The Jews

     Jewish Ideals

     The  pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of
justice, and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of
the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.

     Those who are raging to-day against the ideals of reason and individual
liberty  and are trying to establish  a  spiritless State-slavery  by  brute
force rightly see in us their irreconcilable  foes. History has  given  us a
difficult row to hoe; but so long  as  we remain devoted servants of  truth,
justice, and liberty,  we shall continue not merely to survive as the oldest
of  living  peoples,  but  by creative work  to  bring  forth  fruits  which
contribute to the ennoblement of the human race, as heretofore.

     Is there a Jewish Point of View?

     In  the philosophical sense there  is, in  my  opinion, no specifically
Jewish outlook. Judaism seems to me  to be concerned almost exclusively with
the moral  attitude in life and to life. I look upon it as the essence of an
attitude to life which is  incarnate  in the Jewish people  rather  than the
essence of the laws laid down in the Thora and interpreted in the Talmud. To
me, the Thora and the Talmud are  merely the most important evidence for the
manner in which the Jewish conception of life held sway in earlier times.

     The essence of  that conception seems to  me to  lie in an  affirmative
attitude to the life of all creation. The life of the individual has meaning
only in so far as it aids  in  making the life of every  living thing nobler
and more beautiful. Life is sacred--that is to say, it is the supreme value,
to  which  all   other   values  are  subordinate.  The   hallowing  of  the
supra-individual  life brings  in  its  train  a  reverence  for  everything
spiritual--a particularly characteristic feature of the Jewish tradition.

     Judaism  is  not  a  creed:  the  Jewish  God is simply  a  negation of
superstition, an imaginary result of its elimination. It is also  an attempt
to base the moral law on fear,  a regrettable and discreditable attempt. Yet
it seems to me that the strong moral tradition of the Jewish nation has to a
large  extent  shaken  itself  free  from this  fear. It  is clear also that
"serving God" was equated with "serving the living." The best of the  Jewish
people, especially the Prophets and Jesus, contended tirelessly for this.

     Judaism is thus no  transcendental  religion; it is concerned with life
as we live it and can up to a point grasp it, and nothing  else. It seems to
me, therefore, doubtful whether it can be called a religion in  the accepted
sense of the word, particularly as no "faith" but the sanctification of life
in a supra-personal sense is demanded of the Jew.

     But  the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which
finds  splendid  expression  in  many  of  the  Psalms--namely,  a  sort  of
intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur  of this world,  of
which,  man can just form  a faint notion. It is the feeling from which true
scientific research  draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to
find  expression  in the song of birds. To tack this on to the idea  of  God
seems mere childish absurdity.

     Is what I have  described a distinguishing mark of Judaism? Is it to be
found anywhere else under another name? In its pure  form, nowhere, not even
in  Judaism,  where the  pure doctrine  is  obscured by much worship of  the
letter.  Yet  Judaism  seems  to  me  one of its  purest and  most  vigorous
manifestations. This applies  particularly to the  fundamental principle  of
the sanctification of life.

     It is characteristic  that the animals were expressly  included in  the
command  to keep holy the Sabbath day,  so  strong was the  feeling that the
ideal demands  the solidarity of  all living  things. The  insistence on the
solidarity of all human beings finds still stronger expression, apd it is no
mere  chance  that  the demands  of  Socialism were for the most part  first
raised by Jews.

     How strongly developed this sense of  the sanctity  of  life is in  the
Jewish  people  is admirably  illustrated by a little  remark  which  Walter
Rathenau once made to me in conversation: "When  a Jew says that  he's going
hunting to amuse himself, he lies." The Jewish sense of the sanctity of life
could not be more simply expressed.

     Jewish Youth

     An Answer to a Questionnaire

     It is important that the young should be induced to take an interest in
Jewish questions and  difficulties, and  you deserve  gratitude for devoting
yourself to this task in your paper.  This is of moment not  merely  for the
destiny of  the Jews, whose welfare  depends  on their sticking together and
helping each other,  but, over and above that,  for  the cultivation of  the
international  spirit,   which  is  in  danger  everywhere  to-day   from  a
narrow-minded nationalism.  Here, since the days of the Prophets, one of the
fairest fields of activity has lain open to  our  nation, scattered as it is
over the earth and united only by a common tradition.

