This article is written by my student, Michael Brunstein.
Anti-Semitism as a Natural Phenomenon
“554 cases of offense against the Jews were registered in 2013.”
“The majority of anti-Semitic incidents took place in France, Great Britain occupies second place, third place belongs to Canada, and the USA comes in fourth. A minimum of 15 politicians and well-known public leaders in various countries were forced to leave their positions because of their anti-Semitic statements.” (Reported by The Kantor Institute)
Mind-boggling events continue happening throughout the world. Particularly, we are deeply shocked because of the recent severe conflict between the Ukraine and Russia. Just a little while ago, this situation would seem much more unfeasible than the invasion of Earth by aliens. And yet, it is in fact going on as we speak.
The world’s mass media constantly comments on this situation. The main question they are discussing is: What is the reason for the mutual hatred between the two brotherly peoples? Confrontation between the two countries triggered brand-new terms such as “green men…” However, nobody has yet mentioned that the roots of this animosity are hidden in the supernatural.
At the same time, the world is overwhelmed by another round of hostility. It causes less social resonance, but for forty centuries, no clear explanation of the phenomenon has been found.
“The historical destiny of the Jewish people is a mystery. The mere survival of this nation is completely unexplainable from a rational point of view. Regular historical explanations prove that this nation should have ceased to exist a long time ago. No other nation in the world could have sustained such a fate.” (N. A. Berdyaev, Russian religious and political philosopher.)
Why Are the Jews Hated?
By who, why, and in what way are the Jews hated so much? It is a hopeless and unproductive topic. Everybody is tired of this discussion. The answers to these questions do not resolve the problem since they don’t address the main issue: What is the reason for the world’s animosity towards the Jews?
“It is common knowledge that the Holocaust and anti-Semitism happened because Hitler came to power. In fact, it is the other way around: Hitler came to power because there was anti-Semitism. He used anti-Semitism to make people love him.” (Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli politician and Prime Minister of Israel)
It’s time to acknowledge that the fact that the Jews are still alive speaks about some phenomena that are not random or natural like gravity or the wind. Our attitude to the Jews can differ, but the fact that there is a “special” attitude to them demonstrates that the Jews are a one of a kind phenomenon.
Let’s bring up a question: what is the main distinctiveness of the Jews? Is it just having numerous Nobel Prize laureates, musicians, bankers among them? Yes, the Jews are known for their achievements in these fields. It’s hard to argue with this fact. However, there are bankers, laureates, and even great chess-players that come from other ethnic backgrounds. So, the main secret must be hidden somewhere else.
Surprisingly their “terrible” secret doesn’t have to be unveiled since it is already open to everybody without exception, both to Jews and non-Jews.
This secret can be shared with everybody without triggering negative consequences. In order to reveal this secret, there is no need to go far away or pay a huge price for it, or obtain somebody’s permission. Everybody is supposed to know what the secret is about, and yet nobody understands it. It has no weight, but it’s hard to carry it. It is very attractive, but there are none willing to look at it. It is the most valuable thing on earth, but nobody wants to get it even for free. It is right in front of us, but we don’t believe it. We cannot give it as a gift, nor can it be accepted as a present.
And finally the most astonishing thing:
The Jews haven’t used this secret in a long time, but they continue paying for it. The payments are not straight or even, but they are made on a regular basis.
What kind of secret is it? Have you already guessed? It is about an idea that can be iterated in just five words: “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.”
The price for the secret it’s simple: it is called anti-Semitism.
Roots of Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism is not an accident or a whim. It emerged at the same time when the Jewish people and their father Abraham appeared.
The law “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” that is the foundation of the Jewish nation gave rise to the “mirror” law – anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitism is ‘a shadow’ of the Jewish people. I am a physicist; I know that any object lays a shadow. ‘The shadow’ that is linked to my people is anti-Semitism.” (Albert Einstein)
How are the ethical principle “love thy neighbor as thyself” and anti-Semitism connected?
Let’s explore this issue from a realistic platform. It’s very doubtful that there are people in the world (except complete idealists) who think that this ethical principle is consistent with human nature. Recent world events serve as a brilliant proof of this fact. They are unfolding as we speak. In essence, the world is caught in a deadlock.
Still, let’s imagine for a minute that somebody somehow managed to observe this principle. Then what happens? People will obtain hope that their entire life can be different. It is a major concept! They will become confident that treating others well is really possible. Violence and cruelty will be erased from the face of earth. All nations will live in peace and friendship; hunger and poverty will vanish…
But this is utopia, everyone will unanimously exclaim at this point, and they are right. Today, it is not possible, nor was it ever feasible in the past. And yet, there was one exception in the history of humanity: the people of Abraham.
Many times, the people of Abraham proved that it is possible to love their neighbors as themselves. Of course, this state of affairs didn’t last long; short periods of brotherly love were replaced by extended years of mutual animosity. However, if the state of loving our neighbors could last for one month or even one day throughout the millennia, it is worth giving up everything we ever had for that.
Because it is so unrealistic, humanity will never accept this burden onto its shoulders. The principle, which is impossible to follow, is laid in the very foundation of our civilization!
“Love thy neighbor as thyself,” the Golden Rule, in all Abrahamic religions, Confucianism, ancient philosophy and in a number of other world religions is the basic ethical principle.” (Wikipedia. Golden Rule of Morality – Ethic of Reciprocity)How is it connected with anti-Semitism? The explanation is very easy. The nations of the world need an example. It has to be a long-term example, not just a one-time case that took place in the remote past. Rather, humanity necessitates an ongoing model that works right now, in front of their eyes. It is not enough to just theoretically know that the principle “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” exists in order to be able to follow it. It is essential to have it in front of our eyes on a constant basis.Who can set this example for the rest of humanity? Those who brought this concept into the world. What if they don’t show this example? Does it mean that they don’t fulfill their duty? Their unawareness of how to achieve it is the cause of anti-Semitism.“Anti-Semitism is not a goal; it is a means. It is a measurement tool that weighs contradictions that are impossible to resolve otherwise.” (Vasily Grossman, Soviet writer and journalist)