The Jew through the Centuries

The Jew through the Centuries

The Jew through the Centuries

The Jew through the Centuries

Excerpt

One of the most interesting racial groups known to history is the Jewish people. They have been rightly called "the Burning Bush" of the centuries, ever burning, yet never consumed. Without a country, yet citizens of all lands; unhappy and undesired wherever they have gone, yet contributing everywhere to the welfare and prosperity of their adopted homes, they have been the migrant race beyond all others, the veritable "wandering Jews." For almost two and a half millenniums they have exhibited to the world the strange paradox of the utmost variety of experiences, distribution, speech, customs, complexion and social strata, and at the same time a singular coherence in racial sentiment and religious conviction. In their ranks they have included statesmen and councillors, all the way from Nehemiah to Disraeli, philosophers from the son of Sirach to Spinoza, scientists from Maimonides to Einstein, and philanthropists from Baron Hirsch to Nathan Straus and Julius Rosenwald.

They have furnished the world many of its merchant princes, its masters of commerce and its barons of the banking profession. In strange contrast among them are to be found in all ages the most desperately poor, pickers of rags, collectors and sellers of old bottles, and multitudes living on the fringes of the social order. No people has ever been at the same time so powerful and so disesteemed. Certain persistent racial traits have set the Jew apart as clever, resourceful, successful, pushful and clannish, and therefore as unde-

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