How has Judaism survived?

iBrian

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A curious question I consider periodically - how has Judaism managed to survive?

When you consider the extensive violence and dispossession endured...it always seemed amazing that Judaism actually survived as a religion.

Are there any real answers to the question? Or is the question a white elephant in itself?
 
well, the fact that we have survived in a more or less recognisable form not much changed from 2000 years ago and moved with the times as well is statistically so improbable as to be impossible. we simply don't obey the "rules of history". the religiously-minded tend to point out that this shows that we have been kept going for a Reason. our offshoots, christianity, islam and so on, have also required us as a reference point, although not always in a good way. however, i think i should note that the violence and dispossession occurred principally in christian europe. jews did extremely well in the islamic world and the orient, following the silk road all the way to china.

the other thing, of course, is the robustness of our religious system and its ability to evolve whilst remaining essentially conservative. our social model is also key; our stance on both intermarriage and conversion - if we had continued to evangelise we would probably have been diluted out of recognition and assimilated, likewise with intermarriage, because of the number of people involved being so small. frankly, a lot of the things people are always attacking us for (our independence and bloodymindedness about who we are and what we live and die for) are the things that preserve us.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
A curious question I consider periodically - how has Judaism managed to survive?

When you consider the extensive violence and dispossession endured...it always seemed amazing that Judaism actually survived as a religion.

Are there any real answers to the question? Or is the question a white elephant in itself?

Mark Twain has a good answer in his essay about the Jews:

THE ESSAY OF MARK TWAIN ABOUT THE JEWS

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way.

Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed suit, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it has burned out, and they sit either in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Mark Twain
 
Mark Twain was right....and is right... tis the tradition and stereoptypical Jewish parenting that keeps growing and working.... we aren't carpenters or trash collectors...you will get an education and own a business or be white collar.... the percentages of CPAs, CEOs, CFOs, Actors, Writers, Politicians, Lawyers, Lobbyists, Scientists, Doctors that are Jews far exceed the population averages... It seems however you need to stay a minority to keep that up... I imagine in Israel it isn't just Palestinians and Arabs doing all the labor.
 
Mark Twain was right....and is right... tis the tradition and stereoptypical Jewish parenting that keeps growing and working.... we aren't carpenters or trash collectors...you will get an education and own a business or be white collar.... the percentages of CPAs, CEOs, CFOs, Actors, Writers, Politicians, Lawyers, Lobbyists, Scientists, Doctors that are Jews far exceed the population averages... It seems however you need to stay a minority to keep that up... I imagine in Israel it isn't just Palestinians and Arabs doing all the labor.

The Israel of today is catching up with the same Philosophy of Mark Twain. Medical Doctors, especially Ophthalmologists are being exported throughout Africa, paid by the Israeli Government to recover the health of people suffering from cataract. Israelis have been the first to invent the anti-virus for computers.

They have also invented the desalinating machines to turn salty water into potable water ready to drink. A few other countries have bought those machines, especially Saudi-Arabia although not directly from Israel because they insist on staying put on their high horses. They put the requests but through America to give the impression that they are buying from America and not Israel.

Israel has also invented the solar energy to heat water during the winter so that energy be saved with the use of the sun. And many other inventions.

As Agriculture is concerned, in 1948, they came to a land of swamps and malaria and today, the desert is producing food and flowers to export almost throughout the world.

Their hospitals are healing almost all sort of cancers by the means of chemical and radiation therapy. That, I have verified personally in the Sheba hospital in Tel-Aviv.

Well, that's enough for now. Oh, btw, the last, which perhaps you have not heard yet is the inserting of a little computer under the skin of one's wrist which can be activated even while taking a bath in a tub of water or swimming anywhere else.
 
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