The Assay of Mark Twain About the Jews

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by Ben Masada, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    The Essay of Mark Twain About the Jews.

    "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent 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, has always been 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, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

    He has made a marvellous fight in the 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 splendor, 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 his 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 his immortality?

    Mark Twain
     
  2. voice

    voice Interfaith Forums

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    In addition of other moral qualities ," Honour thy Father and thy Mother " is the precious gem to Jewish moral prosperity and secret of immortality
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    The essay of Mark Twains is still accurate today.

    The proportion of Jews as movers and shakers of our world is many times their numbers in this world. If you were to look at anything, lawyers, doctors, inventors, politicians, CEOs, top gov't officials, musicians, actors. nobel prize winners....any vocation that has a position to influence and change the world...you'll find 5-15% are Jews, not their 1-2% of the population.

    Samuel Clemens last portion of his essay asks why?

    I think the why is due to the nature of Jewish families, to the passsing on of tradition, to the insistence that the children study hard and make something of themselves. The infusion of the idea that you don't work for an hourly wage, you own a business, become and entrepreneur, work on commission, set goals, achieve goals....the constant reminder that you are the chosen ones...

    It isn't just one of these, but the entire package, the combination, the seder traditions, knowing when you deal with other Jews in business or life and collaborate that your mothers told you the same stories, that you have the same upbringing, there is power in that group...

    And that is why after being told year after year that you control your destiny, and that G!d is expecting you to make something of yourself, to make your family and your community and your G!d proud....that that all has incredible value and increases your liklihood to achieve....
     
  4. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I think we're getting a little gushy. I respect Jewish people, but let's not forget how they tend to keep to themselves. Its their choice, however it is a debit on their ledger sheet from an outsider's perspective. In attempting to 'Manifest' as Ben called it they often become intangible. I can't help but feel uninvited, like its a cold handshake. Also, they don't think of themselves as chosen. They think of themselves as called to be chosen but know they have to work to become chosen, which is different from being automatically chosen. If it were automatic then sign me up.

    Twain has some very good points. I think the world should not be so harsh with Jews. They're odd but that's no excuse for judging people and excluding them from honest employment, not to mention trying to kill them. Let us hope that the world softens. The way that groups get singled out and punished for being different is like a big sign to mankind that says "You are evil. Look at what you do." Its really awful, but I distance myself from it. I don't feel connected to such happenings, though everyone is.

    Jews aren't all that entrepreneurial. Many groups could be called entrepreneurial. The Hindus seem to get on well with it and are almost as old if not older. The Japanese invented single-price sales, umbrellas and modern advertising. They are quite an old group as well. Then there are the Nordics who have survived numerous conquerors, particularly the Lithuanians. Look at the Chinese. Lots of people are entrepreneurial.
     
  5. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    "So that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you." (Exo. 20:12) Yes, you are right.
    Ben
     
  6. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    That's great! I couldn't express it better myself.
    Ben
     
  7. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    With regards to the issue of being chosen, I look at it not in the sense that God has chosen us but that we have chosen God. As we have taken it too seriously, we have become known as God's chosen people. A whole Bible was written with that in the mind of the writers and the issue became canonized as the truth of the matter.
    Ben
     
  8. SilverLotus

    SilverLotus Proof Goddess Is Humor

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    As relates to Jews being the chosen people, the Jewish faith claims that because they believe their people were chosen by god to bring the concept of monotheism, or one god, to the attention of the world's people. Beginning with Abraham who either had a communication from god and was compelled to deliver his message to the world. Or, while polytheism was the norm during Abraham's time, perhaps he picked YHVH (The Tetragrammaton letters are named, Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh), aka (by conjecture) "Yahweh" , as the one god to worship and promote to the world's people as the only one worthy of reverence.

    In any case I think Mark Twain's glowing praise upon one people by no means is to be implied the Jewish faith is the only one and true faith. Nor is it to be inferred that, like unto other races of people, their histories, particular religious, are above reproach.
    Twain was being generous to a fault. One can only speculate as to why.

    None the less, Judaism and the Jews being one god's chosen people does not necessarily make it true. Especially since Judaism is not the first known religion on earth. Nor then is it's people the first to honor and worship a supreme being.

    So it is by mortal pronouncement, that "chosen" by a supreme being that, if omniscient, communicated itself as the one and only to one tribe of people, while creating an eclectic mix of others who would find their way to a faith system, or reject such trappings all together, is only a matter of faith. Spun as spiritual ideology and rhetoric from the first temple who's structure is fortified by ego; man.

    Just because the Jews pronounce it, (Chosen people) doesn't make it so. As is the case with any faith who claims theirs is the one and only true faith/true god. Because if there is only one, then no other faith anywhere in the contemporary or historic record, boasts a people who can/could have worshiped anything other than that one. By any name known, through any method of rite or ritual. Making then any and all religious conflicts, or so called holy wars, a matter of hubris and semantics.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    as ben alludes earlier, why not find out what we actually *mean* rather than quoting tired old chestnut polemics. we do *not* think "chosen" means "better". clear enough? it is "chosen to do what we do and be whatever we are", not "chosen to be #1".

    and, indeed, that is what we maintain. G!D Is G!D Is G!D, no matter what language is used to express this.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Funny, methinks I smell the historical remnants of the fires of the Rhineland. Outsiders (those who are not Jewish) really must get underneath the polemic curtain of "Chosen People". That is a myth, at least the way the Crusaders, Luther, the Cossacks, the Nazis interpreted it. Regardless of all of the vitriol and hatred poured their way the simple fact is that while we Christians (and others), per the Scripture need only meet the Noahide law to do good in the eyes of G!d, the Jew must follow the 614 mitzvot to do good in the eyes of G!d. I do not blame Tevia for wishing "Y!u should choose someone else".
     
