had their fenced cities and
cedar palaces, their splendid temple,... their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and soldiers,
their natural philosophers, their historians and poets."
- Thomas B. Macaulay, Brittish historian and statesman
- "Wherever the Jews have attained to influence, they have taught to
analyze more subtly, to argue more acutely, to write more clearly and purely: it has always been their problem to
bring people 'raison.'"
- Friedrich Nietzsche in The Joyful Wisdom
- "In the Jewish 'Old Testament,' the book of
divine justice, there are human beings, things, and speeches in so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature
have nothing to compare with it. With terror and reverence one stands before these tremendous remnants of what
man once was, and will have sad thoughts about ancient Asia and its protruding little peninsula Europe, which
wants by all means to signify as against Asia the 'progress of man.'"
- Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil
- "The Jew is the pioneer of liberty. The Jew is the pioneer of
civilization. The Jew is the emblem of eternity."
- Leo Tolstoy
What are some of the greatest threats to the Jewish community?
- "If I had the money, I would pay to send every
American child to a Conservative or Reform Sunday school,
or an afternoon Hebrew school, because it has proven to be the greatest
turnoff of Jewish life."
- Moses Rosenfeld, one of the leaders at the 'Jews for Jesus' movement, said this because after their Sunday and Hebrew school experience, these Jews are easy prey for the 'Jews for Jesus' missionaries. Source: Rabbi Schur - Intermarriage and the Jewish Way of Life
- How does one teach Jewish children that at a certain historical
juncture their people were considered bacilli and eradicated like so
much vermin? Can such a page of history be ingested without lacerating
the Jewish self-image? No child willingly accepts membership in a
community that has seemingly lost so radically. It is better to be the
hero in history.
- Simon Wiesenthal Center Multi media Learning Center Online
- RELATED SECTIONS:
Israel, Galut Mentality, Self-Hating Jews, Dhimma, The Stockholm Syndrome, Jerusalem, Antisemitism, Antizionism, Automorphism, Palestinians, The Golden Age, Fear, Holocaust, Peace Now, Leftists, Jonathan Pollard, Demographics, Chosenness, Jewish Settlers, Race
- WWW RESOURCES:
- BOOKS & PRINTED MATERIAL:
- The Routledge Atlas of Jewish History, by Martin Gilbert
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- A Historical Atlas of the Jewish People: From the Time of the Patriarchs to the Present, by Eli Barnavi
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Israel and the Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple, by Frederick Fyvie Bruce, David F. Payne
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- The Jewish Contribution to the Modern World, by Joe King
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- The Jewish Contribution to the 20th Century, by Alan Symons
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Jewish Contributions to Civilization: An Estimate, by Joseph Jacobs
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- A History of the Jews, by Paul M. Johnson
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Jews, God and History, by Max I. Dimont
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- The Israelites, by B. S. J. Isserlin
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel, by William G. Dever
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Jews of Arab Lands a History and Source Book, by Norman Stillman
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Jews and the American Soul: Human Nature in the Twentieth Century, by Andrew R. Heinze
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, by Dennis Prager, Joseph Telushkin
[VIEW BOOK HERE]
- The Routledge Atlas of Jewish History, by Martin Gilbert