Friday, September 21, 2007

Jewish joke

Spengler is telling jokes now.

[T]wo elderly Jews deep in conversation. One says, "Life is so painful, joy is so short, pain is so long, that we would be better off dead than alive!" The second Jew says, "You are right." The first adds, "Even better than to be dead would never to be born!" To which the second responds, "But who has such luck? Not one in ten thousand!"

The article in which this is quoted is about the unaccountable Jewish love of life, which is by no means the only unaccountable feature of this extraordinary people.


Hazar Nesimi said...

Surprising article. What I find is that many Jews are reluctant and even offended when the notions of their "special nature" in comparizon with other nations are discussed, and rightly so. For them, it is the other side of anti-semitism. Amongst themselves they may relish that idea, but discussing it with non-Jews breeds those uncomfortable feelings in those others.

NoolaBeulah said...

Yes, I quite understand that.

I would only defend it by saying that I'm not really referring to an ethnic group, but a culture; one, moreover, that many people who are genetically Jewish (if there is such a thing) play little part in. It is shorthand to use the word 'Jews' to mean 'Jewish culture as handed down the centuries', though perhaps a shorthand with an unfortunate history.

In my materialistic worldview, culture is a tool for survival. If something lasts, it must have value, whether I personally can see it or not. Generally, cultures have difficulty surviving radical changes in economic, political or geographical circumstances. Witness the collapse of so many aboriginal and tribal cultures when they come into contact with the modern world.

On that level, Jewish culture is a freak. Virtually nothing of the physical and social world in which it was created has lasted. Yet the culture has. Not only that, but it has played a part in the world far out of proportion to its numbers. It is a fact that is difficult to pass over without comment.