     Addresses on Reconstruction in Palestine

     Ten years  ago,  when I first had  the  pleasure  of addressing  you on
behalf of  the Zionist cause, almost all our  hopes were  still fixed on the
future. To-day we  can look back on  these  ten years with joy; for  in that
time  the united energies of the Jewish people have  accomplished a splendid
piece of successful constructive work in Palestine, which  certainly exceeds
anything that we dared to hope then.

     We have also successfully stood the severe test to which  the events of
the last few  years have subjected us.  Ceaseless work, supported by a noble
purpose, is leading slowly  but surely to success. The latest pronouncements
of  the  British Government  indicate a return to a  juster  judgment of our
case; this we recognize with gratitude.

     But we must never forget what this  crisis has taught  us--namely, that
the  establishment of  satisfactory relations between the Jews and the Arabs
is not  England's  affair but  ours.  We--that  is  to  say,  the  Arabs and
ourselves--have  got  to  agree  on  the  main  outlines  of an advantageous
partnership which  shall satisfy the needs of both nations. A  just solution
of this problem and one worthy  of both nations is an  end no less important
and  no less  worthy  of  our efforts  than the  promotion  of  the  work of
construction itself. Remember that  Switzerland represents a higher stage of
political  development than  any  national state,  precisely  because of the
greater political problems which had to be solved before a  stable community
could be built up out of groups of different nationality.

     Much remains to be done, but one  at least of Herzl's  aims has already
been  realized:  its  task in  Palestine  has  given the  Jewish  people  an
astonishing degree of solidarity  and the optimism without which no organism
can lead a healthy life.

     Anything  we may do for the common purpose is  done  not merely for our
brothers in Palestine, but for the well-being and honour of the whole Jewish

     We are assembled to-day for the purpose of calling  to mind our age-old
community,  its  destiny,  and  its problems.  It is  a  community  of moral
tradition, which  has  always shown its strength and  vitality  in  times of
stress.  In all ages it has produced men  who embodied the conscience of the
Western world, defenders of human dignity and justice.

     So long as we ourselves care about this community  it  will continue to
exist to  the benefit of  mankind, in spite of the fact that it possesses no
self-contained organization. A decade or two ago a group of far-sighted men,
among whom Herzl of  immortal memory  stood out  above the rest, came to the
conclusion that  we needed a spiritual centre in crder to preserve our sense
of  solidarity  in difficult times. Thus  arose the idea of Zionism  and the
work of settlement in Palestine, the successful realization of which we have
been permitted to witness, at least in its highly promising beginnings.

     I have had  the privilege of seeing,  to my great joy and satisfaction,
how much  this  achievement has  contributed to  the recovery  of the Jewish
people,  which  is exposed, as a minority among the nations,  not  merely to
external dangers, but also to internal ones of a psychological nature.

     The  crisis which the work of construction has had  to face in the last
few years has lain heavy upon us and is not  yet completely  surmounted. But
the  most recent  reports  show that the  world, and especially the  British
Government, is disposed to recognize the great  things which lie  behind our
struggle  for the  Zionist  ideal.  Let  us  at  this  moment remember  with
gratitude our leader Weizmann, whose zeal and circumspection have helped the
good cause to success.

     The difficulties we have  been through  have  also brought some good in
their  train.  They  have shown us once more  how  strong the  bond is which
unites  the Jews  of all  countries in a common destiny. The crisis has also
purified our attitude to the  question  of Palestine, purged it of the dross
of  nationalism. It has  been clearly proclaimed that we are not seeking  to
create a political society, but  that our aim is, in accordance with the old
tradition of Jewry, a  cultural  one  in the  widest sense of the word. That
being so, it is for us to solve the  problem of living side by side with our
brother the Arab in an open,  generous, and worthy manner.  We  have here an
opportunity of showing what we have learnt in  the thousands of years of our
martyrdom. If we choose the right path we shall succeed and give the rest of
the world a fine example.

