The Conspiracy

Jewish Accomplishments Praised by Brooks

Well, David Brooks’ op-ed piece in the New York Times today certainly made me feel special. “The Tel Aviv Cluster” discusses the extraordinary achievements of Jews in the past, particularly those in Israel. However, not only does it discuss the achievements of Jews, but it also discusses the potential of future Jewish generations.

Brooks mentions that Steven L. Pease’s book, “The Golden Age of Achievement,” says “the Jewish faith encourages a belief in progress and personal accountability.” As Jews have been persecuted so much in history, it is clear that they are pushed to be so goal-oriented to succeed. Obviously this is a minor reason, but it is a significant one that Brooks forgot to mention.

While the article goes on to discuss Israel’s achievements, which are notable of course, I think the general message of Jews being raised with good values is most appreciated. Whether it is from a Jewish day school or just from relatives, most Jews seem to be raised with a determined mindset. As the article mentions, Israel is applauded for their advancements in technology and in commerce.

I am definitely proud to consider Israel a homeland for Judaism; however, while recognizing their accomplishments we must also realize the vast amount of help that the United States government provides for them. With this being said, another comment on the article, by Dr. Richard H. Fish, is relevant, who said if its neighbors all cooperated, then Israel would definitely be the “economic engine” of the Middle East.

I brought up Jewish days schools earlier because of Judaism’s emphasis on education. Throughout Jewish history, Jews have consistently been dedicated to their religion. As one commenter on Brooks’ editorial, JLG, said, “Jews place learning and understanding on the same level as getting closer to God, since in many ways they are the same thing.” While these points seem to be true, it really just makes Israel’s close proximity to its enemies even more vulnerable. Therefore, the United States and other prosperous countries should be even more determined to prioritize assisting Israel on their agenda.

Further, the Jews who are spread throughout the world need to recognize that they have Israel as a homeland. It is an honor and a blessing that we have Israel so it is critical that we keep it in good health, i.e. its economic standing. While I do not underestimate the potential of future Jewish generations, I simply trust that they will continue to instill the same respectable values that their elders instilled onto them.

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2 Older Responses to “Jewish Accomplishments Praised by Brooks”

  1. dsdfs
    January 13, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    South Africa wasn’ t too bad either.

  2. Shalom Freedman
    January 15, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    It is wonderful when this kind of appreciation of the Jewish contribution to mankind comes from non- Jews like Steven Pease and Charles Murry. And I do believe the fundamental idea is correct that Jews have made a disproportionate contribution to mankind’s overall development. I would however caution against smug chauvinism, and a false and stupid sense of superiority. There were long periods in the history of mankind when Jews were not making significant contributions as individuals to overall human culture. I would also say that there is a tremendous dark and down – side to Jewish achievement. It is the Envy and hatred which are often at the heart of anti- Semitism, and which have a lot to do with the contemporary effort to demonize and deligitimize Israel. This is a difficult subject but it is also part of what being ‘chosen’ has meant for Jews.

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