Friday, October 20, 2006

Nice things said about Jews, pt 9

There, in the Mediterranean lands, life, liberty, morality, science and art begin their higher development. There we find first and foremost the children of Israel, a people still mocked by the nations and, in some countries, treated as outcasts. Yet they were the benefactors of us all. ...

In Asia, in the legends and traditions of the Chinese, Hindus, and Persians, individual heroes emerge as abstractions, as mythical beings endowed with superhuman powers and properties. They appear and disappear like glittering but empty phantasies. How different is the story of the Hebrew! ...

Here we come to the scene of original beauty, where mortal man communicated directly with God and his angels and where yet those with the highest gifts, an Abraham, a Moses, a David, an Isaiah, remain firmly rooted in the ground of reality. Here we find, for the first time in history, personality endowed with divine rights, the full majesty of the human figure and of a moral world. ...
-- Ernst Moritz Arndt, Versuch in vergleicher Völkergeschichte, 1843, in Joseph L. Baron, Stars and Sand: Jewish Notes by non-Jewish Notables, 1943

1 comment:

  1. Great reads: considering one largely sees anti-semetic diabtribes in the media online or in print; these excerpts are refreshing.


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