     Whatever we do for Palestine we do it for the  honour and well-being of
the whole Jewish people.

     I am delighted to have the opportunity of addressing a few words to the
youth of this  country which is faithful to the common aims of Jewry. Do not
be  discouraged  by  the difficulties  which confront us in  Palestine. Such
things serve to test the will to live of our community.

     Certain  proceedings  and pronouncements of the  English administration
have  been  justly criticized. We must  not, however, leave  it at that  but
learn by experience.

     We need  to  pay great  attention  to  our relations with the Arabs. By
cultivating  these  carefully we shall  be able in  future to prevent things
from becoming so dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them
to provoke acts  of hostility.  This  goal  is  perfectly within  our reach,
because our work of construction has been, and must continue to be,  carried
out in  such a manner as to serve the real interests  of the Arab population

     In  this way we shall be able to avoid getting ourselves quite so often
into the position, disagreeable for  Jews and Arabs alike, of having to call
in the  mandatory  Power as arbitrator.  We shall thereby  be  following not
merely the dictates of Providence but also our traditions,  which alone give
the Jewish community meaning and stability.

     For that community is not, and must never become, a political one; this
is the  only permanent  source whence it can draw new strength  and the only
ground on which its existence can be justified.

     For the last  two thousand years  the  common  property  of  the Jewish
people has consisted entirely of its  past.  Scattered over the  wide world,
our  nation  possessed  nothing  in  common  except  its  carefully  guarded
tradition. Individual Jews no doubt produced great work, but it seemed as if
the Jewish  people as a whole had not the strength left for great collective

     Now all that is changed. History has set  us a great and noble  task in
the shape of  active cooperation in the building  up  of  Palestine. Eminent
members  of  our  race  are  already at  work  with all their  might on  the
realization of this aim. The  opportunity is presented to us  of  setting up
centres  of civilization  which  the whole Jewish  people can regard  as its
work. We nurse the hope of erecting in Palestine a home of  our own national
culture which shall  help to  awaken  the  near  East to  new  economic  and
spiritual life.

     The object which the leaders of Zionism have in view is not a political
but a social and cultural one. The community  in Palestine must approach the
social ideal of our forefathers as it is laid down in the Bible, and at  the
same time become a seat  of modern intellectual life, a spiritual centre for
the  Jews  of  the  whole   world.  In  accordance  with  this  notion,  the
establishment  of a  Jewish university in  Jerusalem constitutes one  of the
most important aims of the Zionist organization.

     During the last  few months I have  been to America in order to help to
raise the  material basis for this  university  there. The success  of  this
enterprise was quite natural.  Thanks to the  untiring  energy and  splendid
self-sacrificing  spirit of the Jewish doctors in America, we have succeeded
in  collecting enough money for  the creation of  a medical faculty, and the
preliminary work isbeing started at once. After this success I have no doubt
that the material basis for the other  faculties  will  soon be forthcoming.
The medical faculty is first of all to be developed as a research  institute
and  to concentrate on making the country healthy, a most important  item in
the  work  of development.  Teaching on  a  large  scale  will  only  become
important later on. As a number of highly  competent scientific workers have
already signified their readiness to take up appointments at the university,
the establishment of a  medical faculty seems to be placed beyond all doubt.
I may add that a special fund for the university, entirely distinct from the
general  fund  for the  development of the country, has been opened. For the
latter considerable sums have been collected during these months in America,
thanks to the indefatigable labours of Professor Weizmann and  other Zionist
leaders, chiefly through the self-sacrificing spirit of the middle  classes.
I conclude with  a warm appeal to the Jews in Germany to contribute all they
can, in spite of  the present economic difficulties, for the  building up of
the  Jewish home  in Palestine. This is  not  a matter  of charity,  but  an
enterprise which concerns all Jews and the success of which promises to be a
source of the highest satisfaction to all.