  11. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    I would hate to be charged with being arrogant, but what do you say about the following text? Once, Jesus declared that the Truth is the Word of God. (John 17:17) When he said that, there was no NT. Therefore, he referred to the Tanach. Now, if you go to Psalm 147:19,20, the Psalmist declares that the Word of God was given to Israel only and to no other people on earth. Doesn't it imply that the truth is found with Israel, the Jewish People? Then, Isaiah says that when the nations want instruction in the Word of God, the address must be Zion and Jerusalem, where the Truth is supposed to come from. (Isa. 2:2,3) We know that Zion is a synonym for Israel, the Jewish People. If you can set asside the thought that I am being arrogant, how can you explain this text otherwise?
    Ben
     
  12. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    I believe that being chosen, constitutes rather a liability than a privilege. Jesus once said that salvation comes from the Jews. (John 4:22) After studying Isaiah 53 for some time, I came to the conclusion, that we would be better off by being on the receiving end of salvation than being the means to bring salvation to Mankind.
    Ben
     
  13. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Tevia was not alone in the expression of that apparent regret, so to speak. Many other Jews wish God could change His mind, if that could ever be possible. But it is too late now. Tradition has taken a stronghold in our mind only compared to the emotion of love. Even some former Jews who have adopted the beliefs of other religions, tenaciously insist on sticking to the Jewish tradition. TRADITION!!! as Tevia used to yell.

    But as I read above in this post of yours, you have added an extra commandment, as if 613 are not enough. Which one is it? Not that I am complaining. Jews love commandments.
    Ben
     
  14. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    "Thou shalt not make typos" :eek:
     
  15. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Never heard of it!
    Ben
     
  16. ilmawaqa

    ilmawaqa New Member

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    is polytheism wrong? Is monotheist better than poly ? How? and why ? If every one has god of his /her own , where the one god comes from ? Can peoples (better than what the jews did )make one G d by concess to universal truths ? Making Him more powerful , by moral and intellectual unity?
     
  17. ilmawaqa

    ilmawaqa New Member

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    this commandment literal and mystic interpret is highly recommended , to know the real secret of immortality of jews. Where is radarmark here is food for him, on mystic side of the commandment " honor thy father and mother ." By the way how could one nations be the 'light of the world ' without gods compromise ? If the god of jews is father the "other god (s ) is mother. If mother the 'other ' is father. Forewanske this has been told . . . Jehovah and his consort astarte been worshiped . I will talk about this later.
     
  18. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    oh, ffs, not this again. what you are talking about is not judaism, but the idolatry referred to from the book of joshua till the destruction of the first Temple. it certainly happened, but it isn't judaism. it is what judaism rejects.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  19. Yefet

    Yefet New Member

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    To me they are two sides of the same coin, basic human logic says that to honor ones earthy father and mother is the simplest of mitzvot ,they , your parents. created and sustained you not unlike all of creation which is why the same can be said of Zeir Anpin and Shechina,
    As it says “ In order that your days be long" Honoring both your physical and spiritual parents have merit of blessing and purpose. As you know according to Talmud, the et before the word for father should refer to Zeir Anpin and the et before the word for mother alludes to Nukva and honoring both is a way to increase divine consciousness in the world
     
  20. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Originally Posted by SilverLotus [​IMG]
    . . . were chosen by god to bring the concept of monotheism, or one god, to the attention of the world's people.

    "is polytheism wrong? Is monotheist better than poly ? How? and why ? If every one has god of his /her own , where the one god comes from ? Can peoples (better than what the jews did )make one G d by concess to universal truths ? Making Him more powerful , by moral and intellectual unity?"

    The one G!d awaits beyond each path, behind the windows of H!s many mansions. What many call "polytheist" are really just monotheist with many different wineskins, some old some new. G!d is universal truth (all the rest, arthmatic and logic are mere tautologies), and Sh! wears different clothes for each of us.

    "this commandment literal and mystic interpret is highly recommended , to know the real secret of immortality of jews. Where is radarmark here is food for him, on mystic side of the commandment " honor thy father and mother ." By the way how could one nations be the 'light of the world ' without gods compromise ? If the god of jews is father the "other god (s ) is mother. If mother the 'other ' is father. Forewanske this has been told . . . Jehovah and his consort astarte been worshiped . I will talk about this later."

    Fragmentation of the Divine is always tricky. G!d is beyond. Mother and Father. "The light unto nations" is about moral behavior. We people never do too well at that. Even our Religions are filled with hatred, bigotry, and jelousy for the most part. That is why I prefer religion. "Honor thy Mother and Father" is like Handsome Lake's "Seven Generations" law, it just continues the flow. The object in both is to honor others (including more than just your own parents or your own great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren).

    These statements are mythical and mystical (Right Hand and Heart), not meant to be scientifically discussed (Left Hand or Brain).
     

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