     For us  Jews Palestine is not just a charitable or colonial enterprise,
but a problem of central importance for  the Jewish people. Palestine is not
primarily a  place  of  refuge  for  the  Jews of  Eastern  Europe,  but the
embodiment of the re-awakening corporate spirit  of the whole Jewish nation.
Is  it  the right  moment  for  this corporate  sense  to  be  awakened  and
strengthened? This is a question to which I feel compelled, not merely by my
spontaneous feelings  but  on  rational grounds, to  return  an  unqualified

     Let us  just  cast  our eyes over the history  of  the Jews in  Germany
during the past  hundred  years. A  century  ago our forefathers,  with  few
exceptions,  lived in  the ghetto. They were poor, without political rights,
separated from the Gentiles by a barrier  of religious traditions, habits of
life, and legal restrictions; their  intellectual development was restricted
to their  own  literature, and  they had  remained almost unaffected  by the
mighty advance  of the European intellect  which dates from the Renaissance.
And yet these obscure, humble people had one great advantage over us each of
them belonged in  every  fibre of  his being to a community  m  which he was
completely absorbed, in which he  felt himself a fully pnvileged member, and
which demanded nothing of him that was contrary  to  his natural  habits  of
thought.  Our  forefathers  in  those  days  were   pretty  poor   specimens
intellectually  and  physically,  but  socially  speaking  they  enjoyed  an
enviable spiritual equilibrium.

     Then   came  emancipation,   which  suddenly   opened  up  undreamed-of
possibilities  to the  individual.  Some  few rapidly  made  a position  for
themselves in  the higher walks of business and social life.  They  greedily
lapped  up  the  splendid triumphs which the art and science of the  Western
world  had  achieved.  They joined in the  process with burning  enthusiasm,
themselves making contributions  of  lasting  value. At the same  time  they
imitated  the external forms  of Gentile life,  departed more and  more from
their religious and social traditions, and adopted Gentile customs, manners,
and habits of thought. It seemed as though they were completely losing their
identity in the superior numbers and more  highly  organized  culture of the
nations among whom they  lived, so that in a few generations there  would be
no  trace  of them left. A complete disappearance of  Jewish nationality  in
Central and Western Europe seemed inevitable.

     But events turned out  otherwise. Nationalities of  different race seem
to  have an instinct which prevents them from  fusing. However much the Jews
adapted  themselves, in language, manners, and to a great extent even in the
forms of religion,  to  the  European  peoples  among whom  they  lived, the
feeling of strangeness  between the Jews  and their hosts never disappeared.
This spontaneous feeling  is the  ultimate  cause of anti-Semitism, which is
therefore not to be got rid  of by  well-meaning  propaganda.  Nationalities
want to pursue their own path, not to blend. A satisfactory state of affairs
can be brought about only by mutual toleration and respect.

     The  first step  in that direction is  that  we  Jews should  once more
become  conscious   of  our  existence  as  a  nationality  and  regain  the
self-respect  that is  necessary to a healthy existence. We  must learn once
more to  glory  in  our ancestors and our history and once  again take  upon
ourselves, as  a nation, cultural tasks of a sort  calculated to  strengthen
our  sense of the community.  It is  not enough  for us  to play a  part  as
individuals  in  the cultural development of the human  race, we  must  also
tackle tasks which only nations as a whole can perform. Only so can the Jews
regain social health.

     It is from this point of view that I would have you look at the Zionist
movement. To-day  history  has assigned to  us the task of  taking an active
part  in  the  economic  and  cultural reconstruction  of our  native  land.
Enthusiasts,  men  of  brilliant  gifts, have  cleared  the  way,  and  many
excellent members of our race are prepared  to devote themselves  heart  and
soul  to  the cause.  May every one  of them fully realize the importance of
this work and contribute, according to his powers, to its success!

     The Jewish Community

     A speech in London

     Ladies and Gentlemen,

     It  is  no easy matter  for me to overcome my natural inclination  to a
life of  quiet contemplation. But I could not remain deaf  to the appeal  of
the O.R.T. and  O.Z.E. societies;[Jewish charitable associations.]
 for in responding to  it I am responding,
as it were, to the appeal of our sorely oppressed Jewish nation.

     The position of our scattered Jewish community is a moral barometer for
the political world. For what surer index of political  morality and respect
for justice  can there  be  than  the  attitude  of  the nations  towards  a
defenceless minority, whose  peculiarity lies  in their preservation  of  an
ancient cultural tradition?


     This  barometer is low at the present moment, as we are painfully aware
from the way we are treated. But it is this very lowness that confirms me in
the conviction  that  it  is  our  duty  to  preserve  and  consolidate  our
community. Embedded in the tradition of the Jewish people there is a love of
justice and reason which must continue to work  for the good  of all nations
now and in the future.  In modern times this  tradition has produced Spinoza
and Karl Marx.

     Those who would preserve the  spirit  must also  look after the body to
which it is attached. The O.Z.E. society literally looks after the bodies of
our people. In Eastern Europe it is working day and night to help our people
there, on whom  the economic depression has fallen particularly  heavily, to
keep body and soul together; while the O.R.T.  society is  trying to get rid
of a severe social and  economic handicap under which the Jews have laboured
since the  Middle Ages.  Because  we were  then  excluded from  all directly
productive occupations, we were forced into the purely commercial ones.  The
only way  of really helping  the  Jew in  Eastern  countries is to  give him
access to new fields of  activity, for which he  is  struggling all over the
world.  This is the grave  problem which the  O.R.T. society is successfully

     It is to you English fellow-Jews that we  now appeal to help us in this
great  enterprise which splendid men have  set  on foot. The last few years,
nay,  the last few  days, have brought us a disappointment which  must  have
touched you  in particular nearly. Do not gird at  fate,  but rather look on
these events as  a  reason for remaining  true to the  cause  of  the Jewish
commonwealth. I am  convinced that in doing that we shall also indirectly be
promoting those general  human ends which  we must always  recognize  as the

     Remember  that  difficulties and obstacles are  a  valuable  source  of
health  and  strength  to  any  society.  We should  not  have  survived for
thousands of years as a community if our bed had been of roses; of that I am
quite sure.

     But we  have a still  fairer consolation.  Our  friends are not exactly
numerous,  but  among  them  are men of noble  spirit  and strong  sense  of
justice,  who  have  devoted  their  lives  to  uplifting human  society and
liberating the individual from degrading oppression.

     We are  happy and fortunate  to have such  men from the  Gentile  world
among us to-night; their presence lends an added solemnity to this memorable
evening. It gives me great pleasure to see before  me Bernard Shaw and H. G.
Wells, to whose view of life I am particularly attracted.

     You,  Mr. Shaw, have  succeeded in winning  the  affection  and  joyous
admiration of the world while pursuing a path that has led  many others to a
martyr's crown. You have not merely preached moral sermons to your  fellows;
you have actually mocked at things which many of them held  sacred. You have
done what only the born artist can do. From your magic box you have produced
innumerable little figures which, while resembling human beings, are compact
not of flesh and blood, but of brains, wit, and charm. And yet in a way they
are more human than we are ourselves, and one almost  forgets  that they are
creations not of Nature, but of Bernard Shaw. You make these charming little
figures dance in  a miniature  world  in  front  of which  the  Graces stand
sentinel  and permit no  bitterness to  enter.  He who has  looked into this
little world sees  our  actual world in a  new light;  its puppets insinuate
themselves into real people, making them suddenly  look quite different.  By
thus holding the mirror up to us all you  have had a liberating effect on us
such as  hardly any other  of our  contemporaries has done and have relieved
life of something of its earth-bound heaviness. For this we are all devoutly
grateful  to you, and also to  fate,  which along with  grievous plagues has
also given us the physician and liberator of our souls. I personally am also
grateful to you for  the unforgettable words which you have addressed to  my
mythical namesake who makes life so difficult for me, although he is really,
for all his clumsy, formidable size, quite a harmless fellow.

     To you all I say that  the  existence and destiny  of our people depend
less on external factors than on ourselves  remaining faithful to the  moral
traditions  which  have enabled us to survive for thousands of years despite
the heavy storms  that  have broken over our heads. In the  service  of life
sacrifice becomes grace.

     Working Palestine

     Among Zionist organizations "Working Palestine" is the  one  whose work
is of most  direct  benefit  to the most  valuable  class  of people  living
there--namely,   those   who  are  transforming  deserts   into  flourishing
settlements  by the labour of their hands.  These  workers are a  selection,
made on a  voluntary basis, from the whole Jewish nation,  an ?lite composed
of strong,  confident, and unselfish people. They are not ignorant labourers
who sell  the labour of  their hands  to  the highest bidder,  but educated,
intellectually  vigorous, free  men, from  whose  peaceful  struggle  with a
neglected  soil  the whole Jewish  nation  are  the  gainers,  directly  and
indirectly. By  lightening  their  heavy lot as far  as we can we  shall  be
saving  the  most  valuable  sort  of human  life;  for  the first settlers'
struggle  on ground not  yet  made habitable  is a difficult  and  dangerous
business involving  a heavy personal sacrifice. How true this is, only  they
can judge who have seen it with their own eyes. Anyone who helps to  improve
the equipment of these men is helping on the good work at a crucial point.

     It is, moreover, this working class  alone  that has it in its power to
establish  healthy relations with the Arabs,  which is  the  most  important
political  task of  Zionism. Administrations  come and  go;  but it is human
relations that finally turn the scale in the lives of  nations. Therefore to
support  "Working Palestine" is  at  the same  time to  promote a humane and
worthy  policy in Palestine, and to  oppose an effective resistance to those
undercurrents  of narrow  nationalism from which the  whole political world,
and  in  a  less degree  the small  political world of Palestine affairs, is

     Jewish Recovery

     I gladly accede to your paper's request that I should address an appeal
to the Jews of Hungary on behalf of Keren Hajessod.

     The  greatest  enemies of the national consciousness and honour of  the
Jews  are fatty degeneration--by which I  mean the  unconscionableness which
comes  from  wealth  and  ease--and  a  kind  of  inner  dependence  on  the
surrounding Gentile  world which comes from  the loosening of  the fabric of
Jewish society. The best in man can flourish only when he loses himself in a
community. Hence the moral danger of the Jew who has lost touch with his own
people and is regarded as  a foreigner by the people of his  adoption.  Only
too  often  a  contemptible  and  joyless  egoism  has  resulted  from  such
circumstances. The  weight of  outward oppression on  the  Jewish  people is
particularly heavy at the moment. But this very bitterness has done us good.
A revival of Jewish national life, such as the last  generation could  never
have  dreamed of, has begun. Through the operation of a newly awakened sense
of solidarity among the Jews, the scheme of colonizing Palestine launched by
a  handful  of  devoted  and  judicious leaders  in the  face of  apparently
insuperable difficulties, has already prospered so far that I feel  no doubt
about its permanent success.  The  value of  this achievement  for  the Jews
everywhere  is  very  great. Palestine will be a centre of  culture  for all
Jews, a refuge for the most grievously oppressed, a field of action for  the
best among us, a  unifying ideal, and a means of attaining inward health for
the Jews of the whole world.

     Anti-Semitism and Academic Youth

     So long as  we lived in the  ghetto our Jewish nationality involved for
us material  difficulties  and sometimes  physical danger, but no social  or
psychological problems. With emancipation the position changed, particularly
for those Jews who turned to the intellectual professions.  In school and at
the university the young Jew is exposed to the influence of a society with a
definite  national tinge,  which he  respects  and  admires,  from  which he
receives his  mental sustenance, to which he  feels himself to belong, while
it,  on the other hand, treats him, as one of  an alien race, with a certain
contempt  and   hostility.  Driven  by  the  suggestive  influence  of  this
psychological  superiority  rather  than  by utilitarian considerations,  he
turns his back on his  people  and his  traditions, and considers himself as
belonging entirely to the  others while  he  tries  in vain to  conceal from
himself and them the  fact that  the relation  is not reciprocal. Hence that
pathetic creature, the baptized Jewish Geheimrat of yesterday and to-day. In
most cases it  is  not pushfulness and lack of character  that have made him
what he is, but,  as I have  said, the suggestive  power of  an  environment
superior in numbers and influence. He knows, of course,  that many admirable
sons of the Jewish people have made important contributions to the glory  of
European civilization; but have  they not all, with  a  few exceptions, done
much the same as he?

     In  this case,  as in many mental disorders, the cure  lies  in a clear
knowledge  of one's condition  and its causes. We  must  be conscious of our
alien race and draw the logical conclusions from it. It is no  use trying to
convince the others  of our spiritual and intellectual equality by arguments
addressed to  the reason, when  their attitude does  not originate  in their
intellects at all. Rather  must we emancipate ourselves socially  and supply
our social needs, in the main, ourselves. We  must  have  our own  students'
societies and adopt an attitude of courteous but  consistent reserve  to the
Gentiles.  And let us live after our own fashion  there and not ape duelling
and drinking customs which are foreign to our nature. It is possible to be a
civilized European  and a good citizen  and at the  same time a faithful Jew
who loves his race and  honours his fathers.  If  we remember  this  and act
accordingly,  the problem  of anti-Semitism, in so  far as it is of a social
nature, is solved for us.

     A Letter to Professor Dr. Hellpach, Minister of State

     Dear Herr Hellpach,

     I have read your article on Zionism and the Zurich Congress and
     feel, as a strong devotee of the Zionist idea, that I must answer
     you, even if it is only shortly.

     The Jews are a community bound together by ties of blood and
     tradition, and not of religion only: the attitude of the rest of the
     world towards them is sufficient proof of this. When I came to
     Germany fifteen years ago I discovered for the first time that I
     was a Jew, and I owe this discovery more to Gentiles than Jews.

     The tragedy of the Jews is that they are people of a definite
     historical type, who lack the support of a community to keep
     them together. The result is a want of solid foundations in the
     individual which amounts in its extremer forms to moral
     instability. I realized that the only possible salvation for the race
     was that every Jew in the world should become attached to a
     living society to which the individual rejoiced to belong and
     which enabled him to bear the hatred and the humiliations that he
     has to put up with from the rest of the world.

     I saw worthy Jews basely caricatured, and the sight made my
     heart bleed. I saw how schools, comic papers, and innumerable
     other forces of the Gentile majority undermined the confidence
     even of the best of my fellow-Jews, and felt that this could not
     be allowed to continue.

     Then I realized that only a common enterprise dear to the hearts
     of Jews all over the world could restore this people to health. It
     was a great achievement of Herzl's to have realized and
     proclaimed at the top of his voice that, the traditional attitude of
     the Jews being what it was, the establishment of a national home
     or, more accurately, a centre in Palestine, was a suitable object
     on which to concentrate our efforts.

     All this you call nationalism, and there is something in the
     accusation. But a communal purpose, without which we can
     neither live nor die in this hostile world, can always be called by
     that ugly name. In any case it is a nationalism whose aim is not
     power but dignity and health. If we did not have to live among
     intolerant, narrow-minded, and violent people, I should be the
     first to throw over all nationalism in favour of universal humanity.

     The objection that we Jews cannot be proper citizens of the
     German State, for example, if we want to be a "nation," is based
     on a misunderstanding of the nature of the State which springs
     from the intolerance of national majorities. Against that
     intolerance we shall never be safe, whether we call ourselves a
     "people" (or "nation") or not.

     I have put all this with brutal frankness for the sake of brevity,
     but I know from your writings that you are a man who attends to
     the sense, not the form.

Einstein, Albert (1879-1955).

Read more about Albert Einstein

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